Life Insurance 101

Estate Planning

The purpose of estate planning is to help a person build a large estate during life and to pass on as much of it as possible to the loved ones upon death.  While you might not have the $$$ Michael Jackson does, the problems can be very similar. *  2.7.2014 LA Times *

The main considerations in estate planning are:

  Free ONLINE Needs Analysis

 Consumer Links

CA State Bar – FAQ’s

Do I need Estate Planning?  PDF


Asset Protection

Estates Legalese

Free Elder Law, ,  , ,


Estate Tax Law,

Gift Tax Law,

Does a family member have “Special Needs?”

California Courts – Self Help Site

How to find Unclaimed Property (Escheat) & Life Insurance with the State of California?

CA Court Property Declaration form for spouses to list the assets and how they think the assets should be divided

Social Security & Medicare ONLINE Enrollment  and Benefit Calculator

J Law General Rules for Taxation of Estates and Trusts

TLE 26 > Subtitle A > CHAPTER 1 > Subchapter J > PART I

Federal Law


  • Subpart A—General Rules for Taxation of Estates and Trusts (§§ 641—646)
  • Subpart B—Trusts Which Distribute Current Income Only (§§ 651—652)
  • Subpart C—Estates and Trusts Which May Accumulate Income or Which Distribute Corpus (§§ 661—664)
  • Subpart D—Treatment of Excess Distributions by Trusts (§§ 665—669)
  • Subpart E—Grantors and Others Treated as Substantial Owners (§§ 671—679)
  • Subpart F—Miscellaneous (§§ 681—685)


Advance Planning is vital to make sure that your financial and emotional goals are met when the unfortunate inevitably happens.

The questionnaire below will help you organize your assets and where you want them to go after your death.   Assets left out of an estate plan, regardless of the reason, will have to be probated unless they fall into a state’s exemptions from probate such as being in joint tenancy or in a trust of some type. Planning now, can help avoid problems, if any of your heirs want to contest the will, by saying you were not mentally able (competent) to make the plans you wanted to make.

It is not uncommon for a person to forget a piece of property inherited years earlier from old Uncle Bill in Tulsa or Aunt Emily in Maine. Then after death, the person’s heirs discover the existence of the forgotten property. Thereafter, the heirs are forced to spend thousands of dollars needlessly to probate the property to place the title in their names.

See our page on Sample Wills and scroll down to learn about Intestate Succession if you don’t have a will!



1. Name (include all other names once used, i.e. maiden) __________________________

  1. Address and phone number (home and business) ___________________________________________________________

3. Employer’s name, address and phone number: ______________________________________________________________

4. Spouse’s employer’s name, address and phone number: ______________________________________________________

5. Occupation:____________________________

6. Spouse’s occupation:__________________

7. Social security number:___________________

8. Spouse’s social security number:___________

9. Former military service (branch and dates of service): ______________________________________________________

10. Date and place of birth:___________________

11. Name of spouse:_________________________

12. Date and place of spouse’s birth: _____________

13. Date and place of marriage: ____________

14. Length of residency in the state: _________________


  1. Previous marriages for each spouse: _____________

16. Children:_______________________________

17. Children of spouse (step-children):__________

18. Deceased children: _____________________

19. Grandchildren:_________________________

20. Grandchildren of spouse: ___________________

21. Parents and address: _____________________________ __________________________________________________

22. Parents of spouse and address: ______________________

23. Last will:


a. Date executed:___________________________________


b . Location of original: __________________________ _________________________________________________


c. Attorney who prepared will, address, phone: _____




1. Real property (for each piece of real property state):

a. (1) Type of property: _______________________________

(2) Location of property: ___________________________


(3) Holder and amount of liens on the property:______



(4) Fair market value of the property not deducting for the liens: ______________________________________


(5) Date of purchase and original amount: ___________


(6) How is title to the property taken? (What does it say on the deed? separate property, joint tenancy,

tenancy in the entirety, tenancy in common): ________________________________________

b. (1) Type of property: _______________________________

(2) Location of property: ___________________________

(3) Holder and amount of liens on the property:


(4) Fair market value of the property not deducting for the liens: ______________________________________



(5) Date of purchase and original amount:____________


(6) How is title to the property taken? (What does it say on the deed? separate property, joint tenancy,

tenancy by the entirety, tenancy in common): ________________________________________



c. (1) Type of property: _______________________________

(2) Location of property:____________________________


(3) Holder and amount of liens on the property: _____


(4) Fair market value of the property not deducting for the liens: ______________________________________ Source  MICHAEL LYNN GABRIEL, Esq., *  Stroh…

Estate Planning FAQ’s

Taylor v. Nationsbank

This Court has found that transactions between trustees and beneficiaries of a trust are “presumed fraudulent” and therefore “are voidable by the beneficiary unless the trustee can show by the greater weight of the evidence that the transaction was ‘open, fair and honest,'” and “that the beneficiary had a full and complete understanding of the transaction . . ..” Johnson v. Brown, 71 N.C. App. 660, 668, 323 S.E.2d 389, 394-95 (1984). Furthermore, defendants do not point to any terms of the trust that restrict the beneficiaries’ rights to view the trust instrument.

