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March 2019

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

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

March 16th
Marriott Hotel
9:00 - 11:30 am
(Check in at 8:45 AM)
3635 Fashion Way
Full Breakfast

March 27th
Main Office
9:30 - 11:30 am
(Check in at 9:15 AM)
990 W. 190th Street
Suite 500
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!

March 28th
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!

April 9th
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.

March "Madness"
Philip Kavesh, Attorney

Another in a series of articles reminiscing about growing up in small town America in the 60's.

When you hear the words "March Madness" you probably think of the big, annual NCAA basketball tournament (and all the crazy betting pools you may "donate" to).  But that's not what I have in mind here, although basketball is somewhat involved.
I'm referring to the terrible, gray, cold, snowy or rainy days of March in the Northeast, where I grew up in Southern New Jersey.  That time of year drove me nuts as a kid, because I couldn't enjoy my usual outside play activities, and instead went bonkers being stuck inside the house (with my three younger brothers plus my sister!).  The stir-craziness that ensued at home was quickly matched by the madness of the indoor mischief pursued elsewhere.  
Serious (?) Basketball
I grew up in a farming community (named Vineland) that was famous for our high school football teams.  Football was by far my favorite sport, and even those kids, like me, who didn't make the team, participated in informal "pickup" tackle games in our local, open fields almost year-round.  But by March, the weather was too inclement and the ground was either snow-covered, or mushy melted snow and mud, or frozen solid!  So we turned to a different indoor activity, basketball, which wasn't supposed to be as "rough" a sport as football, but soon turned out to be when we played it!
Our basketball "education" began when we attended the local public high school games.  The school's team was never very good and lost more than they won, but they did like to put on a show (or should I say "circus") for the hometown crowd while also letting the visitors know they were in for a tough contest, win or lose.  The home squad always had a few "big boys" (200 pounders from the football team) who couldn't jump but sure could stand up like a wall and smash any opponent who tried to drive the ball to the hoop (elbows also were very effective weapons)!  And, if the style of play was not intimidating enough, there were the jeers and cheers and chants led by the "hoods" (I'm not talking about my friends from the neighborhood; I'm referring to our town's black leather-jacketed, grease-haired "delinquents" and "dropouts").  They reveled in bad-mouthing the opposing team.  Back then, basketball uniforms were pretty skimpy, with the tops and shorts very short and tight.  The hoods' taunting of the visiting team's physiques, which consisted mainly of whistling and "cat-calls", was relentless and loud.  But, worse than that were the less-than-politically correct cheers the hoods began (and were often quickly followed with glee by the rest of us spectators!).  I remember when we played our chief rivals, from the nearby town of Millville (yes, it was the farm boys vs. the factory workers).  At least one of the referees usually came from the visiting town.  So, when one of our best players kept getting fouls called against him, the entire student body, led by the hoods, stood up and screamed and chanted in protest, "elevator, elevator, we got the shaft!" As if that wasn't convincing enough, the entire crowd launched into the chant, "Hoytee, toytee, my o'moytee, who the he-- is he?  Biff bamn, g-- damn, Millville referee!"(and, believe me, there were many more colorfully worded chants which I won't recount here; as we say in Jersey, just "fuggetaboudit!").  The loud criticism of the ref was often followed by pelting the ref (or the other team's fans) with popcorn.  Once in a while, this raucous behavior, bordering on mayhem, got so out of hand that the cops in attendance chased the hoods around the gym, under the stands and out into the parking lot!  Now that was good old entertainment!
Very Serious Basketball
Now I'm about to describe a somewhat different game and I'll use the word "basketball" very loosely.  Encouraged by the outlandish behavior at the high school games, the young, teenage neighborhood boys and I played a game, on almost every cold, winter day at the local YMCA, which seemingly started out as basketball.  But it soon degenerated into another mischievous March endeavor.  We had an organized league at the "Y", where we played on teams named for the town's service clubs (like "Jaycees") and we wore reversible red and grey jerseys (so you knew what team you were on).  However, the Y made the mistake of appointing another high school kid as the proctor and referee, and that was asking for trouble!  When that proctor was often late (or after he left), the real game ensued - - what we fondly named "Animal Ball"! Suddenly, there were no rules and no fouls.  The only goal was to get the ball into the hoop at the other end of the court and each team was committed to it, no matter what!  Tackling (and crashing the opponent onto a hardwood floor, ouch!),  running and knocking people over on the way to the hoop, and throwing the ball at opponents' heads (if all else failed)  were all "legal"!  I particularly loved it when, after the initial rough-housing, the taller boys decided to just put the shorter kids on their shoulders and we ran up and down the court trying (usually unsuccessfully) to dunk the ball. 
