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Febuary 2019

In This Newsletter...
Living Trust Seminar
For the public and also for our existing clients who want to bring family or friends!

February 5th
Marriott Hotel
9:30 - 11:30 am
(Check in at 9:15 AM)
3635 Fashion Way
Light Refreshments

February 9th
Marriott Hotel
9:00 - 11:30 am
(Check in at 8:45 AM)
3635 Fashion Way
Full Breakfast

February 26th
Main Office
9:30 - 11:30 am
(Check in at 9:15 AM)
990 W. 190th Street
Suite 500
Light Refreshments

March 5th
Marriott Hotel
9:30 - 11:30 am
(Check in at 9:15 AM)
3635 Fashion Way
Light Refreshments

KMO Client Review Seminar
For our existing clients who want to know why it is important to review their trust every 3 years!

February 20th
Main Office
9:30 - 11:30 am
(Check in at 9:15 AM)
990 W. 190th Street
Suite 500
Light Refreshments
Medi-Cal Asset Protection Seminar
For the public and also for our existing clients who want to bring family or friends!

February 6th
Torrance Main Office
9:30 - 11:00 am
990 W. 190th Street
Suite 500
Office Locations
For your convenience, we have multiple office locations throughout Southern California.

Main Office:

990 W. 190th St. 
Suite 500
Torrance, CA 90502

Other Local Offices:

790 E. Colorado Blvd.
9th Floor
Pasadena, CA 91101

5850 Canoga Ave.
4th Floor
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

333 City Drive West
17th Floor
Orange, CA 92868

5000 Birch St.
Suite 8000
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Contact Us
You may contact us to make an appointment for your initial consultation, to schedule a review of your current estate plan, or to make a referral.



Learn more about 
important estate planning issues by visiting our website.

Also, visit our blog to  keep up on the latest  developments in  estate planning.

"What's in Your DNA?"
Philip Kavesh, Attorney

When we look close enough, it's amazing how much is passed down from generation to generation at the smallest physiological level - - in our DNA.

Of course, there are obvious things recorded and transmitted in our DNA like hair, eye and skin color, height, body shape, and even general personality.  But, there are also less obvious inherited attributes - - like interests and talents - - that seem to appear in younger generations, almost out of nowhere, as time goes by (and that we often miss unless we pay very close attention). 
Are interests and talents transferred in our DNA too?  I am not a scientist, but it's hard for me to believe that they appear merely as a result of "coincidence"! 
For example, I've observed that I've apparently inherited many interests and talents from my father that didn't become evident until later in life. 
My father had a great passion for the law and was Valedictorian at his law school.  He also was an accomplished public speaker (placing second in a national collegiate public speaking contest), as well as was a renowned stage actor (particularly for his portrayal of Tevye in an off-Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof!").  Over time, he perfectly melded these interests and talents in his professional career as a successful trial attorney.
I, on the other hand, shared none of these interests or talents - - at least not as a child or young adult.  In fact, it seemed I had inherited the exact opposite!  I never thought or cared about becoming a lawyer or even studying law.  I was also scared to death with just the idea of speaking before an audience or appearing on stage (even though I had many opportunities to do so since my father also produced and directed numerous musical shows).  I was far more interested in the solitude and quiet joy of literature and writing, which is why I majored in American Literature and History in college.  (I thought I'd become a great writer of historical fiction, the next James Michener!)
After college, I took a year off to experience what the "real" work world was like, and when my money just about run out and I realized my great novel was going nowhere, I became determined to pursue a profession where I could apply my "word-smithing" skills.  So, I decided to attend law school.  After I became a lawyer, I eventually specialized in estate planning, where drafting documents is, to a degree I suppose, a form of "literature" (or at least an outlet for a frustrated writer).  Maybe my aptitude for law was "in the DNA", but beyond that, I didn't yet see any other talents I had inherited from my Dad.

