There is an argument that has been raging for about the last twenty years (maybe longer) regarding how arrogant it is to believe that America is unique or that Americans are exceptional. Since we all came here from somewhere else, the reasoning goes, it is those people that are unique, not America. I ran into

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON I had a middle-aged physician in my office last week. She had just settled a lawsuit that was perfectly defendable, but the insurance company didn’t want to go to trial because it would have been more expensive than just settling the claim. So, she had been talking with her physician buddies

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON I have a friend who is having medical problems, at age 62. At one time very wealthy, he now has no income, but owns a very large and valuable piece of ground in Southern California. Unfortunately, it isn’t of a type that can be turned into cash. Though my friend had

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON I was thinking about an old friend, the other day. I met Little Joe during the Summer of 1968. I had a Summer job between my second and third years of law school tutoring “Upward Bound” high school students. That was a program that brought bright by disadvantaged high school juniors

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON The other day a client of rather long standing died. He had not only used our services to set up and update his estate plan, from time to time, but had hired me to become the Trustee of his trust upon his death. During our estate plan meetings, he always insisted

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON We learn by sad experience (and a thorough reading of history) that “position” in this world is established in only three ways: Rank, which we don’t recognize very well in the U.S., Wealth, which we do recognize, and the Sword, which we see in 1930s Germany, Russia for most of the

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON Premarital agreements are one of the worst kinds of agreements that attorneys face. That is for two reasons. First, there is a very heavy emotional content that most future wives and some future husbands, feel is insulting and unfair. Second, for that reason, there is a special section of the California

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON I was at a funeral of a gentleman last Saturday that I have known for a number of years. While I knew much of his late life, I was not, however, acquainted with his life’s accomplishments. At the funeral, I heard an interesting description of him: he was a man with

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON There are a lot of lessons that we try to teach our children. “Yes, Sir,” “No, Sir,” “Thank you,” “You’re welcome,” “Don’t run with scissors, all come to mind.” A really big lesson in life is to plan ahead. Bears and dogs don’t plan anything; they just react. It is one

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON I deal with trusts, the entity, on a daily basis. But, let’s back up a little and take a look at what a trust is and then discuss some of the more creative uses of the trust device. The “trust” relationship was created by the courts of medieval England when the

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON For businesses trying to make enough profit to stay alive in California, the road is very difficult. Every business owner knows the extensive permitting, which is never made easy by the bureaucrats, rules, regulations, insurance requirements, notice posting requirements, door width requirements and much, much more that makes every day a

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BY JAY W. HENDERSON I had a client recently buy a corporation containing an operating business, against my advice. Once I got to look at the corporate records, I noted a number of problems that could cost my client a lot of money. Let’s start with the understanding that, in order to deduct any business

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