• 12 Things To Keep In A Safe At Home

    Many folks erroneously believe that the safest place to store valuable items is in a bank safe deposit box.  This is because they think that banks have the best 24 hour security and alarm systems and are least likely to be subject to destruction by fire or other catastrophes.  But what they fail to take into account is that the contents of a safe deposit box are rarely insured, while items in one’s home are more often covered by homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies.

  • A Primer On Probate: Clearing Up Common Misconceptions

    There are many misconceptions about the court proceeding known as probate. This article is intended to provide basic facts about this procedure and to correct the most common misconceptions.

  • Advance Health Care Directives: The Quality of Life Saver

    In 2000, the California legislature passed the Health Care Decisions Law which allows an individual to create an Advance Health Care Directive. This document is a type of power of attorney in which a person grants authority to another individual to act on their behalf in making health care decisions.

  • Avoiding Capital Gains Taxes

    One of the primary goals of estate planning is to minimize the costs associated with wealth transfer, including court costs and taxes. While most people associate estate taxes with estate planning, we must also consider how to minimize or avoid both property and income taxes. Proper planning makes more of your assets available for your care during your lifetime, and for your beneficiaries at your death.

  • Blended Families And Estate Planning

    Estate Planning in a Blended Family

    In this era of the blended family, there are many challenging legal issues. Separation and remarriage are currently so common in our nation that blended families have mostly turned into the new standard. At the point when two adults wed and it is possible that either of them has children from a past relationship, the entanglements of ignoring the consequences without a will can bring anguish that intensifies when a partner is deceased. It is advisable that both of the adult partners have legitimate plans established for this eventuality. If you have remarried and haven't met with a legal advisor, now is an ideal opportunity to begin.

  • Can it be Trashed Now? Tax Record Retention Guidelines

    Paper, paper and still more paper!

    When can these documents be destroyed? We get questions about tax backup documentation from clients often.  To assist you, we provide some ideas to carefully consider when deciding about destruction of any documents.

  • Considering an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?

    People often think of life insurance as “tax-free,” but that’s not entirely true.  Life insurance proceeds generally are income-tax-free to your beneficiaries, but if you own the policy at your death, the proceeds may be subject to estate taxes. One of the best ways to keep life insurance out of your taxable estate is to place the policy in an irrevocable life insurance trust (an “ILIT”).

    If you’re thinking about setting up an ILIT for an existing policy, consider doing so before the end of the year, particularly if it’s a high cash value policy.

  • Estate Planning 101

    The purpose of this article is to explain the goals of estate planning so as to make you an expert on the subject. After reading this article, you will not only understand this for yourself, but also be able to explain it to your friends and family.

  • Estate Planning Is More Critical Than Ever

    We have all been twisted up and down by the economy over the last 10 years. In 2008, most people told me that they had experienced a decline of 30 to 50 % of their investments. With news of bank failures, manipulation of the stock market, and the collapse of the mortgage lending industry, it appeared back then that there was no place of refuge. This is thankfully not 2008, but there will always be ups and downs that play with our investments and our minds.

  • Estate Planning: How Your Vacation Property Can Provide Savings

    Property values in Santa Barbara and on the Central Coast have, for the most part, recovered from the Great Recession. Property values are generally rising. For many families, primary residences, vacation homes and vacation rentals are their most valuable assets, and therefore worthy of some thought to protect and leverage them. There are good estate planning techniques available to take advantage of these properties. One of the more straightforward of these techniques is the use of a Qualified Personal Residence Trust, otherwise known as a "QPRT". Gifting a primary residence or a second home to a QPRT is a clear-cut way for grantors to significantly reduce the value of their taxable estate with minimal disruption to their daily lives, and to ultimately pass more assets along to their heirs.

  • Family Limited Partnerships

    You have worked long and hard to accumulate your investment properties. Now you are faced with the problem of how best to plan for transfers to family members without having your investments decimated by income and estate taxes. If you make an outright gift, gift taxes are due. Moreover, you no longer control what you have given away. Transfers at death incur estate taxes, and the taxes are usually paid with funds that have themselves been taxed.

    Don’t despair. There is a solution that allows you to both transfer your properties and retain control after the transfer: the family limited partnership.