Then, a funny thing occurred.
I started my own law practice (like my father had done) and learned a great lesson.  Despite all of my credentials, degrees and knowledge, the phone didn't ring.  I had to figure out how to bring in clients, something I had not been taught in law school.  One day, I happened to attend a public seminar that was being given by a real estate attorney.  He was short, stout, wore thick glasses and had a squeaky voice.  Yet, to my amazement, his seminar was super successful!  Almost all the attendees scheduled an appointment with him at the conclusion of the presentation and I left thinking, "Hey, if he can do it, I can do it!".
However, my first few seminars were total disasters!  I can recall hiding behind a tall podium, reading notes as I paged through a spiral binder with my head down, rarely looking at the audience.  I was afraid to even raise my arms to make any gestures because I had perspiration seeping through not only my shirt, but my suit jacket too!  It was no surprise that I didn't schedule any appointments!  It seemed to me that I had not inherited any of my father's aptitude for public speaking or performing on stage.
But, I refused to quit and I kept the image in my mind of that other attorney I had seen (and of my Dad).  I continued to "fall off the bike" until I learned to ride it.  Perhaps better stated, until the latent speaker/performer in my DNA came to life!  The rest is history.  Over the past 30 years, I have presented thousands of successful seminars and have found a true passion in speaking before and educating the public as well as other professionals.  Thanks, Dad!
The story doesn't end there.  Now, let's look at the impact of DNA on the next generation - - my children.
Since I've become a father, I've observed several fascinating examples of how my DNA has apparently passed down interests and talents to my own children.  However, those interests and talents didn't originate in my DNA, they were recorded in my DNA by generations before me!  And these did not appear until just recently as my twins, Jeana and Jason, are about to turn the ripe age of 27 later this month (some of you may remember when they were just babies - - how time does fly!).
After high school, my daughter, Jeana, started working at a women's dress store and found out she had a great aptitude (and love) for "performing" on the showroom floor and persuading customers to make purchases.  The performing talent she may have gotten from my father, but the salesmanship definitely came from an even earlier generation, his father!  "Coincidentally", my grandfather had opened his own successful ladies' dress shop in a small New Jersey town, where he was famous for his sales skills (I've been told that almost every lady in town eventually purchased from him the same polka-dotted, blue and white dress!). 
However, Jeana was interested in fashion way beyond just selling women's dresses in the tight confines of a clothing store.  So she went on to attend cosmetology school and then worked for a while as a hairdresser.  But she found she didn't like being stuck standing behind a chair all day either, and talking to the back of peoples' heads!  She wanted to get out and about, speak to people face-to-face and pursue sales again.  So she became a representative of a major hair shears manufacturer and now travels from salon to salon, selling them to stylists (and has quickly risen to be one of the top salespeople for her company in the entire U.S.!).  Once again, this reminds me of my grandfather, who decided after a short time that his dress shop was too restricting and wound up in real estate development, where he traveled from site to site, hired subcontractors to build many family homes, and sold them all himself!
I should add here that, not to be outdone by his sister, my son Jason has recently embarked on a sales career too, in real estate!  (My grandfather, who passed on many years ago, must really be rejoicing somewhere now!) Who would think all of this stuff could be in the DNA?
Which leads me to the conclusion that, of course, will circle us back to your estate plan - - but it isn't about the legal documents we, as your attorneys, create.  Have you ever thought about passing down the history of your family and all the great stories about their personalities, interests and talents that may be buried deep somewhere in the younger generations' DNA?  Take the time to write down some of your family history.  Or, share it in a family meeting.  Better yet, how about having someone video tape you telling these stories and displaying photos of you and your ancestors?  (We have a great videographer who can help you.  Contact Lance Keller at Digital Legacy at 310-798-7172 or visit his website at for more information.)
However you choose to share your family's story, it will be fun and exciting for both you and your family to discover...what's in your DNA!  
6 Ways To Protect Your Foreign Assets In Estate Planning
As technology, innovation and air travel continue to bring us closer together, more and more people are describing themselves as "citizens of the world." Along with this new found global citizenship identity often comes ownership of assets in foreign countries.

