Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
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February 2014 Archives

Philip Seymour Hoffman's will and unmarried partner-beneficiaries

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died suddenly on Feb. 2 at age 46, he left behind his life partner Marianne and their three children. His net worth was estimated at $35 million and, in 2004, around the time their first child was born, he executed a will leaving everything to Marianne.

Keeping beneficiaries updated is a key part of estate planning

Having a life insurance policy and a named beneficiary is an important step in estate planning, but surprises may still come after a person's death if the proper precautions are not taken beforehand. It may surprise some California readers to find out that a spouse is not always an automatic beneficiary on a life insurance policy.

What can I do to protect my digital assets after I die?

With digital assets becoming more and more present in our society, there has been a corresponding increase in concern for digital fraud. Because of this, financial and business planning has made protection of digital assets one of its most important goals. For those in business, the challenge is to provide adequate protection and privacy for digital assets while maintaining ease of access and control.  

Recent stories highlight issue of end-of-life care, medical preferences

There has been a lot in the news of late regarding tragic stories involving difficult end-of-life situations. Los Angeles readers have by now probably heard of the sad story involving Jahi MaMath, a 13-year-old California girl who ended up brain-dead as a result of complications from a tonsillectomy at Oakland Children’s Hospital. McMath’s situation involved a legal battle between the hospital and the family over whether to keep her on life support. Because she was declared brain-dead, the hospital was not required to do so. The girl ended up being kept on life support and was eventually released to her family.