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Proposition 19 Restricts Parent-Child Transfer of Low Property Tax Rates As I’m sure all of you are all too aware, we just had a significant election on many levels. I’ll leave national commentary for others. For homeowners in California, though, Proposition 19 is making big changes to property tax rates upon the sale or transfer of property. Proposition 19 has two main effects. The first makes big changes for homeowners over 55, or those who are…
Is it OK to leave your children unequal shares of your assets?  Here’s how the issue was framed in the Ethicist column on the New York Times Magazine: This is the situation: An elderly parent has a fair amount of money and two children. One is wealthy with luxury properties, a spouse and no children. This child lives far away and visits only sporadically. The other lives near the parent, earns a modest salary, has…
  If you are stuck at home and without basic legal documents, listen up. In the spirit of offering what I can to help people gain some piece of mind amidst the panic and uncertainty of the pandemic, here are some resources that you can use to get the basics in order, for now. Although none of the documents I’m discussing take the place of a comprehensive estate plan, they are all good things to…
  If you are stuck at home and without basic legal documents, listen up. In the spirit of offering what I can to help people gain some piece of mind amidst the panic and uncertainty of the pandemic, here are some resources that you can use to get the basics in order, for now. Although none of the documents I’m discussing take the place of a comprehensive estate plan, they are all good things to…
Greetings all. If you are stuck at home and without basic legal documents, read on. In the spirit of offering what I can to help people gain some piece of mind amidst the panic and uncertainty of the pandemic, here are some resources that you can use to get the basics in order, for now. As I write this, roughly 1/4 of Americans are being asked to shelter at home in an effort to flatten…
  In this episode of Life/Death/Law, Rebecca Soffer, the CEO and co-founder of Modern Loss, shares the insights she’s gained from starting a ground-breaking website, Modern Loss, publishing a wonderful new book, Modern Loss: Candid conversations about grief. Beginner’s Welcome, and hosting a national series of live storytelling events that discuss grief and loss in honest, vivid, and, above all, human,terms. Rebecca, and her co-founder and co-author, Gabrielle Birkner, both suffered loss at…
  In this episode of Life/Death/Law, Rebecca Soffer, the CEO and co-founder of Modern Loss, shares the insights she’s gained from starting a ground-breaking website, Modern Loss, publishing a wonderful new book, Modern Loss: Candid conversations about grief. Beginner’s Welcome, and hosting a national series of live storytelling events that discuss grief and loss in honest, vivid, and, above all, human,terms. Rebecca, and her co-founder and co-author, Gabrielle Birkner, both suffered loss at…
Inheriting money is not something most of us do more than once or twice in a lifetime, if ever. For the vast majority of us, this money comes to us free of estate tax, because current law only taxes estates worth more than $10 million, indexed each year for inflation. But money that you inherit from a traditional retirement plan (IRA or 401k) is different from other assets, because you will be taxed on the…
When Aretha Franklin died in August of 2018, her family thought that she had died without a will, or as lawyers would say it, intestate. When a person dies without a will, the state has a built-in set of rules, called intestacy laws, that determine who will inherit that person’s estate. Aretha Franklin’s estate is estimated to be close to 80 million dollars, and her four sons would inherit equally under Michigan’s intestacy laws, so…
  In this episode of Life/Death/Law, Dr. BJ Miller shares insights from his new book, A Beginner’s Guide to the End. Written with co-author Shoshana Berger, the book is practical, detailed, surprisingly funny and always completely honest. From what to bring with you to the hospital (your favorite quilt, your phone charger, pictures from home), to how to tell your boss that you are really sick, to how to cultivate sex and intimacy in the…