As our world becomes increasingly digitized, when we die, we leave an expansive digital footprint. For many, this footprint includes assets, intellectual property and other information such as copyrights, photos, pictures, messages, digital currenc(ies), passwords and more. An ever increasing question is who has access to these things after we leave the planet.
In this situation as in many others, the law often lags behind the issues of the day. This leaves individuals, including estate planners and professional fiduciaries with the question of how to counsel clients as to assets both now and in the future. Presently, the California Probate … Read More
It’s that time of year when property owners look towards paying that tax bill. Your property tax bill includes payments for various things, other than property tax. In addition to property tax, the bill includes charges for voter approved taxes and direct charges from taxing agencies. These charges are all specifically identified on one’s bill for property taxes. A little-known fact is that these additional amounts sometimes will include various exemptions. The most common is for senior citizens, defined as age sixty-five (65) or older. Luckily for folks reaching this category, they can go through this list of charges and … Read More
Here are some of the ideas we’re working on to enhance our legal counsel for the families and small businesses upon which Sonoma is based, and for those among us who need our help.
1. TechForward Sonoma—stay tuned for video featuring an online Sonoma History
2. CarePartners Initiative—elevating elder care and support
3. Sonoma History and Local Artist Retrospective—open-door office visits for a glimpse of Sonoma history past and present coming soon
4. Celebrate Diversity—collaborating with community members to highlight different cultures and ways of life, starting with Ana Escobar’s family recipe below.
Cumulatively, these ideas forge a new … Read More
Mary Piasta Keynotes Upcoming CarePartners Initiative Program
Five Common Legal Issues Caregivers May Face
In her upcoming keynote address at the CarePartners Initiative Forum on May 6, 2023, HVP partner Mary Piasta combines her estate planning experience with a passion for protecting what matters most to provide a comprehensive overview of the most common legal issues that caregivers caring for older adults with dementia need to consider:
- Power of Attorney
- Advance Directives
- Estate Planning
- Putting Together a Care Team
- Thoughts on Skilled Nursing and Hospital Stays
Caregivers traverse an unknown terrain of new responsibilities. Come learn how foundational legal documents … Read More
Thomas A. Haeuser
Partner Thomas A. Haeuser takes on new role as HVP advisor and community leader
We are proud and pleased to announce that our long-time partner Thomas Haeuser will be taking on a new role at the firm in the new year. Effective January 1 2022, Tom will continue to serve in an advisory capacity, taking a step back from active practice to focus on community activities. Those around town already know Tom for his presence on the Plaza and his unflagging efforts to make our town and the surrounding community a special place for businesses and families … Read More
A tool in California that asset protection lawyers use is a Delaware Statutory Trust, otherwise known as a DST. The mechanics are rather simple and set forth in the Delaware Statutory Trust Act. One erects the business structure with the appropriate documentary filings including the naming of non-California agents to act on behalf of the trust. These things together act to limit liability by having the official actors out of state. The out-of-state defendant is harder to involve in a California lawsuit.
The benefits include circumventing the standard California business tax and asset protection. In addition, a DST may be … Read More
A recent legacy case illustrates how Proposition 19 impacts grandparents wishing to leave their family vineyard property to their granddaughter.
Change in the Law
Effective February 16, 2021, Prop. 19 modified the reassessment exclusion for parents and grandparents wishing to pass down their property to their children or grandchildren who were not going to live there, leaving certain estates vulnerable.
What About the Exclusion Limits?
Prior to Prop. 19, primary residences of unlimited value could be transferred avoiding reassessment up to an additional $1 million of assessed value. This also had zero requirement that the child lives at that property. … Read More
In this day and age of websites, blogs, coaching programs and such, if you own a business that has these things, if something were to happen to you, what would happen to these things?
These sort of things are what is referred to as ‘intellectual properties’ and if you have a will or estate plan that includes directives for your business you might think more about protecting these aspects to your business or endeavor.
Under the law, in the broadest sense an intellectual property is an abstract item such a concept, ideas or formula and so on. To protect things … Read More
Recently as marriage equality and identity classifications have been critiqued more closely by the LGBTQ community, here’s some info about name changes.
Basically it’s not that difficult.
Anybody can change their name legally. Just make sure it is not to commit fraud or make a false identity.
The simplest and most common is when people marry.
Today’s customs and attitudes about marriage lets women keep a “maiden name” or allows for a hyphenated name.
Hyphenated names are used in England. Historically, it has been part of the class or caste-system in English society. Hyphenated names were passed down as a … Read More
by Mary Piasta
When we talk of asset protection, many think of bankruptcy. But there is a social norm with this type of word preventing many from considering it seriously. The truth is that many very wealthy individuals in our country are not so dissuaded and utilize filing for bankruptcy as a means to preserve wealth.
For example, one entrepreneur went through bankruptcy four times in his life and left a legacy including a private foundation. For others it means wiping the slate clean to rebuild their wealth.
Historically speaking bankruptcy was a way to depart from the English precedent … Read More