Entries by actualizedevs


Dianne Feinstein’s Trust Problems

Dianne Feinstein has many problems. She is a frail 90-year-old member of the United States Senate. In addition to her health problems, Feinstein is engaged in a lawsuit over trusts created with her late husband. We can’t avoid old age, but proper estate planning can help avoid family fights. Two separate lawsuits were filed in […]


Housing God’s Ministers: Parsonage Explained

Rabbis and other clergy are less well compensated than comparable professionals with advanced degrees. Yet, clergy have one advantage over most other professions. A portion of clergy salary can avoid income taxation if deemed parsonage. Preferential treatment for clergy raises some questions. Yet, the tax benefit has withstood the tests of time and lawsuits. Perhaps […]


Trust and Your Adult Children

The most challenging question in estate planning is, “Whom do you trust?” The estate planning process includes the execution of several documents, wills, powers of attorney, and sometimes trusts.  Each requires naming a “fiduciary.” A fiduciary is someone you trust to handle your affairs when you are ill or after death. Who you choose to […]


Jerry Springer’s Video Will

Jerry Springer did not share his diagnosis with the public. Springer’s fans were surprised when he died from cancer in April 2023. The news media jumped on another secret. The press reported that Springer left his entire estate to children from an out-of-wedlock relationship. But the report was not accurate. Across social media, viewers watched […]


Living Larger Longer

We are living longer. Yet, demographic changes threaten our retirement plans for prosperity and enjoyment. For those of us who live longer lives, there may be some breathing room for additional planning, both financial and psychological. The statistics about the coming changes in the labor force and our economy are fascinating. For example, family sizes […]


Free Britney (with Supported Decision Making)

Britney Spears’ conservatorship shined a spotlight on the problems of guardianship systems and their damaging impact on people’s lives. The world saw that Britney’s mental health challenges did not impede her ability to make decisions such as selecting attorneys and engaging health care professionals. What the California system lacked was an appreciation for the concept […]

Leonard Cohen’s Last Hallelujah

Another day, another celebrity estate battle. Hallelujah for the attorneys. This time it is the estate of beloved singer, songwriter, author, and poet Leonard Cohen. “Leonard Cohen’s lawyers and manager forged his trust so they could fleece the estate of millions of dollars and steal the Hall of Famer’s legacy from his own children,” attorney […]

Documents and Dementia

Bruce Willis’ family recently announced he has frontotemporal dementia. The actor just celebrated his 68th birthday. For most people, dementia is associated with advanced age. To many, Willis’ condition was surprising given his age, but not so much for me. My best friend in high school began to lose words and seem confused while only […]

Don’t Screw This Up

My client called me in a panic. After his spouse, Bobbi, died, my client checked with Bobbi’s employer. Bobbi had a life insurance policy through her work. The human resources director assured my client that the policy beneficiary was the spouse. Yet, my client was the second spouse. What if the beneficiary named in the […]

Lisa Marie and me

Another celebrity death and another lesson in estate planning mistakes. Lisa Marie Presley, the recently deceased daughter of Elvis Presley is the focus of a recent case before the Los Angeles Superior Court. The plaintiff is Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley. The lawsuit focuses on estate planning basics. Did Lisa Marie properly sign and execute […]

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