News & Insights

Advanced Estate Planning

When people think of estate planning, what comes to mind for most people is planning for after death. However, while traditional estate planning covers the basics (ensuring a smooth transfer of wealth and minimizing tax liabilities and probate fees), advanced estate planning encompasses various strategies and techniques designed to protect and distribute your assets according…

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Did You Know of the Corporate Transparency Act?

The Corporate Transparency Act, or the CTA, enhances corporate transparency to combat money-laundering, terrorism, tax evasion, and other financial crimes. It does so by setting up a national database that identifies the humans behind the companies. This database helps law enforcement sift through companies used for nefarious purposes.  The Objectives of the Corporate Transparency Act…

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The Pitfalls of DIY Probate

The state of California determines probate attorney fee commissions based on the estate’s total value. The statutory fees for attorneys and executors in California’s probate cases are 4% on the initial $100,000 and 3% on the subsequent $100,000. Importantly, the probate fees are the estate’s responsibility and do not require any upfront payment or obligation…

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Revisit Your Estate Plan After Home Remodeling Projects

Spring has sprung, which means many homeowners are kicking off remodeling projects. It’s the time of year when homeowners are motivated to undertake various projects to enhance their homes’ efficiency, infuse their living spaces with their unique touch, and address overdue maintenance tasks. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) celebrates May as…

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The U.S. Supreme Court Will Soon Hear Arguments in the Case of Tyler v. Hennepin County

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in the case of Tyler v. Hennepin County. In this case, Geraldine Tyler lost her condo in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after neglecting to pay $15,000 worth of property taxes by 2015. Hennepin County seized and sold the condo for $40,000 to cover the taxes, interest, and fees due.…

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Apple’s Tax Agreement With Cupertino Has Fallen Under California Tax Authority’s Scrutiny

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) launched an audit in 2021 investigating an arrangement between Apple and the city of Cupertino. The arrangement began in 1998 using a 1950s law that looks at orders based on the sale location. In other words, online orders are taxed based on the company’s location, not…

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Garn-St Germain Act Exceptions

The Garn-St Germain Act was passed in 1982 and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. The act was implemented to help the loan industry, which was struggling with inflation and high interest rates. It allows lenders to enforce contracts, such as mortgage agreements, that contain due-on-sale clauses. They can be enforced even if the…

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What to Bring to A Meeting With Your Probate Attorney

If you’ve scheduled a meeting with your probate attorney, you’ve taken the first step in navigating the challenging and confusing probate process. Your probate attorney will assist you with court filings, mediate and resolve conflicts between beneficiaries, and represent you if legal issues arise. Being prepared with the necessary documentation is essential when you first…

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A Detailed Look at Los Angeles’ New Mansion Tax, and Potential Ways to Avoid It if It Comes to Your City

Los Angeles is known for being one of the most affluent areas in the country, but more recently, it has also struggled with its high rate of homelessness. To address concerns surrounding housing affordability and a widening wealth gap, the city proposed Measure “United to House LA” (ULA), which has become known as the “mansion…

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Matthew Stein Awarded Provisors Group Leader of the Year

Law & Stein is proud to announce that our very own Matthew Stein has won the ProVisors Group Leader of the Year Award. ProVisors is the premier national networking organization exclusively for trusted advisors. It is the largest, fastest-growing cross-referral network of 8,000+ trusted advisors. A Provisors group leader promotes the organization’s mission to be…

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The Balancing Act of Estate Planning

Estate planning requires a balancing act of providing the greatest benefits to loved ones while saving on income and estate taxes and safeguarding savings from beneficiaries’ creditors. This balance requires careful consideration alongside proper legal and financial tools. Saving on Taxes Unfortunately, estate and income taxes might be quite the hurdle for you and your…

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What Is Trust and Estate Litigation?

Trust and estate litigation refers to legal disputes that arise in the context of trusts, wills, and estates. This type of litigation usually involves disagreements between family members and other interested parties over the interpretation or implementation of a will, trust, or estate plan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Xq2gpLgAk Trust and estate litigation can take many forms, including challenges…

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What Is Probate?

Probate is a legal process that occurs after someone dies. It’s a court proceeding that is time-consuming, complicated, and costly. However, it’s required to appoint legal title to assets at death. During a typical probate, the court oversees the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. The process usually starts with submitting a will and a…

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Probate and Trust Litigation Has Doubled in Southern California

Did you know probate and trust litigation has doubled in Southern California over the past ten years? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3WDZAMXT3s The death of a loved one is a traumatic experience. Sometimes a parent dies without a will, or the family disagrees over the terms of a will or a trust. When these disagreements can’t be resolved, probate…

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March Local News Update

Tax Deadline Extension Please be advised: The tax deadline has been extended to October 16 for disaster area taxpayers in California to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. Local Judges Retiring Two of Orange County’s long standing judges, Kim Hubbard and Gerald Johnston will be retiring this year.

