Contra Costa Lawyer - September 2021 Estate Planning & Probate Issue

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Contra Costa


Estate Planning


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Contra Costa  2021 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dorian Peters President Ericka McKenna President-Elect David Erb Secretary David Pearson Treasurer Oliver Greenwood Past President Dean Christopherson Patanisha Davis Pierson Jonathan Lee Terry Leoni Cary McReynolds Craig Nevin

Michael Pierson David Ratner Sutter Selleck Marta Vanegas Andrew Verriere Qiana Washington

CCCBA   EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR Theresa Hurley | 925.370.2548 |

LAWYER Volume 34, Number 5 |September 2021

The official publication of the

FEATURES INSIDE: Estate Planning For All Stages of Life, by Kathryn Schofield, Guest Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Helping Clients Replace Themselves with Special Needs Planning, by Kirsten Howe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

CCCBA main office 925.686.6900 |

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Estate Plans 101: The Basics for Those Just Starting Out, by Brandon Lee Spivack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 What’s the Deal with Prop 19?, by Ryan Lockhart. . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

CONTRA COSTA LAWYER CO-EDITORS EDITORIAL BOARD Marcus Brown Alice Cheng 925.482.8950 925.233.6222

Ann Battin Matthew Cody

Estate Planning Before a Second Marriage, by Nicole Ramos Takemoto and Alice P. Cheng . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

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BOARD LIAISON Perry Novak Marta Vanegas 925.746.7278 925.937.5433 Andrew Verriere COURT LIAISON 925.317.9113 Kate Bieker Lorraine Walsh

Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts & Closely Held Businesses, by Travis Neal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

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The Contra Costa Lawyer (ISSN 1063-4444) is published six times in 2021 by the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA), 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. Annual subscription of $25 is included in the membership dues. Periodical postage paid at Concord, CA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: send address change to the Contra Costa Lawyer, 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. The Lawyer welcomes and encourages articles and letters from readers. Please send them to The CCCBA reserves the right to edit articles and letters sent in for publication. All editorial material, including editorial comment, appearing herein represents the views of the respective authors and does not necessarily carry the endorsement of the CCCBA or the Board of Directors. Likewise, the publication of any advertisement is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product or service offered unless it is specifically stated in the ad that there is such approval or endorsement.

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Estate Planning For ALL Stages of Life

by Kathryn Schofield Guest Editor

The Estate Planning Issue’s organizing principle is that estate planning is relevant at all stages of life – from childhood to marriage (and second marriage!), buying a house, running a successful business, and yes, old age. This selection of articles is our attempt to bring that home the reality that estate planning is relevant to everyone, including you. Estate planning has its own lingo, and that alone can be a barrier for people to get their estate planning done. I assure you, non-estate planners out there, estate planning isn’t scary! Here’s a glossary of basic estate planning terms everyone should know (and maybe were afraid to ask). Most make an appearance somewhere in this issue. Disclaimer: this glossary is not a legal treatise. For precision, talk to your friendly neighborhood estate planning attorney.

Glossary Estate:

A person’s stuff. Alive or dead, in a trust or not. All of it, no matter its form. Money, stock, personal property or real property.

Estate plan:

A collection of documents giving your directions if you aren’t able to speak for yourself. Estate plans cover what to do with your stuff and your life. Typically, they include a health care directive, durable power of attorney, will and (probably) a trust.

Trust: An agreement that one person (the “trustor”) entrusts another person (the “trustee”) with their stuff and gives them instructions what to do with it. The most common is a “revocable” trust: the trustor can change the terms or terminate the agreement. A revocable trust usually starts out with the trustor and the trustee being the same person. In contrast, “irrevocable” trust terms can’t be changed, and trustees are usually someone else. Irrevocable trusts are handy for tax and benefits planning, because they shift who legally owns and/or controls your stuff. Settlor:

(yes, that is spelled correctly): The person whose stuff it is and executes the trust agreement. Also known as the “trustor.”.

Advance Health Care Directive: Also known as a

“living will,” an AHCD sets forth your personal care choices while you are alive. It includes more than when to pull the “pull the plug.” It can include all kinds of things, like if and when it would be ok to move you out of your home or what kind of music calms you down.

Durable Attorney:



A DPOA gives someone else the power to manage your finances. The agent does not have control over the stuff in your trust. The trustee doesn’t have control over any stuff not in your trust. That said, your agent and trustee can be the same person.

Will: You know what this is. Don’t confuse it with a trust. Separate Property:

All of your stuff that you acquired outside of your marriage. An inheritance for example, but also what you accumulated before or after the





Continued from page 5 marriage. Whether or not your stuff is in a trust doesn’t matter. The separate/community property nature of your stuff doesn’t change without an express writing.


The court process for figuring out what your stuff is and who should get your stuff after you die, if you haven’t spelled it out somewhere else. Probate has a generic hierarchy of who has priority for getting your stuff.

Non-Probate Transfers: Ways to give away your stuff after you die without requiring a judge, such as: a trust, joint tenancy or ownership, and bank account beneficiaries. You still need a Probate if you only have a will. Executor (or Administrator): The person appointed by

the court to manage the stuff you have to have probated. An executor has nothing to do with the stuff in your trust.

CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System) and CCCERA (Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association): Examples of pensions (they still exist!). Members of these plans do not receive Social Security.

Court-appointed person responsible for another person’s stuff (“Estate”) and/or personal care choices (“Person”) when the person lacks capacity to make decisions for themselves. A conservatorship is for adults, a guardianship is for minors. Some other states use the term guardianship for both. There are different types of conservatorships for different situations. A good estate plan avoids conservatorships.

Incapacity: Not being able to take care of yourself or your affairs. Simple idea, very complicated legally. Incapacity can be hotly and expensively litigated if it is in dispute. The trustee and/or agent take over when you become incapacitated, and you get to define what incapacity is in your estate plan. The most common definition is when your doctor signs a letter saying you are unable to take care of yourself and your affairs. Gift and estate tax exclusion: How much your stuff can be

worth, and how much you can give away, without federal tax consequences. This is a huge political hot potato. In 2021, an individual can have (or have given away) $11.58 million when they die without federal tax consequences. States have different rules. A married couple doubles that. Every year a person can give away $15,000

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without it counting toward the gift tax exclusion. But there is no tax owed at the time of that gifting. You do have to keep track and tell the IRS.

