Happy New Year
from Chambers Wald, LLP!
Best Wishes for 2013!
Health! Happiness! Success!
Estate Plans! Wills! Trusts!


Happy New Year from us here at Chambers Wald to all of you! 


It is indeed already the new year. Indeed, the days are moving smartly along, as they do so quickly when you are getting on in years and sooooo slowly when you are a child.  


Perhaps the holiday season for you is a time of gift giving, which can be a lot of fun and I hope it was that for you. Even if gift giving is not your thing, so to speak, I hope you had as good a time and as relaxing a time as possible over those loved and dreaded holidays.


Well, this firm is more into Will making than into holiday gift giving, but it is really just a continuum.  


Giving now or later, gifts you chose just for this person or a bequest of your china cup collection for your niece because she admired it so.  A meaningful gift now or in your estate


In the holidays and in your Will you can give money or a charged up debit card or a gift card to TJ Max, you can give something you made or something you cooked. The latter better be given right away, and not in your will.   

Most do not think about giving particular items in their Will.
But, it is a very good idea.

You can leave everything to your spouse or kids but you might have a few things to give to someone else.  


Painting: a meaningful gift now or in your estateI am concerned that you give them in your Will (because I am all about making Wills), but you can give them right now, if you feel like it, especially if you won't ever be using them.  


People think about (well, correction, women think about) giving particular pieces of jewelry in their Wills. GOOD IDEA. My grandmother left me her engagement ring and the ring is very nice but the idea that she would give that to ME. Oh my! It makes me happy every time I think about it.  


So, go ahead and think of your jewelry and write your Will so you give it out piece by piece to all those whom you love. Think of it as a love note.  


Pottery art: a meaningful gift now or in your estate And, you know what, even if your Will says, " I leave my topaz earrings to my niece Sarah," you can give them to her right now, if you would be happy to see them on her ears while you can still do that. You don't even have to change your Will. The law in California is: if your Will leaves a particular thing to a certain person but you do not own that thing when you pass, then at that time the thing is not to be given to that person. Makes sense; the Law does not require the impossible (that, too, is a law).   


Yes, once in awhile the law makes sense and is sensible.

There are some items- - ones you may not have thought about mentioning in your Will -- that you can give to the person in your life who would most enjoy them.
I have written many Wills and in those Wills the testators have given most of these things, among may others:
  • collections of coins
  • collections of paintings
  • a painting to a museum
  • money for a party after you are gone
  • a hutch and everything in it
  • Giving away dogsa computer and the passwords associated with various Internet sites
  • Individual paintings and rare books    
  • dogs and money to care for them    
  • dog without money to care for it; a very special dog, indeed.
  • dog with money in trust to care for dog (there is particular law about how to do such a trust)
  • minor children
  • wine collection
    Give away wine now... or in your will 

  • frequent flyer airline miles
  • frequent flyer airline miles to use to come to funeral/celebration of life


Frequent flier airline miles...

Give the gift of travel



So far I haven't written that in a Will but I am thinking about this possibility because there was an article in the New York Times about it on Thanksgiving Weekend.  


So, what about giving your frequent flyer miles?  


During life this is pretty easy to do and you might want to give some (a lot???) to that newly wed couple so they can come visit you (or go to Hawaii).  And while you, yourself, are alive and well, you can make that transfer: it is pretty easy to let someone else use your frequent flyer miles.  

But what about giving away those miles in your Will? Apparently most airlines are not enthusiastic about your giving these away after your death, but it can be done. It can be done even after your death, and even if the airlines says it has a policy against doing that.  


In my view, not letting you transfer your miles after you pass is tantamount to taking your property from your heirs or beneficiaries. Only the government can do that for no reason except your death. So, if you are fortunate enough to have these miles, say in your Will who gets them.  


Otherwise, take a trip. The holidays are over and maybe you need a vacation to recover, and surely it is time to go play.

Estate Planning Attorney Julia P Wald and Louie

Okay, you get it. I am encouraging you once again to do estate planning.  


Yes, YOU, and Yes, estate planning.  


Give me a call and we can discuss it. I'll give you my wisdom and my time (up to half an hour), and it won't cost you anything. Now that's a gift.





Julia Wald
Chambers Wald LLP
Chambers Wald LLP
1108 Fifth Avenue
San Rafael, California 94901