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The Fight Over Lisa Marie Presley’s Estate – What’s Happening and How Can You Avoid This

A Trust Dispute It made headlines when Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the great Elvis Presley, suddenly passed away on January 12, 2023. However, shortly after that, the headlines quickly shifted to the dispute over who will be handling Lisa Marie’s trust now that she has passed away.In 1993, Lisa Marie established a trust with…

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Deciphering the SALT Workaround

The state and local tax (SALT) deduction permits taxpayers who itemize when filing federal taxes to deduct certain taxes paid to state and local governments. However, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act imposed a $10,000 SALT itemized deduction limit. This affected California in particular because of the high-income tax rates in the state. What…

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Protecting Your Digital Legacy

How to Manage Your Photos, Data & Social Media Accounts After You Die Thinking about your “digital legacy” may seem strange but given the amount of data and content we all use and create (think about all your phone’s pictures, iCloud backups, texts, social media accounts, and Apps like Venmo and Starbucks), it is something…

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Careful With Your Crypto!

A few weeks ago, the Rams won a Super Bowl for the first time since they have called Los Angeles “Home”. One of their stars, Odell Beckham Jr. (“OBJ”), signed a one-year contract prior to this season to play wide receiver for the Rams. For better or for worse, OBJ decided to convert his base…

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Cryptocurrency & Estate Planning

Cryptocurrency or virtual currency (used interchangeably) has become quite the coveted asset among investors because of the seemingly lucrative return due to its fast appreciating nature. Cryptocurrency has also been the subject of growing interest by government regulators, including the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). But what is virtual currency? How is treated for tax purposes?…

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When the Deceased Leaves a Spouse Off of Their Will, California Assumes They Just Forgot

Just got remarried? Time to update the estate plan! Just had a baby? Time to update the estate plan!Remembering to update your estate planning documents, (your will and trust), may not be top of mind after every life changing event. These milestone moments take up time, emotions, and let’s face it, valuable sleep, so California…

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Digital Assets. What Are They & How Do I Protect Them?

Our lives essentially revolve around technology and this trend is only continuing to grow.Nearly all of our important documents and files, whether they be personal, business or financial, are stored on various digital platforms. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure those documents and files, also referred to as digital assets, are not only protected…

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“Dedicated.” “Determined.” “Compassionate.” Just a Few Client Descriptions of Our New Attorney!

We hope this newsletter finds you and your family healthy and happy in the first quarter of this new year. We are excited to share some news so without further ado, let’s share!Our number one priority is to continue to provide new and existing clients with exceptional client service through insightful and strategic counsel and…

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Did You Complete the “Homeowner’s Exemption” on Your Residential Property Tax Bill?

Under Prop 19, the “HomeownersExemption” Allows for Reduction in Property Value for Tax Purposes We have received numerous calls on how the recently passed Proposition 19 will impact residential property taxes when handed down to children and beneficiaries.In response to these questions and more, Partner, estate planning attorney and tax planning attorney, R. Zebulon Law…

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PROPOSITION 19: There’s a Narrow Window to Beat the Increased Property Tax

The Pros & Cons This November, California voters approved Proposition 19, which expanded some property tax exemptions for people 55 and over, but also increased property taxes in many future property transfer situations when there is a death in the family. The quick recap is there are some property tax PROS for eligible homeowners to…

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Super! Rising! New!

As we begin the summer and start to move into the back half of 2020, we sincerely hope this newsletter finds you safe and well. During these past few months we have continued to work diligently for our clients with Zoom calls, Facetime meetings, and drive-thru signings with lots of hand sanitizer and social distancing…

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Just Like Kobe Bryant’s Daughter, Kids Have Rights in the Family Trust

Since Kobe Bryant’s tragic passing earlier this year, his wife recently realized their infant daughter was not included in his trust. In the Bryant family trust case, and others we’ve experienced, more than likely the omission was an accident. Assuming it was an accident, what are the steps you, as the living spouse or child,…

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So What’s the Difference Between a Living Trust & an Irrevocable Trust?

“Why wouldn’t they just form a living trust and put their house in it? After all, once that is done, their house is safe because the trust provides asset protection.” Unfortunately, this is a common misconception regarding how trusts work and the protections a trust can provide. Before covering some details about the differences between…

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Does Your Current Estate Plan Make Sense in Light of the Recent Changes to Tax Laws?

By R. Zebulon Law, Esq. LL.M., CPA & Christina M. Chan, Esq. On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.   Part of the law concerns the estate tax exemption limit, which has doubled from $5.6 million to $11.2 million per person.  The new estate tax exemption limit is effective…

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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

By R. Zebulon Law, Esq. LL.M., CPA This morning (December 22, 2017), President Trump signed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  This is the most significant tax legislation in 30 years, and we wanted to share some of our initial impressions and observations with our clients and friends. Probably the most signification change…

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New Deed Recording Tax

Dear friends, family and clients: We wanted to make you aware of a recent legislative change that will go into effect in the new year. The California State Senate passed the Building Homes and Jobs Act (SB-2). The bill’s purpose is to provide funding for affordable housing in California, it will be funded by an…

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IRS Extends Portability Deadline

November 2017 Law & Stein LLP wants to remind our clients, friends, and families that on June 26, 2017, the IRS issued Internal Revenue Bulletin 2017-26, which essentially extended the deadline to file certain estate tax returns to January 2, 2018. This is an interesting opportunity, which in some cases, could help save some estate…

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