Medicare v Medicaid v Medi-Cal: Lots of programs

exist under each of these monikers, and you are right to be confused. Medicare is medical insurance you get when you retire, or under some other programs like for disabilities. Medicaid is more extensive coverage available to extremely low low-income people. It includes long long-term care in a skilled nursing facility. In California it is called Medi-Cal. If you think that you don’t need an estate plan, think again. You may not need a complicated one to deal with your stuff, but anyone could get hit by a bus. You will need someone to speak for you at some point. Write down your ideas and talk to an estate planning attorney (please not an online service, but that is a different article). Ms. Kathryn Schofield is the principal at Schofield Law Group. She practices elder law, including trust litigation and administration, conservatorships and estate planning.


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Helping Clients Replace Themselves with

Special Needs Planning For parents of special needs children, the estate plan is much more than a vehicle for the transfer of wealth to the next generation. In effect, the plan must take the parents’ place in their child’s life. For parents whose child will always require the care of someone else, just the thought of what the child’s life will be like after their deaths can be agonizing. The attorney must have legal and practical tools that address the parents’ fears. The attorney also must help the parents feel confident that their plan will successfully replace the support, effort and sacrifice of the parents. Every special needs planning case is different. In this article we will discuss the additional considerations and techniques involved in special needs planning for a typical couple with a disabled child who is expected to depend on needs-based

government benefits such as SSI and Medi-Cal. Special needs attorneys must help parents consider carefully some of the decisions that are often “no-brainers” in other estate plans. One of the “no-brainer” decisions arises in planning the parents’ revocable living trust (RLT), which will usually direct dividing the trust property into shares for the children upon the deaths of the parents. In the vast majority of families, as long as there has been no estrangement or bad behavior, the parents want the children to have equal shares. This might be undesirable in special needs planning. If the parents’ resources are limited, it may be necessary to allocate a larger share to the special needs child if that child is not expected to be selfsupporting.

Most parents, when creating an RLT, will name one of their children to be the trustee on their deaths. It is very common for parents of special needs children also to presume that one of their other children is the best choice to serve as trustee of the special needs trust (SNT). However, a sibling trustee can be a bad choice for several reasons. The business dealings between a trustee and a beneficiary may cause strain in an otherwise loving sibling relationship. The job of trustee sometimes requires immediate attention to issues that can’t wait until the weekend, which can be difficult for a sibling who has a job, a family and other responsibilities. A sibling who is the trustee of an SNT will be geographically tied to their disabled sibling, possibly limiting career choices. Finally, administering an



all the care, attention and support the parents currently provide, out of love, for free. The parents must essentially prepare financially not only for their own retirements, but also for a potentially very long third “retirement” for their special needs child. A good financial advisor who

The parents of a special needs child know their child better than anyone Continued from page 7 else. We strongly encourage our clients to write a memorandum or SNT correctly requires an underletter, explaining important inforstanding of the laws that govern the mation about the child to successor trust and the relevant government trustees, guardians or conservators benefits, which may be beyond the and others who may have responcapability of a sibling. The sibility for the child after the attorney must take great care parents’ deaths. Ideally, this The attorney will assist the parents to to explain the potential pitfalls, document gives details about gently steer the parents to a name a person or group of people to serve the child’s medical history as advisors to the trustee of the SNT. This and current status, food and different choice, if possible, or at least help parents build into advisory committee, typically made up of entertainment preferences, the trust an exit strategy for friends and family members who know the important friends and family the sibling trustee. members in the child’s life, child well and will continue to be present and any other thing that The attorney must pay close in the child’s life after the parents’ deaths, would be helpful to someone attention to the parents’ can help the trustee understand the child’s trying to help the child live the finances. An inheritance is not best possible life. needs. a windfall for a special needs child. It is a support system that Parents of special needs chilmust last for the child’s entire life. can help parents create the necesdren who have cognitive or other Many parents overlook the fact that, sary resources and who has expericommunication impairments must even though their child will continue ence with special needs families is communicate on behalf of, advoto receive government support, a necessity, and it is often the attorcate for and protect their children. money will be needed to pay for ney’s job to make that connection. The attorney must help the parents imagine their child’s future with someone else taking on these vital roles. When the child cannot communicate or effectively advocate for himself, the attorney must help the parents choose a guardian or conservator (depending on the child’s age) carefully. Also, as the child approaches the age of 18, the attorney must assist the parents to be appointed the child’s conservator by the court.

Special Needs Planning

The attorney will assist the parents to name a person or group of people to serve as advisors to the trustee of the SNT. This advisory committee, typically made up of friends and family members who know the child well and will continue to be present in the child’s life after the parents’ deaths, can help the trustee understand the child’s needs. The advisory committee may, for example, make recommendations for large expenditures on assistive equipment (modified vehicles, wheelchairs).



All trust beneficiaries are entitled to be kept informed of the trustee’s activities. However, the SNT beneficiary may not have the ability to read, analyze and object to the trustee’s accounting. The attorney must explore with parents the possibility of asking a friend or family member to review the trustee’s activities on behalf of the child. It is heart-wrenching for parents to think about a trustee misusing their child’s money, but that does happen, and the attorney must guide parents to think about this potential problem and possible solutions. Parents of special needs children often feel anxious and helpless

when contemplating their child’s life without them. Planning with them requires knowledge, skill and compassion and can be emotionally challenging, but the relief these parents feel upon creating their plan is the attorney’s greatest reward.

ness planning attorney, she soon realized that estate planning and elder law are her passion. She is dedicated to designing and implementing customized plans, making everything simple and easy for her clients and establishing close, long-lasting relationships.

Kirsten Howe is the founder and managing attorney of Absolute Trust Counsel, a trusted law firm in Walnut Creek, California. Her practice focuses on estate planning, trust administration, probate, MediCal planning and special needs planning. Although Kirsten began her career as a busi-

Kirsten earned her J.D. cum laude at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she was a member of the Thurston Society and Managing Editor of The Hastings Law Journal. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan.



Estate Plans 101:

The Basics for Those Just Starting Out by Brandon Lee Spivack Imagine a young entrepreneur (“Jacob”), recently graduated from college and living at home to save on expenses. Business is growing and the future is bright until Jacob suffers an unfortunate accident, leaving him incapacitated. Suddenly, Jacob is faced with a series of important issues: • Who is going to make medical decisions for Jacob? • What are Jacob’s instructions?


