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Hoge Fenton Resources

06.04.2020 | Firm Post

We are Here to Help

Hoge Fenton understands that our clients, employers, and organizations may have numerous questions and concerns about reopening their business. As you begin to face the business and legal implications of the COVID-19 crisis, our attorneys remain committed to assisting you overcome these obstacles.

To provide some guidance on some of the issues that have affected or will be affecting businesses, we have created a Reopening California resources page to support you in the following areas:


This information is provided as an educational service by Hoge Fenton for clients & friends of the firm. This communique is an overview only, & should not be construed as legal advice or advice to take any specific action. Please be sure to consult a knowledgeable professional with assistance with your particular legal issue. © 2020 Hoge Fenton


06.01.2020 | Firm Post

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Notarization Alternatives for California Estate Plans webinar.

Please click below to watch the recorded webinar.

We hope you found the discussion with Trust & Litigation Chair Denise Chambliss beneficial. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Denise if you need more guidance.

Shareholder, Chair
+1.925.460.3364

This information is provided as an educational service by Hoge Fenton for clients and friends of the firm. This communique is an overview only, and should not be construed as legal advice or advice to take any specific action. Please be sure to consult a knowledgeable professional with assistance with your particular legal issue. © 2020 Hoge Fenton


05.21.2020 | Speaking Engagement & Firm Events

Please note: this webinar is by invitation only

COVID-19 is impacting the estate planning process in many ways, particularly notarization practices and assessing undue influence.

When an estate plan is executed in the future and a dispute arises, how will the courts assess estate plan irregularities that happened during the time of COVID-19?

As a veteran trust & estates litigator, Denise Chambliss will share her insights and perspective these issues:

  • Impact of COVID-19 notarization practices in litigation
  • Undue influence


Shareholder, Chair
Trust & Estate Litigation
+1.925.460.3364

This information is provided as an educational service by Hoge Fenton for clients and friends of the firm. This communique is an overview only, and should not be construed as legal advice or advice to take any specific action. Please be sure to consult a knowledgeable professional with assistance with your particular legal issue. © 2020 Hoge Fenton


04.15.2020 | Firm Post

Wealth Planning Opportunities in Tough Times

All-time low federal interest rates and currently low asset values provide historic opportunities for high net worth individuals to transfer wealth.
Take Advantage of Low Interest Rates: The IRS uses federal rates to determine the amount of gifts. Historically low interest rates make these estate planning tools more tax efficient:

  • Low interest rate loans and installment sale of assets to individuals or trusts.
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (“GRATs”), Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (“IDGTs”), certain charitable trusts and other multi-generational irrevocable trusts.

Take Advantage of Current Low Asset Values: Temporarily depressed asset values are an opportunity to efficiently shift wealth to individuals or trusts.
Take Advantage of High Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions. The current $11.58M (inflation-adjusted) estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemption is a temporary opportunity. The exemption will fall back to prior levels in 2026, but we see risk that the exemption could be reduced earlier due to the cost of the COVID-19 relief effort and changing politics. If you are planning to use the high transfer tax exemptions, we suggest you start the process soon.
Contact our estate planning attorneys to learn more about these historic opportunities and how they fit into your planning.

J. Timothy Maximoff
Silicon Valley Chair, Estates & Trusts
D: +1.408.947.2437
tim.maximoff@hogefenton.com
Karen A. Meckstroth
Firmwide Chair, Estates & Trusts
D: +1.408.947.2409
karen.meckstroth@hogefenton.com

This information is provided as an educational service by Hoge Fenton for clients and friends of the firm. This communique is an overview only, and should not be construed as legal advice or advice to take any specific action. Please be sure to consult a knowledgeable professional with assistance with your particular legal issue. © 2020 Hoge Fenton


04.03.2020 | Firm Post

Managing the Assets of Family who Passed Due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus

For many families in California dealing with the loss of a loved one due to the COVID-19 virus, the departed family member has passed without a will, without a trust, and without estate planning. This article provides an outline of what should be done to manage the family member’s property and assets.
The California Probate Code is the legal guide for the management and distribution of the decedent’s assets. When a person has passed away without a will, the process of management and distribution of the assets is called an “intestate probate”.
However, if the value of the decedent’s estate does not exceed $166,250, you should be able to distribute the assets without opening a probate. This is done using a “small estate affidavit” (Probate Code section 13100).
If the decedent was married, there is a simpler probate for the surviving spouse to gain full ownership of the couple’s community property. This process, known as a “spousal property petition,” requires a formal probate with your local county probate court.
Probate proceedings have many rules and complex procedures. Probates are often stalled in court because the rules and procedures are not followed precisely. This results in delays, which can create financial and emotional distress for the decedent’s family. A skilled probate attorney navigates the probate proceedings to avoid unnecessary delays and to settle the estate as quickly as possible.
At Hoge Fenton, our probate lawyers have extensive experience administering probate matters from simple single-house estates to complex estates with real property, businesses and investments.
Our probate team has handled inventory, valuation, and distribution of assets such as residential homes, commercial real estate, niche collectables, and business interests. In addition, we are experienced with contested probates which may include a surviving spouse and step-children from the decedent’s prior marriage.
Should you need to handle the assets of a recently deceased loved one affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hoge Fenton’s attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help navigate the post-death legal process with competency, care, and understanding.
Stay safe.

Denise Chambliss
Shareholder
Estates & Trusts
email here
Ariel Siner
Attorney
Estates & Trusts
email here

This information is provided as an educational service by Hoge Fenton for clients and friends of the firm. This communique is an overview only, and should not be construed as legal advice or advice to take any specific action. Please be sure to consult a knowledgeable professional with assistance with your particular legal issue. © 2020 Hoge Fenton

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