Section 173 of the Restatement (Second) of Trusts makes clear that a trustee must always provide beneficiaries complete and accurate information and documentation regarding the trust:

The trustee is under a duty to the beneficiary to give him upon his request at a reasonable time complete and accurate information as to the nature and amount of the trust property, and to permit him or a person duly authorized by him to inspect the subject matter of the trust and the accounts and vouchers and other documents relating to the trust.
Restatement (Second) of Trusts § 173. Section 173 also clearly provides authority for the position that beneficiaries are entitled to view trust documents relating to their interest in the trust.

, the beneficiary is always entitled to such information as is reasonably necessary to enable him to enforce his rights under the trust or to prevent or redress a breach of trust.

Justice Cardozo’s words concerning a fiduciary’s duty still ring true today:
A trustee is held to something stricter than the morals of the market place. Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive, is then the standard of behavior. As to this there has developed a tradition that is unbending and inveterate Seaver v. Ransom – Where a niece gets an inheritance from her Aunt that her Uncle was supposed to give her in HIS will….  Oral – Nuncupative Wills  – definition that says they are normally invalid Under the then prevailing conditions it was natural that provisions for oral or nuncupative wills should have been made and we find three sections of the 1850 Act devoted to this subject. As at present, such a will must have been reduced to writing within thirty days after the words were spoken, and probate must be within six months after the speaking of the words. The 1850 law limited the size of the estate disposable by such a will to $500 ($1,000 at present). But as to soldiers and mariners on active duty the 1850 Act apparently allowed nuncupative wills of personal property to be good with no limitation at all, whereas the present law places such wills under the same restrictions as to amount and procedure as other nuncupative wills and requires “actual contemplation, fear or peril of death. 11 As to civilians, the 1850 Act limited oral wills to “time of last sickness” ; the present law limits them to “expectation of immediate death from an injury received the same day.”   Source California doesn’t recognize Nuncupative Wills – SourceAnother Source Oral WillsSource

Plaintiff alleged, and the trial court found, that on or before April 18, 1953, Mr. and Mrs. Crail orally agreed that the first spouse who died would leave his or her estate to the other spouse, on the condition that the survivor would leave their combined estate to their children in equal shares. The evidence disclosing the existence of the oral contract is sparse but is substantial enough to constitute support for the trial court’s findings.



Children of deceased parents who had executed mutual wills whereunder each parent left his estate to the surviving parent or, in the event neither survived, to the children, brought an action to enforce an oral agreement allegedly made by the parents under which the survivor was to leave all the parents’ property to plaintiffs. The action was initiated as a result of the father’s failure, on his death as the last survivor, to carry out the terms of the agreement. The trial court held for the plaintiffs. (Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. 971059, Benjamin Landis, Judge.)

The Supreme Court affirmed, rejecting numerous contentions of insufficiency of evidence. As a basis for taking the oral agreement out of operation of the statute of frauds, the court referred to testimony indicating that the mutual wills had been made to protect the children, and that the mother had changed her position in reliance on the agreement. The court noted, further, that to apply the statute in the instant case would result in unjust enrichment.

Crail v. Blakely
106 Cal.Rptr. 187
Cal. 1973.

It is an age-old principle of our law that no man should judge or otherwise officially preside over disputed matters in which he has a pecuniary financial interest. The rule is given expression in the law of trusts. ‘It is against public policy to permit any person occupying fiduciary relations to be placed in such a position that he may be tempted to betray his duty as a trustee. * * *’ (Sims v. Petaluma Gas Light Co., 131 Cal. 656, 659, 63 P. 1011, 1012.)


in view of public policies of maintaining parent-child relationships

Best interests of the child are always paramount in any of the numerous proceedings that determine the custody of the child. In re B.G. (1974) 11 Cal.3d 679, 114 Cal.Rptr. 444, 523 P.2d 244;Civ.Code, § 4600.)

It is in the best interests of all parties that this parent-child relationship not be disrupted.


Guardianship of Claralyn S.
195 Cal.Rptr. 646
Cal.App. 5 Dist.,1983.

Instant Term Life Quotes - CA

Generally courts will not assist in enforcing an agreement when the object of the agreement is either illegal or against public policy.

Dunkin v. Boskey
98 Cal.Rptr.2d 44
Cal.App. 1 Dist.,2000

A promise or other term of an agreement is unenforceable on grounds of public policy if legislation provides that it is unenforceable or the interest in its enforcement is clearly outweighed in the circumstances by a public policy against the enforcement of such terms. Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 178 comment.


CA Statutory Will 


Fill in the blanks
CA Statutory Will - Fill in the blanks

Steve Video on CA Statutory Will

video on ca statury will
Please excuse the sound quality... it gets better after the first 20 seconds

Child & Related Pages

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.