• Who will run Jacob’s business? • How will Jacob pay his bills? Dispel the idea that estate planning is only for old, wealthy clients who are married and own property. Estate planning is relevant to young adults who are single or married, rich or poor. Directions on how you want your wishes to be handled in the event of your incapacitation or death is one of the most important gifts you can make to your family and friends. Without an effective estate plan, the court will need to appoint a Conservator of the Person and the Estate to act on Jacob’s behalf. These issues are further complicated if Jacob is not properly insured. Where does Jacob’s Conservator get the money to pay his medical bills, legal fees, student loans, and business expenses? Establishing an estate plan forces a person to confront these issues. An Advance Health Care Directive is a core document in a complete 10


estate plan. It nominates an agent to make medical decisions on Jacob’s behalf. The nomination can eliminate the need for the appointment of a Conservator of the Person. Also, Jacob can include instructions for medical care, such as limitations on end-of-life care and restrictions on experimental treatments. Jacob can also include burial wishes and instructions for organ donations and autopsy. A complete estate plan also includes a Durable Power of Attorney, allowing Jacob to nominate a person or financial institution to manage his or her finances if Jacob is unable to do so. In our example, nominating a person to manage Jacob’s financial assets would facilitate timely payment of Jacob’s expenses. Also, Jacob’s agent would have access to Jacob’s financial records, allowing his agent to make informed decisions about whether Jacob qualifies for public benefits. Executing an Advance Health Care Directive and a Durable Power of Attorney is easy and should be done by all people after attaining the age of 18 years. If you do not have the money to hire an attorney, form documents are available through the California Probate Code. See Cal. Prob. Code. §§4401and 4701. Another element of estate planning is insurance. In our example, Jacob is unable to work, but his expenses continue to mount. Without insurance and with limited savings, Jacob will need to receive financial assistance from his family, friends, and/or the government to pay his expenses. Evaluating cash flow

and liquidity needs is part of establishing a complete estate plan. Most young adults have insufficient funds to support themselves or their loved ones if they are unable to work. A common tool to address this issue for young adults is insurance. First, insurance is usually cheaper when purchased at a younger age. Also, young clients (on average) are more insurable because they have not developed any significant health conditions. The value provided by an insurance policy and the ease in which such a policy can be purchased are reasons why young adults use insurance to provide short-term and long-term cash flow in the event of death or incapacity. Your estate planning attorney can introduce you to an insurance professional that can help develop a solution for your needs. Michael and Caitlin are a married couple in their 30s. They have

careers, two children, and modest assets that they accumulated during their marriage. Like many young couples, they intend to take care of their wills and other financial affairs but cannot find the time to meet with an estate planner. They understand that California adopted several laws to facilitate the administration of a deceased spouse’s estate and to protect the surviving spouse’s interests in community assets, including family allowances, spousal property petitions, and custody of minor children. Accordingly, Michael and Caitlin do not feel any urgency to establish an estate plan. However, there are many reasons the couple should still make the investment: • Guardianship – If Michael and Caitlin die before their children attain the age of majority, a court will need to appoint a guardian to care for each minor child. A complete estate plan allows for

the nomination of a guardian. • Avoid Probate – Following the death of a spouse, the surviving spouse can avoid probate if the couple holds their assets in a trust. • Trust for Young Children – Michael and Caitlin, like most parents, do not wish for their young children to receive their inheritance outright. Without a trust, a parent can only delay distribution of a child’s inheritance until age 18, or age 25 if the parent executes a will expressly delaying all distributions from a custodial account until age 25. • Divide and Allocate Duties – It is common for young couples to have a person that they want to make decisions about the care of their children (e.g. day-to-day

Continued on page 13


• Will and Trust Litigation • Elder Abuse • Conservatorships & Guardianships • Fiduciary Representation • Probate & Trust Administration • Probate & Appeals • Real Estate • Estate Planning

• Joe Morrill, Founder • Jennifer McGuire, Partner • Jeff Coons, Attorney • Camille Milder, Attorney • Ritzi Lam, Attorney • Morgan Durham, Attorney • Rachel Rosenfeld, Of Counsel • Lara Heisler, Of Counsel • Vahishta Falahati, Of Counsel • Ruth Koller Burke, Of Counsel • Norman Lundberg, Of Counsel

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Estate Plans 101

Continued from page 11 activities), but trust a different person to manage the assets left for the benefit of the children. With a complete estate plan, Michael and Caitlin can divide and allocate these responsibilities; one person can serve as the guardian for their children, and a different person can serve as trustee to manage and distribute the assets (to the guardian) for the benefit of the children. A proper estate plan is an opportunity to dictate your care and the management and distribution of assets if something happens to you.

Regardless of your age and wealth, everyone needs to have a plan. Brandon Lee Spivack specializes in tax and estate planning. He has significant experience assisting clients with trust administration and probate procedures. Brandon develops business succession plans, executes estate freezes, and addresses a variety of income tax, transfer tax, and property tax issues. Brandon received his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law and received his LL.M. degree from the Heckerling Graduate

Program in Tax and Estate Planning at the University of Miami School of Law. Brandon is admitted to both the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Florida. Brandon is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the California State Bar, Board of Legal Specialization. To learn more about Brandon and Spivak Law, APC, please visit



What’s the Deal with Prop 19? by Ryan Lockhart

What is Prop 19? As most estate planners can attest, California Proposition 19, or Prop 19, caused a whirlwind of calls and emails from worried property owners in the beginning of the year. Prop 19 passed in the November 2020 general election. Prop 19 did two things: (1) allowed for older and/or disabled homeowners to transfer their property tax basis to a new property within the state; and (2) substantially changed the rules for intergenerational property transfers. Along with Prop 19 came controversy, almost exclusively reserved for the second part of Prop 19, intergenerational transfers. 14


How Did Prop 19 Change Intergenerational Transfers?

Prior to Prop 19, under Prop 58, parents could transfer their primary residence to their children and exclude the transfer from a property tax reassessment.1 Parents could also transfer additional properties to the children and exclude them from reassessment, with caps on the value of the excluded transfers.2 Any transfers that occurred prior to Prop 19, effective February 16, 2021,3 fall under the Prop 58 rules. Prop 19 drastically changed the rules for transfers from parents to children. Parents can no longer exclude from reassessment transfers of property other than the parents’ primary residence.4 The only parentchild transfers that are eligible for the exclusion from reassessment is

the transfer of the parents’ primary residence or family farm, with strict limitations. To qualify for the exclusion, the property must transfer to a child or children, a child must also make the home their primary residence, and the exclusion is limited to the assessed value of the family home plus $1,000,000.5 Given many families in California own more than one property, Prop 19 threw a wrench into their estate planning with regards to minimizing property tax reassessments upon transfers to next generations. To illustrate the impact of Prop 19, consider the following example: Parent owns two properties: her primary residence and a vacation home. She and her deceased spouse bought the properties over 30 years ago. Each property cost $300,000 (“factored base year value”) and she plans on leaving the properties to her two children upon her death. On parent’s death, the primary resi-

dence’s fair market value is $1,500,000 and the vacation home’s fair market value is $1,200,000. Since Prop 19 no longer has an exclusion for the vacation home, the children will receive the vacation home, but the property will be fully reassessed. For the primary residence, we need to do some math to determine the “combined base year value” for property tax purposes: alculate the sum of factored base year value C plus $1,000,000: $300,000 + $1,000,000 = $1,300,000 Calculate the difference between fair market value and factored base year value plus $1,000,000: $1,500,000 - $1,300,000 = $200,000 Add difference to factored base year value. $200,000 + $300,000 = $500,000 New combined base year value: $500,000 The children will receive parent’s residence but will now pay property taxes based on the new combined base year value of $500,000. The additional property taxes paid by the children will total thousands of dollars per year more under Prop 19. Given the impact of Prop 19, many are looking for planning options to transfer property to their children while mitigating the property tax reassessments.

