The Law Offices of William S. Dunlevy
Serving clients in Camarillo, Thousand Oaks and the surrounding areas of California
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October 2017 Archives

Estate planning and a will are preferable for everyone

Anyone may die with assets that were not accounted for during life or that were not prepared for an orderly disposition at death. For those situations, where even a single asset is left hanging, an estate may have to be opened under California law to account for the property and pay taxes where necessary. By engaging in just a little bit of estate planning, an individual or married couple can make a will or mutual wills and assure themselves that each asset will go the heirs that they designate.

Estate planning: choose the best form of title for one's assets

The method of titling the ownership of property in California and elsewhere is generally an integral aspect of proper estate planning. By configuring the title to assets in designated ways during the life of the owner(s), estate planning can assure certain outcomes automatically on the death of an owner. The simplest form of ownership is where one individual owns the property in his/her name alone. If the asset is real estate, the single ownership model is called "fee simple" ownership, which represents the highest degree of unfettered ownership in real property.

An HOA can be a gratifying benefit for many homebuyers

Home Owners Associations in California are authorized and regulated by state law. When purchasing a home that has a HOA, it is important for buyers to read and understand the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of the residential development. These CC&Rs are drawn up in compliance with state laws regulating such associations and are therefore enforceable.

Hugh Hefner carefully charted his estate planning program

Hugh Hefner generally fits the profile of many celebrities who have lived and retired in California. He was a widely-known personality and was admired by many people. Conversely, many Americans likely viewed him as too liberated and excessively public with his private life. Nonetheless, it appears that he handled his estate planning wisely and effectively.

Estate planning requires distinguishing how property is titled

When engaging in estate planning for a California resident, it is important to consider how real estate is currently titled and to change the ownership form if necessary to meet the planning goals of the owner(s).  When title is owned by two or more owners designated as having the right of survivorship, this is jointly-owned property that passes automatically by operation of law to the other owner(s) at death. Real property that is titled in the names of husband and wife is endowed with the right of survivorship, and title passes automatically to the survivor upon the other's death. Estate planning is easy when the property passes by operation of law.