We did, unfortunately, get caught at these unruly antics from time to time, but we made good mischief out of that situation too, by running over to the room housing the indoor pool and seeing who could jump in (with clothes and sneakers on) and make the biggest "cannon ball" splash!  (Just good, clean fun!)  
But all that March madness was nothing compared to what went on when my public high school team went to play the only other high school in town, a private one, at their place. 
Very, Very Serious Basketball!
Before going further with this story, I just want to let you know that many of my friends and neighbors went to the private high school (sometimes one kid in a family went to the public high school and another to the private one!).  So although some following details of this story may seem biased or politically incorrect, I assure you they are being recounted light-heartedly.
Back to the story.  The private school had only one sport it seriously competed in with other schools - - basketball.  It didn't have a large student body and it didn't have a big field for football, baseball or track.  It only needed 8 or 10 boys to form their basketball team and it had a small auditorium that it converted, with pull out stands, into a basketball court.
The games at the private high school were incredibly heated (and I don't mean the inside temperature, which they may have turned up intentionally to their advantage, but the heat generated by the 500 to 1,000 people crammed into only about 5 rows of stands on either side of the court).  To the private school, these games meant everything (including the town's "bragging rights" for a full year)!  They were very well prepared for battle and totally committed to victory.  The building was so tiny that the ends of the court barely fit.  The backboards hung from the walls and if an opposing player tried to drive to the basket he was not so gently directed face-first into the concrete!  Knowing this, the private school's players didn't have to be particularly tall, big or fast, just good dribblers and outside shooters, which they definitely were!   Allegedly, they also knew exactly where they could (and could not) dribble the ball because the floor was made of linoleum tiles and they knew which ones were old and loose and caused the ball not to bounce correctly (which definitely helped them steal the ball on defense!). Not only could they shoot but they repeatedly and meticulously practiced from certain spots on the floor, and they reputedly marked those exact spots on the tiles!  They also had an ancient game clock with moving hands that seemed to always get stuck when they were behind or they needed a few more seconds at the end of a game!
But perhaps the scariest, most physical advantage the private school had was that the spectator seats were located inches away from the court and always occupied by their belligerent fans and mean teachers (as the story goes, the teachers enjoyed cultivating their reputation for being mean because bad kids who got kicked out of public school often were sent to the private school to get some discipline!).   I remember the time a friend of mine, who played on our public high school team, launched himself out of bounds trying to gather a loose ball. He landed into the stands, falling between two rows of seats, at the feet of the home school's teachers - - and they started kicking and punching him and wouldn't let him get up and back into the game, until the referee came over to break it up!  That was some very, very serious March madness!
However, I do have to point out that, after all those warlike games, many of the kids from both schools would meet up, make up and have fun at the local pizza "parlor" right across the street! All was forgotten and forgiven (at least until next year's game)!
Please Keep This
"On the QT"
(Or Maybe Not!)
  Just to let you in on a secret, my parents never, ever knew about all this March mischief, nor did most of the parents in town, who just dropped their kids off at the Y or high school games.  So please don't tell my 93 year-old Mom about all this wildness now!
And, by the way, you probably shouldn't share certain of your high school "moments" with your parents either.  But how about sharing them with your kids or grandkids?  (When they're old enough to enjoy your stories but sensible enough not to repeat your bad behavior!)  I'm definitely going to send a copy of this article to my children. After all, this is some of the great personal "legacy" stuff that never gets passed down in an estate plan!
9 Things You Need To Know About Estate Planning After Divorce
Last year was a busy year for divorce attorneys. Changes in the tax laws precipitated a flurry of year-end activity with people trying to finalize their divorces by December 31 before the tax law changes took effect on January 1, 2019. Under the new tax laws, alimony is no longer deductible by the payor, and it is no longer taxable by the receiver. This has a negative impact on both parties. The payor will not get the tax deduction. The receiver will probably end up with less alimony because the payor has more taxes to pay. My divorce law colleagues were working around the clock through year-end because so many people wanted to get divorced.