ance is strongly recommended to ensure rules are not triggered inadvertently. In sum for planning purposes: one can transfer up to 50% of the legal entity that owns real property without triggering a property tax reassessment. This assumes no owner of the entity gains a controlling interest. Provided the transfer avoids a change in control in the entity, the transfer also avoids the change in ownership for property tax purposes. Consider this illustration of the technique: Parents own two rental properties. Both properties are titled in the parents’ revocable trust. Parents establish new limited liability companies (LLCs), one for each property. The parents also contribute each property to the respective LLC. Parents then gift 50% of each LLC to their only child. After the gift, parents own 50% of each LLC and the child owns 50% of each LLC. A few years later, parents and child decide to dissolve the LLCs. After dissolution, parents own 50% of each property and child owns the other 50%. If parents do no other planning, upon their deaths, when child inherits the other 50% of the properties, the property tax reassessment will be limited to the 50% that the parents owned upon their deaths. By using the legal entity rules, the family was able to mitigate the property tax reassessment to 50% of the properties’ value.

Elder Law is

The average survival rate is eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — some live as few as three years after diagnosis, while others live as long as 20. Most people with Alzheimer’s don’t die from the disease itself, but from pneumonia, a urinary tract infection or complications from a fall. Until there’s a cure, people with the disease will need caregiving and legal advice. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 10% of the population age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease. Of the 5.5 million people living in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease, the majority live at home — often receiving care from family members.

Are Legal Entities an Option to Avoid the Impact of Prop 19?

The short answer is yes, using legal entities in a Post Prop 19 world, continues to be a viable option to transfer at least some of the property to others. Legal entities is primarily a technique used for investment properties. Using legal entities for a primary residence may have adverse tax consequences that should be analyzed. Separate property tax rules pertain to transfers of any interest in real property to a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity.6 The rules are intricate and can be complicated; legal guid-

Continued on page 16

Protect your loved ones, home and independence, call elder law attorney


Alzheimer’s Planning

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Proposition 19

Continued from page 15


Prop 19 has substantially changed the game with respect to planning for intergenerational property transfers in California. Mitigating the impact of Prop 19 for families has become a key planning objective that requires careful understanding of the property tax rules. Guidance from qualified attorneys is strongly recommended, especially if employing the use of legal entities in the plan. Given the strong backlash that Prop 19 has received, there is a chance Prop 19 may not stick around for long. Maybe a new initiative will be put forth soon in front of the California voters to change the property tax rules once again. Stay tuned.



Ryan Lockhart’s primary area of practice is helping families and individuals with tax and estate planning concerns. Through careful planning and thorough care of the dynamics involved, Ryan has successfully helped his clients navigate complex tax issues to achieve the desired results. Ryan is an expert in helping families transition wealth and family businesses to younger generations in order to preserve the family wealth legacy, but also, keep family harmony intact to achieve family success. Ryan also helps individuals and businesses navigate tax traps, specifically in the areas of income tax, corporate tax and property tax. As a part of the client’s advisory team, Ryan helps the team analyze, plan and execute for the client’s benefit. Contact Ryan at McKenna Brink Signorotti in Walnut Creek.

1. Revenue & Taxation Code §63.1 2. Id. 3. State Board of Equalization, Letters to Assessors, No. 2020/061, December 11, 2020, p. 1. 4. State Board of Equalization, Letters to Assessors, No. 2021/008, February 16, 2021, p. 3. 5. See California Code of Regulations, Title 18, Section 462.520 (Proposed). 6. See State Board of Equalization, Property Tax Rule 462.180.

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Estate Planning Before a Second Marriage

by Nicole Ramos Takemoto and Alice P. Cheng

Second marriages present unique challenges for estate planners to consider. In addition to complex legal issues, practitioners must be aware of the complicated family dynamics that often arise when two families are joined. A clear statement of the spouses’ intentions and thorough documentation of the characterization of assets can help prevent conflict within a blended family. To that end, here is a checklist of issues to discuss with your clients. 1. Ask the client to provide you with records from their divorce. Obtain copies of any financial disclosures, as well as a copy of the Judgment of Dissolution. The Judgment provides an inventory of the property awarded to the client, as well as any financial obligations they may have. 2. Advise the client to consider negotiating a premarital agreement with their future spouse. The characterization of property in a premarital agreement would affect a spouse’s ability to direct the property’s disposition at death.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash.



a. Each party should be represented by separate counsel.

b. The client should be prepared to provide a copy of their Judgment of Dissolution to their future spouse’s counsel.

c. If the client’s future spouse also had a previous marriage, request and review a copy of their Judgment of Dissolution. Determine whether any debts or other obligations will continue into the duration of the second marriage, such as child support, spousal support, and equalization payments.

3. Review and update documents that are automatically revoked or terminated at the entry of judgment for dissolution.

1. Any disposition or appointment of property made by the will to the former spouse. 2. Any provision of the will conferring a general or special power of appointment on the former spouse.

a. Powers of Attorney (Probate Code §4154): A principal’s designation of the former spouse as attorney-in-fact is revoked if marriage is dissolved or annulled after execution. Rather than rely on revocation by operation of law, revoke outdated powers of attorney and notify third parties such as banks and other financial institutions of the revocation. b. Non-Probate Transfers (Probate Code §5040): A nonprobate transfer to the transferer’s spouse, in an instrument executed by the transferor before or during the marriage, fails if, at the time of the transferor’s death, the parties have divorced or the marriage was annulled. Example: payable on death accounts. c. Joint Tenancies (Probate Code §5042): A joint tenancy between the decedent and the decedent’s former spouse, created before or during the marriage, is severed as to the decedent’s interest if, at the time of the decedent’s death, the parties have divorced or the marriage was annulled. When a transfer fails by operation of Section 5042, the instrument is treated as it would if the former spouse failed to survive the decedent. It is best for clients to sever all joint tenancies during the divorce proceedings instead of waiting until the divorce is final. d. Wills (Probate Code §6122): i. Unless the will expressly provides otherwise, if after executing a will the testator’s marriage is dissolved or annulled, the dissolution or annulment revokes:

3. Any provision of the will nominating the former spouse as executor, trustee, conservator, or guardian. ii. In case of revocation by dissolution or annulment the will shall be interpreted as if the former spouse failed to survive the testator. 4. Ideally, a client should have established a new estate plan soon after the dissolution of their previous marriage. If this did not happen, advise the client to establish a new estate plan prior to the second marriage.

b. Equity: It is very commonplace for employees to receive Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) in the Bay Area. Even if the RSUs have not vested, there can be a community interest. c. Pensions/retirement: There are retirement accounts (such as CALSTRS or CCCERA) that allow prospective retirees to select an option for how they will be paid. These selections may be irrevocable so they must be made with the second marriage in mind 7. Avoid commingling after the marriage.

b. Clients should avoid giving the new spouse a fiduciary role over matters involving stepchildren. This relationship increases the likelihood of conflict.

c. It is particularly important for clients to nominate guardians for their minor children when they are divorced from the other parent. Even if one biological parent survives, the surviving parent might be unfit to have sole physical and legal custody.

5. Review and update beneficiary designations for life insurance policies and retirement accounts. 6. Plan for assets requiring extra care:


a. Commingling is the act of mixing separate funds belonging to one party with those of another party. A common example is depositing separate property funds into an account holding community property funds, or an account held in joint name.

b. If a client claims that something is their separate property, it is their burden to keep records.

a. Clients with substantial amounts of separate property should maintain separate property trusts to avoid commingling assets.

a. Owning a business with a spouse: Entering into a premarital agreement can help set the tone for what to expect upon divorce.

i. If a client executes a premarital agreement, the included financial disclosures would be valuable information to maintain; be sure that the client keeps those as part of their records.

ii. If a client does not execute a premarital agreement, it would be crucial to keep records that show asset values at the date of marriage and beyond. Clients should maintain electronic copies of each periodic statement after the date of marriage.

Continued on page 20



Estate Planning Before a Second Marriage Continued from page 19

c. Clients should not rely on statutory definitions of separate property. For example, while inheritances are separate property, the client still has an obligation not to commingle. If a client commingles property beyond the point of recognition, it may be impossible for even a savvy divorce attorney or forensic accountant to trace and identify the separate property assets.

The most important thing is to encourage your clients to have open and honest discussions with their future spouses regarding their financial goals and estate planning expectations. These discussions might be uncomfortable, but they go a long way in maintaining harmony within blended families. Takemoto leads Candelaria PC’s estate planning and trust administration group. Her exper i e n c e includes preparing all types of estate planning documents for a diverse range of clients, as well as handling complex trust administration and probate matters. Nicole has a particular interest in counseling clients regarding separate property and community property issues, business succession planning, and California real property taxes. Nicole




With Appreciation

The CCCBA Womens’ section would like to acknowledge and offer special thanks to the following firms and companies for their generosity to the 2021 fund benefiting The Honorable Patricia Herron and the Honorable Ellen James Scholarship. PLATINUM ($1000+) Brown, Gee & Wenger LLP Hon. Clare Maier GOLD ($500+) Ferber Law, P.C. Martin & Vanegas, APC McKenna Brink Signorotti LLP Morrill Law SILVER ($250+) All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc. M.S. Domingo Law Group, P.C. Haylen Real Estate Investments JAMS Lisa R. Roberts – McNamara Law Tate & Associates BRONZE Judge Charles Burch Law Office of Victoria Robinson Smith

There is still time to donate to the scholarship fund through the end of September 2021. Please donate generously by contacting FMI:

Alice P. Cheng, Managing Attorney at Candelaria PC, represents clients throughout the Bay Area in family law litigation, mediation, and premarital planning, often working with Ms. Takemoto to ensure that clients’ premarital agreements and estate plans are completed in step. She currently serves on the CCCBA

Family Law Section Board, the Contra Costa Lawyer Editorial Board, and receives court appointments to act as Minor’s Counsel in county family law cases. She is also the Vice President of Alameda County Bar Association and on the Earl Warren American Inn of Court Executive Board.

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The Bar Fund

Benefit 2021 Thank you to all who contributed and attended! Also presented at

The Bar Fund Benefit

The Justice James J. Marchiano DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD The inaugural award will be presented to a CCCBA member who volunteers his or her time to improve the circumstances of others or changes lives for the better in our community.

CCCBA Pro Bono Honor Roll



Funds raised at the Bar Fund Benefit will go to support CASA’s programs

For 40 years CASA has provided highly trained volunteers to be the “voice for the child” in foster care dependency hearings. As a result, 100% of youth with a CASA volunteer graduate from high school or earn a GED, although only 70% of foster youth overall in Contra Costa County do. CASA also provides therapy to foster youth who are not eligible for MediCal-funded mental health services. Realizing that 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have had contact with the child welfare system, CASA is starting a program to provide our services to these youth to help them comply with probation requirements and to ensure they complete their education. With your help we can support our youth in becoming successful young adults.

We are Most Grateful to our Sponsors: PLATINUM CCCBA’s Estate Planning & Probate Section Hartog, Baer & Hand APC GOLD

Acuna Regli Brothers Smith Casper Meadows Schwartz & Cook Ferber Law Littler


ADR Services, Inc. Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser Brown, Gee & Wenger LLP Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP Gagen, McCoy JAMS McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher LLP Miller Starr Regalia Morrill Law Mullin Law Firm Robert Half Legal

CCCBA’s Silver Section Sponsors ADR Litigation Women’s Other Section Sponsors Appellate Criminal Elder Law Employment Family Law Immigration Intellectual Property Juvenile Solo/Small Firm Tax

Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts & Closely Held Businesses by Travis Neal Business owners often face a unique estate planning challenge: how to minimize the estate tax implications when the business is worth more than the gift and estate tax exclusion. The Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT) is one estate planning tool that may address the issue. SLATs do not work for every high net-worth client seeking to remove assets from their estate. This article provides an overview of SLATs and presents some of the tax implications and drawbacks. A SLAT is an irrevocable trust created during a married settlor’s lifetime. The SLAT allows a married settlor to remove assets from her estate, such as a closely held business or entity, while still benefiting from trust income indirectly through her spouse. Transfers of appreciating assets to SLATs allows the settlor to lock-in gifts of amounts up to the current gift and estate tax exclusion ($11.7 million in 2021) and avoid estate tax at death on the gifted assets as well as their appreciation, while enjoying the lifetime benefits from the trust payable to the beneficiary spouse. The settlor can still maintain managerial control of the business. The SLAT’s beneficiaries’ ability to exercise control over the interest held in the SLAT will be subject to the settlor’s limitations provided in the trust.