Some of my clients have had barges on the Seine, olive groves in Turkey, homes in Mexico, and castles in Europe.  Estate planning is more complicated when you have global assets  and it is essential to know all the issues you should consider.

One of the most important considerations is how to structure ownership of the asset to maximize your estate and tax planning. This will depend on the laws of the country where the asset is located as well as your own citizenship. Have you thought about who will receive the asset when you die, and whether you will pay estate taxes on it?

Here are six things you need to know.

Proceed with caution.  Make sure you have an experienced team of advisors in place. If your current attorney or accountant does not have the required expertise, bring someone on board who can assist them. 

Look before you leap.  Consult with your advisors before you purchase that hacienda or villa. They can advise you on the best way to structure ownership based on that country's laws.  

Obtain local counsel.  Consulting with a local attorney in the country where the foreign asset is located is critical. You need to know how local law will impact your estate and tax planning. For instance, some countries do not recognize trusts which could have serious tax implications if you have a U.S. will transferring all your assets to a trust. Local counsel is also needed to represent you with the purchase and transfer of real estate. 

Full disclosure is important.  Make sure you disclose all your assets to your attorney. Some people fill out estate planning questionnaires and do not include their foreign assets because they think the assets do not have relevance in the United States. That is not true. Your estate planner needs to know what the assets are and where they are located to help you determine how they should pass on your death and what the estate tax implications are. Years ago, I had a client who did not tell me about his house in Italy until after he had signed his estate planning documents. He did not think the asset had any relevance to his U.S. estate plan.   

One will or two?  Depending on where the foreign assets are located, it may be best to have two wills (or two Living Trusts), one disposing of the foreign property and a second disposing of your U.S. assets. It is important that your U.S. attorney and your foreign counsel coordinate on drafting the wills (or trusts). You do not want one will to cancel out the other will. There is an added benefit to having two wills. Probate in each country will most likely be easier. Probating a will written in another language can be difficult and time consuming. A foreign will needs to be translated and understood by the legal authorities in that country. Having a separate will in each country usually makes probate easier. 

Death and taxes.  Many clients are surprised to find out that as U.S citizens they are taxed on their worldwide assets for estate tax purposes. Your attorney will be able to advise you on the estate tax implications of your foreign property. 

Whether you have inherited a foreign property or purchased it as your dream vacation home, make sure you speak with your advisors to overcome the legal and tax hurdles of ownership. 
Article Provided by: 
Article Written by: Christine Fletcher
Need a Speaker for Your Organization?
If you belong to a group, club or other organization which holds regular meetings and is looking for entertaining speakers on short but important and interesting topics, please give us a call and ask for Alexandria Gilner.  

Maybe we can help you out!
Recipes of the Month

A sweet dessert to share with a loved one!

Tiramisu Cheesecake

Prep Time: 30m - Cook Time: 40m - Ready In: 5h
Servings: 12 - Calories: 528
  • 1 (12 ounce) package ladyfingers
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur, divided
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a pan of water on the bottom of the oven.
  2. Crush the package of ladyfingers to fine crumbs. Mix the melted butter into the crumbs. Moisten with 2 tablespoons of the coffee liqueur. Press into an 8-inch springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, mascarpone, and sugar until very smooth. Add 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, and mix. Add the eggs and the flour; mix slowly just until smooth. Pour batter over crust in the springform pan.
  4. Place pan on middle rack of oven. Bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Open oven door, and turn off the heat. Leave cake to cool in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let it finish cooling, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  5. Grate semisweet chocolate over the top right before serving.
Chef's Note: 
If the cheesecake batter is too thick in step 3, add a little cream.

Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Recipe from

Thank You

Here is a very special thanks to all of our clients who have referred family and friends.  It's easy, just forward this newsletter to them! (We also appreciate Yelp reviews!)
Quote of the Month
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
-Lao Tzu

© 2019 The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, Inc.