If you were one of the masses whose divorce was finalized in 2018, now is the time to revise your estate plan.  This also applies to folks who divorced in prior years and never got around to updating their estate plan. Here are the issues you should be thinking about.
Give your divorce agreement to your estate planner . Your estate attorney needs to know what obligations you have to your ex-spouse in the event of your death. 
Update your health care proxy . The health care proxy allows you to name someone to make health care decisions for you if, for instance, you were in a car accident or had a health emergency and were unable to communicate. Unless you want your ex-spouse making these decisions - and I haven't met many people who do - you need to name someone else you trust.     
Change your power of attorney . If you had an old power of attorney naming your ex-spouse, that should be revoked. You should also execute a new power of attorney naming a friend, relative or trusted advisor to act as your agent regarding your finances and assets.  
Revise your will and trust . Remove the provisions for your ex-spouse and remove your ex-spouse as the executor and trustee. You want to make sure your "ex" does not receive any assets if you die and has no control over your estate or trust.
Rethink guardianship if you have minor children . You may choose to name your ex-spouse as the guardian in your will. Even if you don't, your ex-spouse will most likely serve as guardian of your minor children if you pass away unless he or she is determined by the court to be unfit. However, if you had a bad divorce, or if your ex-spouse has a substance abuse problem, you may want to name someone other than your ex-spouse as the guardian. I've had several clients with ex-spouses who have severe substance abuse issues who leave enough cash in a joint bank account (with the trusted guardian they named) in order to fund the litigation that will be necessary to prove the ex-spouse unfit. 
Make sure you have a trust for minor children . If you do not have a trust for minor children, and your ex-spouse is the children's guardian, he or she will have control of the children's finances until they turn 18. Most clients do not want their ex-spouse controlling their children's monies. You should have a revocable trust that will name someone of your choosing as trustee to access and control the money for your children if you die.   
Pay particular attention to life insurance requirements . I have encountered numerous instances where folks just completely ignored their obligations to maintain life insurance under their divorce agreement. One ex-husband maintained the life insurance policy, but removed his ex-wife as required under the divorce agreement naming his new spouse as the beneficiary instead. Another client's ex-husband died having let the required policy lapse. Both instances resulted in litigation. Review your obligation to maintain life insurance under the divorce agreement with your estate planning attorney, and with your divorce attorney, if necessary. 
Check your beneficiary designations . Another area that people often forget about or ignore are their retirement plan beneficiary designations. Make sure your 401K and IRA beneficiary designations are consistent with the terms of your divorce agreement. I have encountered a few situations where folks never updated their beneficiary designations after their divorce, and then died. This can result in unforeseen consequences and litigation to correct who the beneficiary should have been. California allows for a divorced spouse to be removed as the beneficiary in these instances, but proving that to the financial institution that administers the account can be costly and time consuming. Better to have the beneficiary designations updated. If by chance you do want to name your ex-spouse as the beneficiary, you should execute a new beneficiary designation dated after the divorce. It is also a good idea in that instance to leave a letter of intent with your attorney so your intentions are clear.   
Don't forget about the prenuptial agreement . I am always surprised how soon people get remarried after their divorce is finalized. Needless to say, if you are thinking about getting remarried, make sure you have a prenuptial agreement. 
Now is the time to tie up those loose ends from your divorce and get your estate plan in order. Remove your "ex" from those old estate planning documents, take charge and get on with your life.   

Article Provided by: 
Article Written by: Christine Fletcher
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Recipes of the Month


Irish Tea Cake


Prep Time: 20m - Cook Time: 40m - Ready In: 1h30m
Servings: 10 - Calories: 273
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated; stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. If the batter is too stiff, a tablespoon or two of milk may be added. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack, then turn out onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar right before serving.

Recipe from

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Quote of the Month
"Don't rely on the luck of the shamrock.  Believe that hard work brings us good luck and success."

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