California Estate Planning Blog by Kevin Staker

February 24, 2017

Ventura County Bar Association Offers Leadership and Development

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Law — Kevin Staker @ 2:35 pm
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Ventura County Bar Association pic

Ventura County Bar Association

Kevin Staker is the principal and owner for Kevin Staker Probate and Trust Mediation. He works with both parties to settle mediation outside of court, making both individuals’ lives less stressful. Kevin Staker has been involved with his community throughout the years, and has served on the Ventura County Bar Association.

The Ventura County Bar Association serves as a place where lawyers local to the area can find resources on continuing their education, and find information on how to develop their practice and grow their professional network. There are even opportunities to offer pro bono assistance in the community through educating the public or providing volunteer legal services to those who cannot afford it.

The leadership opportunities and development within the bar association includes being on the VCBA board. This affects not only court policy, but also Ventura County itself, as policies are written and changed. The conference of delegates is another chance individuals have to practice their skills as they discuss ideas and debate them with other VCBA members and attorneys in the area.

February 12, 2017

Do Not Delay Planning Your Estate by Kevin Staker

Filed under: Kevin Staker — Kevin Staker @ 9:15 am

Do Not Delay Planning Your Estate

In a recent study, only 26 percent of 3,105 wealthy individuals in the survey had even tried to completely plan their estate  to get their wealth to the next generation. Furthermore, only 54 percent had even created a will, much less a trust, but most had not updated them. Thus, $1.5 trillion of the $3.2 trillion to be inherited is without direction as it goes to the next generation.

Possibly, people avoid planning their estate plan because they are not sure what they want to do with their wealth.  However, more likely  the cause is simple procrastination or not wanting to face their mortality.

Other than simply doing it, another important part of a good estate plan is to communicate with your beneficiaries the facts so that they can to prepare for an inheritance. The earlier in life these conversations take place, the easier the transfer of wealth will be.

A good article on this topic has been written by Sonia Talati and is found at

By Kevin Staker

February 10, 2017

Top Four Estate Disputes of 2016 by Kevin Staker

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 5:11 pm

Top Four Estate Disputes of 2016 by Kevin Staker

Several famous people left behind a mess in their estate planning, or better put, lack of estate planning.

Tom Clancy

The famous author died in 2013 but the fight over his estate, estimated at $80 million, came to a head in 2016.   The issue was who should pay the estate tax.  His widow just clearly not liable but the question was whether his two children with the widow would bear some of the tax or would only his four children from before would pay all of $11.85 million.  They lost.  Pity the poor attorney who drafted the codicil at issue.  He even testified this is not what Clancy intended.  Rather pity his malpractice carrier.

Jose Fernandez

The Miami Marlins crashed his boat in the middle of the night.  Appears his mother is sole beneficiary of his trust.  His girlfriend, pregnant with his child apparently, gets nothing.  However, likely child can argue “pretermitted” status, in other words forgotten in plan, and so would likely get half.

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

The son of Ol’ Blue Eyes, the Chairman of the Board, died in March 2016.  What a mess.  Divorced wife in 2001, but continued to live together.  In 2013, when here stopped paying alimony, she filed for divorce arguing they had a common law marriage.  She was correct under Texas law, assume that is where they lived.  California no such thing.  He appealed.  Then died.  Appeals court ruled not a common law marriage; keys: filed separate tax returns and bought home as tenants in common.  Could have been avoided by following advice of attorney.


This is the worst one.  Prince dies without a Will in April.   Apparently he would have intended estate to go only to his youngest sister.  Instead she has to share with his five half-siblings he apparently was not fond of.  Yikes!


Please go see an attorney and get your estate planning done.


By Kevin Staker

February 6, 2017

The Personal Biography Website of Kevin Staker

Filed under: Kevin Staker — Kevin Staker @ 11:19 am

The Personal  Biography Website of Kevin Staker

The website with the personal biography of Kevin Staker is at  Kevin Staker is a Camarilo, California, living trust and probate attorney.  He also has a practice in Probate Mediation and Trust Mediation.  That website is found at  Kevin Staker brings over 35 years of experience as an estate planning and taxation attorney.

Also, the Visual CV of Kevin Staker is found at

Kevin Staker