With a SLAT, the “settlor-spouse” establishes an irrevocable trust for the “beneficiary-spouse” and if desired, the spouses’ children or grandchildren. The settlor-spouse must fund the SLAT with her separate property assets. This transfer reduces the settlor-spouse’s estate. At the beneficiary-spouse’s death, the SLAT’s assets may be distributed to the spouses’ children or grandchildren outright or in trust. The beneficiary-spouse may be the SLAT’s sole or co-trustee. The SLAT directs the trustee to distribute income and/or principal to the beneficiary-spouse for his health, education, maintenance, or support (HEMS). If the settlor-spouse wants the trustee to distribute trust assets above what is needed for the beneficiary-spouse’s HEMS, she must appoint someone other than the beneficiary-spouse to be trustee or co-trustee. Otherwise, the trust assets may become subject to the beneficiary-spouse’s creditors and make the SLAT’s assets includable in the beneficiary-spouse’s estate.

SLAT Tax Implications

A SLAT can provide tax benefits to the settlor-spouse. The transfer



Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts

Continued from page 23 to the SLAT will use the settlorspouse’s available estate and gift tax exclusion. During the beneficiary-spouse’s lifetime, the SLAT is taxed as a grantor trust, meaning the settlor-spouse is responsible for paying tax on the trust’s income, because the SLAT is held for the beneficiary-spouse’s benefit. IRC §677(a). The settlor-spouse can pay the income taxes on income earned by the SLAT, thereby making a taxfree gift to the SLAT’s remainder beneficiaries equal to the tax. Revenue Ruling 2004-64. All income and deductions of the SLAT are reported on the settlorspouse’s tax return. The SLAT’s trustee should file a blank Fiduciary Income Tax Return, Form 1041, for the SLAT. The Form 1041 will have a statement indicating that the SLAT has been established and that all income and deductions will be reported on settlor-spouse’s tax return. The SLAT should have a separate checking or brokerage account and be considered a separate fiscal entity. The value of the SLAT’s assets, including any appreciation since the SLAT’s creation, are excluded from both the settlor-spouse’s and the beneficiary-spouse’s estate. The property received by the children will avoid wealth transfer tax. Assets gifted or transferred to the SLAT do not receive an adjustment in income tax basis at the settlorspouse’s death because they are not included in the taxable estate. Gifted assets instead retain the settlorspouse’s carryover basis, resulting in potential capital gains realization upon the subsequent sale of any appreciated assets within the SLAT. This issue can be addressed by allowing the settlor-spouse to 24


swap or exchange SLAT assets for non-trust assets of an equivalent value. This power means the SLAT will be disregarded for income tax purposes, and the assets swapped out of the SLAT will qualify for an income tax basis step-up at the settlor-spouse’s death.

SLAT Drawbacks

The most obvious disadvantage to a SLAT arises if the marriage dissolves. The beneficiary-spouse will continue to receive the benefits from the trust property after the dissolution. However, the SLAT may be written with a “floating spouse” provision defining the “settlor’s spouse” as the individual to whom the settlor is married at any given time. The validity of such a provision has not been tested in court. The second drawback is when the beneficiary-spouse dies, the settlorspouse will lose the benefit of trust income and principal payable to the beneficiary-spouse. If the beneficiary-spouse dies prematurely, the loss of potential income to the settlor-spouse could be significant. This problem can be addressed by having the beneficiary-spouse create his own SLAT for the original settlorspouse’s benefit. However, the IRS may invalidate the two SLATs as “reciprocal trusts.” The third SLAT drawback is common to irrevocable trusts: While the settlor-spouse receives indirect benefit from the SLAT, she no longer controls the assets transferred to the SLAT. The settlor-spouse will not be able to change the SLAT’s beneficiaries or their interests. One partial solution is for the settlor-spouse to allow the beneficiary-spouse to allocate remaining trust assets at his death (a limited power of appointment). As long as the spouses agree, the settlor-spouse can control indirectly the ultimate disposition of the SLAT’s assets.

Finally, the settlor-spouse must be careful to transfer only her separate property (e.g., an inherited interest in a family business). To address this concern, the SLAT may provide that any contribution considered as having been made by the beneficiary-spouse will go into a separate sub-trust. However, the IRS has not ruled on whether this provision will suffice.


A SLAT allows a spouse to use the increase in the estate and gift tax exclusion while continuing to receive income from the assets transferred to the SLAT. If a spouse gifts an interest in a closely held business to the SLAT, the spouse can continue to maintain control of the business while removing that asset from the spouse’s estate. For clients with significant separate property wealth, SLATs are worth a closer look. Travis Neal is an associate in the estate planning, probate, and trust administration group of Hartog, Baer & Hand, APC in Orinda. He has focused on trusts and estates law for over a decade, working with several Bay Area firms serving a diverse group of clients. He has counseled fiduciaries administering complex trusts and estates, and has helped clients craft estate plans tailored to their needs. Travis obtained his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2006 from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, where he was Order of the Coif and a member of the Thurston Honor Society.

Legal Triage:

Medi-Cal Eligibility by Brian O’Toole

A well-crafted estate plan is a work of art: Carefully constructed documents addressing complex legal issues ranging from fraught family dynamics to sophisticated tax avoidance strategies that create a family legacy. Then life happens. Or rather, death tries to happen, but the miracle of modern medicine extends life at the price of severe mental and/or physical incapacity. Most typically, a loved one requires a skilled nursing facility with the expectation that returning home is neither medically nor financially possible. Skilled nursing costs anywhere from $300 - $1,000/day, a financially unsustainable undertaking for most. Many turn to Medi-Cal benefits to help pay for skilled nursing care. If you are the attorney that put together the estate plan for a recently incapacitated client, the family often

turns to you to guide them through the crisis. The following summarizes some issues arising during the panicked phone call from the family1:

1. What estate planning tools do you have to work with? For purposes of accelerating MediCal eligibility, Elder Law attorneys often provide flexibility for the agent acting under a Durable Power of Attorney to amend the trust and to make gifts of the principal’s assets. A Living Trust and Power of Attorney for Finances are staples in any estate plan, and they are particularly important when you are attempting to “accelerate financial eligibility” for Medi-Cal benefits. Not every Trust or Power of Attorney allows the necessary flexibility, and amendments might be required. Probate Code §§ 15401 & 4264 require mirroring language in

the Trust and Power of Attorney to enable a non-Settlor Trustee to amend or revoke a trust. Section 4264 also requires express language to enable the agent to make gifts of the principal’s assets.

