What if Treating Your Children Fairly Means Unequal Inheritances?

When planning their estate, most parents express the desire to treat their children equally out of a sense of fairness. However, sometimes being fair or doing what’s right by your children may not mean equal or the same inheritances. The Key Takeaways Treating children fairly does not always mean equal inheritances. How and when each child receives an inheritance may need to be customized to your children as individuals. Not providing an outright inheritance is usually a good choice, as … [Read more...]

Client Conversations, the Role of the Donor Advisor

Lanier Thomas, head of the firm’s Wealth Management team, presented “Client Conversations, the Role of the Donor Advisor,” to the Deans and Associate Deans of the various colleges at California State University, Fresno.  The talk focused on communication skills and techniques designed to help donors clarify their passions and purpose in giving.  Topics included basics of planned giving strategies and the current thinking from the planned giving community on strategic philanthropy. … [Read more...]

Mandating Consensus Through No-Contest Clauses

By R. Thomas Dunn A “no contest clause” in a testamentary trust does not violate California public policy even if one beneficiary’s contest voids other non-contesting beneficiaries’ bequests. (Tunstall v. Wells (2nd Dist., Div. 1, 10/30/2006) B188711.) In Tunstall v. Wells, supra, a trustor formed a testamentary trust providing bequests to his five children. The father left $50,000 to three of his children with the remainder distributed to the other two. The trust contained the following no … [Read more...]

Schiavo Case Illustrates Need for Healthcare Directives

By Douglas E. Griffin Lang, Richert and Patch Many readers are likely familiar with the Terri Schaivo case and the controversy surrounding it. The basic controversy was over whether Ms. Schiavo was “brain dead” or disabled. Despite court findings that her brain was not working (based on medical evidence) and that she did not wish to be kept alive under the circumstances, her parents strongly contended that she was disabled and not beyond hope. Her husband, however, contended that his wife … [Read more...]