  • For Seniors Looking For New Investments, Some Tips

    You may know somebody in the twilight of their life that has worked and saved and invested diligently over the decades, and is now reaping the rewards of that lifelong effort. This somebody may even be you. All the smart 65+ folks I know don't shut their brains off in retirement- if they are even retired. In fact most I know are still eager to find something new to succeed in.  For the Seniors that haven't invested in a while that want to get back in the game, though, there are a few things to keep in mind while considering new investment products that weren't relevant earlier in life.

  • Foundations—The Smart Way to Give

    Our community has a long tradition of charitable giving. We are so well known for our charitable tradition that we have been the subject of numerous regional and national articles on that topic. One of our many resources are charitable foundations. These organizations both support the many charities in our community and provide a resource for you in making charitable gifts in your estate planning.

  • Gifts to Care Custodians: Traps for the Unwary

    What does care custodian mean to you? A friend or acquaintance that visits, runs errands, pays bills, cooks, cleans, administers medications, and takes care of other pressing needs?

    Probate Code Section 21350 provides that gifts to “care custodians” are invalid. This provision of the code was drafted and adopted in the early 1980′s as part of EDAPCA (Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act) when it became clear to lawmakers and lawyers alike that nurses, housekeepers and care givers were taking advantage of the impaired and the elderly. These laws were codified as Probate Code Section 21350 in 1997.

  • Guardians and Conservators: What’s the Difference?

    If one of the primary goals of estate planning is to have your wishes carried out, even when you are incapacitated or deceased, that requires choosing people to act on your or your children’s behalf as you intend. When you can’t speak for yourself, who can you count on to speak for you? You have a choice: you can either leave it to chance, or you can create certainty.

  • Guardians and Trustees- What’s the Difference?

    Who will care for your minor children in case something happens to you and your partner? Who will help them through their day, make sure they are safe and fed, and teach them to be good people and good citizens? Who will care for their financial needs and education? While many people assume that one person will fill all of these roles for their kids, the truth is that you may wish to choose multiple people to hold different responsibilities..

  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts

    For most people, estate planning includes transferring assets to their children or grandchildren without paying any taxes.  The problem is that these transfers are typically subject to federal taxes.  The transfers are either treated as gifts for which gift taxes are owed, or sales for which capital gains taxes are owed.  But there is a solution to this dilemma.  Because of discrepancies in the Internal Revenue Code, it is possible to transfer the appreciation of assets to other generations without having to pay either tax.  This technique is through the use of what is known as Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts.

  • Is A Promise To Leave Your Estate To Someone Legally Enforceable?

    A probate court in New York recently addressed an unusual will contest. An 82-year-old Roman Catholic nun died in 2012, leaving a surprisingly large estate worth over $2 million, the product of a 1982 personal injury settlement. The sister signed a will in 1994 dividing her estate among her siblings, her congregation and various other Catholic charities.

    The congregation actually contested the will...

  • Its A Good Time To Review Your Revocable Living Trust

    A couple’s revocable living trust can be freely amended during their joint lifetimes.  Amendments can be used to adapt to changes in law, family circumstances, or the couple’s wishes.  However, once the first spouse passes away, a revocable living trust usually becomes wholly or partly irrevocable and cannot be easily fixed or modified.  Therefore, it must be frequently reviewed and maintained to ensure it achieves its intended purpose.

  • Pet Trusts: Protection For Our Furry Friends

    The primary goal of estate planning is to have our wishes carried out, especially when we are not here. Those wishes include care for ourselves if we become disabled, and care for those that matter the most to us, for example, the pet companions that have made such a difference for us. You naturally want to make sure that your dear pet companions are cared for when you are no longer able to be their caregiver. They have served you and added to the quality of your life. How can you guarantee that others will provide for them as you would wish?

Practice Areas And Regions Served

Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell, LLP primarily serves individuals, families and businesses up and down California's Central Coast and North Los Angeles County, including many Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura County communities.

Our experienced legal team includes business lawyers, real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, estate planning lawyers and civil litigation lawyers. Our areas of legal practice expertise include Business Law, Entity Formation, Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Wine Law, Vineyard Law, Civil Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

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