2. Medicare Coverage of Skilled Nursing Care Medicare will only provide coverage so long as the patient is rehabilitating, or so long as skilled nursing care is required for the patient to maintain their health status. Jimmo v. Sebelius [No. 5:11-CV17 (D. Vt)], Medicare will cover up to 100 days of skilled nursing care. Days 1-20 are covered in full, and a copayment exists for days 21-100. Supplemental Medicare insurance often covers the entire copayment. Medicare’s skilled nursing care benefits require that the patient be admitted (NOT held in observational

Continued on page 27



Local Solutions. Global Reach.










W 260


S 120

Often, people first engage in estate planning in order to address the “what if I die” questions. But the “what if I live” questions are the ones that Elder Law attorneys must be ready to address.

340 0 32


What if I die? What if I live?

Refer them to the CCCBA’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service!


People often need to “spend down” assets to qualify for Medi-Cal through a calculated gifting plan. California’s generous Medi-Cal gifting rules are currently determined by dividing the gift amount by the Average Private Pay Rate (APPR), currently $10,298.00 (See ACWDL 20-11). Medi-Cal uses Form MC 176 PI to determine gifting penalties. The MC 176 PI does not cumu-

Bottom line, there is no need to gift the home to other family members out of fear of a Medi-Cal Recovery – best for the Medi-Cal recipient to hold the home in trust, then pass the home to beneficiaries on death, thereby receiving a stepped-up costbasis… a win-win for everyone.

Can’t Help a Client?


4. Gifting

Medi-Cal “recovery” rules changed drastically in 2017 to the great benefit of Medi-Cal recipients and their beneficiaries. Now Medi-Cal will only attempt to recoup payments incurred on behalf of a decedent when the estate is required to go through a formal probate. Since 2017, creating a normal living trust, and funding it properly, is a perfectly acceptable method to avoid Medi-Cal recovery. Those who own a home, an exempt asset for purposes of Medi-Cal eligibility, only need to put the house in a trust to protect it.

0 24

A residence does not impact MediCal qualification if the applicant has an “intent to return home.” “Intent to return home” is a subjective standard. It does not have to be objectively likely to occur.

5. Medi-Cal Recovery


22 0

Medi-Cal covers long-term skilled nursing care, but only if you qualify. Medi-Cal updates financial eligibility rules each year via “All County Welfare Director Letters” that can be found via a web search. For 2021, a married couple may utilize a “Community Spouse Resource Allowance” of $130,380.00 (See ACWDL 20-27) – an amount of countable assets that the “wellspouse” may keep and still allow the institutionalized spouse to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits. If the client is single or widowed, then the amount of countable assets for Medi-Cal eligibility is limited to $2,000.00. Retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, are exempt if distributions are being made from them.

Brian O’Toole is an Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney based in Walnut Creek, California. He helps individuals and families create and use the legal tools necessary to navigate the challenges that arise when incapacity and disability are at issue.


3. Financial Eligibility for Medi-Cal

1. Additional resources: and CEB’s Elder Law practice guides are exceptional resources for any aspiring, or established, Elder Law attorney. CCR, Title 22, Div 3 provides the regulatory framework for Medi-Cal eligibility, share of cost, and recovery. Draft regulations governing Medi-Cal gifting are found in ACWDL 90-01 and 90-03, which are purchased from CANHR.


status) into an acute care hospital for three days, not including the day of discharge. Without the necessary hospital stay, the Medicare benefit for skilled nursing care is unavailable.

Ensuring that estate planning documentation is designed to address the medical and financial challenges that come with getting older is the first step to ensure that the right tools are available.


Continued from page 25

latively add gift transfers together to determine qualification unless they are made to the same person, from the same account, on the same day. Furthermore, gift penalties run concurrently, not consecutively. The end result is that many clients may employ a strategic gifting strategy (“stacked gifting”) of daily gifts of under $10,298 per recipient, greatly accelerating their ability to get “just poor enough” to qualify for MediCal benefits. Don’t do this kind of gifting without consulting with a Medi-Cal planner – to confirm that the transfers are done correctly and ethically.

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Legal Triage





gratefully acknowledges its

2021 SUSTAINING LAW FIRMS Firms with 30+ attorneys: Miller Starr Regalia

Firms with 20-29 attorneys: Bowles & Verna, LLP Littler Mendelson PC McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher LLP

Firms with 11-19 attorneys:

Brothers Smith LLP Brown, Gee & Wenger, LLP Clapp Moroney Vucinich Beeman Scheley Doyle Quane Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Fanucci Greenan, Peffer, Sallander & Lally, LLP Hartog Baer & Hand APC Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton Whiting, Ross, Abel & Campbell, LLP

Firms with 5-10 attorneys: Acuna Regli

Barr & Young Attorneys

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook Craddick, Candland & Conti

Edrington, Schirmer & Murphy Ferber Law APC

Galloway, Lucchese, Everson & Picchi

Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey Livingston Law Firm, P.C. Morrill Law

Seto Wood Schweickert, LLP



What Is a Sustaining Law Firm? Sustaining Law Firms of the Contra Costa County Bar Association have a minimum of five Contra Costa-based attorneys and maintain current CCCBA membership for all attorneys practicing under the same firm name in the local office. There is no fee to become a sustaining firm. These firms receive additional administrative support services and are recognized in the following ways: • On the CCCBA website at sustaining-law-firms/ • In Contra Costa Lawyer magazine (in print and online) • Displays at the CCCBA office and at all CCCBA-sponsored events For more information, contact Jennifer Comages, CCCBA Membership Director at (925) 370-2543 or

CALENDAR UPCOMING EVENTS | OVERVIEW September 14 | Elder Law Section

October 12 | Women’s Section

Protecting Elders’ Wishes in End-of-Life/ Hospice Circumstances

Women’s Section Social Hour

more details on page 30

September 16 | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee DEI Town Hall: Discussion of Movie Short Two Distant Strangers more details on page 30

September 28 | Women’s


ApPEERing Productive more details on page 30

September 29 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

The 28th Annual Estate Planning Symposium, Day 1 more details on page 30

September 30 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

The 28th Annual Estate Planning Symposium, Day 2 more details on page 30

more details on page 31

October 14 | Elder Law Section Elder Law Discussion Forum #4 more details on page 31

October 19 | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Hybrid Events - The New Normal: How to Make your Events ADA Compliant more details on page 31

October 26 | Solo Practice & Small Firm Section Your Document Rentention Policy more details on page 31

November 17, 18, 19 | CCCBA 27th Annual MCLE Spectacular more details on pages 17 and 31

The Contra Costa County Bar Association certifies that the MCLE activities listed on pages 29-31 have been approved for the specific MCLE credit indicated, by the State Bar of California, Provider #393.

The CCCBA Wellness Committee is Resuming its Regional Hikes!

Join your CCCBA friends for these family- and dog-friendly hikes. We will gather at 9:00 am for a meet and greet and to enjoy coffee and bagels. The hikes begin at 9:30. Families are welcome. Please bring sun protection and water. Free, but please register at attorney-events.

Sunday, September 12 Castle Rock Recreation Area, Walnut Creek Time: 9:00 am - Noon

Saturday, October 23, location TBA Time: 9:00 am - Noon



September 14

Elder Law | Section

Elder Law Discussion Forum #3

Protecting Elders’ Wishes in End-of-Life/Hospice Circumstances Speaker: Konstantine Demiris Please join the Elder Law Section board members as they present on topics of interest and of their expertise and invite questions and discussion from the attendees. The later part of the hour everyone will be invited to engage with each other positing questions, raising timely legal issues, offering practice tips, etc. Time: Noon - 1:15 pm, Zoom Meeting MCLE: 0.5 hour General credit

September 16

| DEI Committee

DEI Town Hall Series #2: Discussion of Movie Short: Two Distant Strangers Don’t miss this discussion of the Academy Award-winning action movie short,” Two Distant Strangers,” (available on Netflix). This thought-provoking allegory offers a powerful message about the state of ongoing police brutality. We will engage in rich discussion, sharing reactions, reflections, perspectives and potential opportunities on topics such as police brutality, police/community relations and impacts on the individual psyche and the Black community, in particular. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Please view the Netflix movie short, Two Distant Strangers, in advance of the program.

September 28 |

ApPEERing Productive Speaker: Sarah Tetlow – Firm Focus This unique workshop encourages peer collaboration on challenges and successes that lawyers and busy professionals experience in their careers. Bi-monthly conversations will dive deeper into various components of the busy professionals’ life, including: sleep, work/life balance, email management, project management, self-care, family responsibilities, work challenges and successes, and personal and professional goals.  Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, Zoom Meeting Cost: Free for CCCBA members | $10 non members Register: Online at

Cost: Free for members of the Elder Law and Estate Planning & Probate Sections | $10 CCCBA members | $35 non members

Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm, Zoom Meeting

September 29 | EP&P Section

September 30 | EP&P Section

October 12 |

The 28th Annual Estate Planning Symposium

The 28th Annual Estate Planning Symposium

Women’s Section Social Hour

Day 1 Sponsored by: Wealth Mangagement at Mechanics Bank Court Appointed Neutrals and Experts BENEFITS AND RISKS

Women’s Section

MCLE: 1 hour Elimination of Bias credit Register: Free for all

Day 2 Sponsored by: Wealth Mangagement at Mechanics Bank Propostion 19: What’s An Estate Planner to Do?

Speakers: Andrew Verriere Ryan Szczepanik

Speakers: Doug Bohne | Kevin Holt

Time: 11:45 am - 3:15 pm, Zoom Meeting

Time: 11:45 am - 3:15 pm, Zoom Meeting

MCLE: 1.5 hours Estate Planning & Probate Specialization and General credit

MCLE: 1.5 hours Estate Planning & Probate Specialization and General credit

Cost: $25 members of the Estate Planning & Probate Section | $20 Barristers Section members | $15 Law Students | $30 CCCBA members | $40 non members

Cost: $25 members of the Estate Planning & Probate Section | $20 Barristers Section members | $15 Law Students | $30 CCCBA members | $40 non members

Register: Online at

Register: Online at

Women’s Section

Come join us for a Virtual Social Hour. We look forward to continuing the tradition of socializing and networking together with our members. Time: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm, Zoom Meeting Cost: Free for all Sign Up: Online at

For more information on these events: Unless noted otherwise, please contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or 30


October 14

| Elder Law Section

Elder Law Discussion Forum #4 Please join the Elder Law Section board members as they present on topics of interest and of their expertise and invite questions and discussion from the attendees. The later part of the hour everyone will be invited to engage with each other positing questions, raising timely legal issues, offering practice tips, etc. Time: Noon - 1:15 pm, Zoom Meeting

October 19 | DEI Committee

Practice & October 26 | Solo Small Firm Section

Hybrid Events — The New Normal: How to Make Your Events ADA Compliant (A Legal and Technical Training Primer)

Your Document Retention Policy: What to do with those

Time: Noon - 1:15 pm, Webinar MCLE: 1 hour Elimination of Bias credit Cost: Free for all Register: Online at

MCLE: 0.5 hour General credit Cost: Free for members of the Elder Law and Estate Planning & Probate Sections | $10 CCCBA members | $35 non members

2021 MCLE Spectacular Update! Uplevel! Uplift! Speakers: Rob Bonta, Attorney General, State of California

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, Berkeley Law

Join us Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings for the 27th Annual MCLE Spectacular, online again this year. Earn up to 8 MCLE credits – even the hard-to-get ones! Registration opens in late September 2021. Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, Zoom Meeting Cost: $150 for CCCBA members | $200 non members Sign up: Online at

Speaker: Diane Camacho There are many operational challenges partners in small firms face. Diane Camacho will continue to host these open discussions about challenges your firms are facing and share among the group suggestions and information. These roundtable sessions will each include a 20 minute discussion of the particular topic of interest followed by 40 minutes of open discussion about the topic and/or other issues that attendees may wish to bring up. Time: Noon - 1:00 pm, Zoom Meeting

Register: Online at

November 17, 18, 19

Electronic Documents

Cost: Free for CCCBA Members, $15 for non members

CLASSIFIEDS PROBATE PARALEGAL TO ATTORNEYS Joanne C. McCarthy, 3000F Danville Blvd., #257, Alamo, CA 94507 Call (925) 689-9244.


Beautiful offices w/ 11 solos. Networking. Single story building remodeled for lawyers. Built in’s, fireplace, molding, kit., conf rm, windows that open, etc. Very congenial. Rent varies. Paul 925/938-8990/pbelaw@


Where: 3445 Golden Gate Way, Lafayette Law firm since 1955.

Sign up: Online at

Advertiser Index ADR Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Barr & Young Attorneys. . . . . . . . . . . 13 The Bray Law Firm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Casper Meadows, Schwartz & Cook. 32 First Republic Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 JAMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Judicate West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 LawPay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

1) Single Office Space Details: Creekside setting with ample free parking, excellent law library, easy access to intercity jogging trail. Rent is $1,000/month.

Lawyers Mutual. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

2) Retired Senior Partner Office Space Details: Large finished, wood panel office with private full bath and separate room for secretary or assistant. $1,850/month.

Candice Stoddard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Interested? Call Stan Pedder at (925) 283-6816.

Minchen Team. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Morrill Law Firm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

CCCBA Women’s Section . . . . . . . . . 20 The Law Offices of Michael J. Young Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15



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