If you are a responsible individual, have held important positions, or shown leadership qualities in your private or professional life, you may be asked to serve as a Trustee of an estate. It is especially likely if you have an accounting our legal background. Maybe you just happen to be the responsible sibling in a family. The estate could be a simple trust for an elderly family member, or a complex estate with complex financial holdings and considerable value. It may not even be within your family. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | Gary Arch
February 6: A five-hour stand-off with Laguna Beach Police and O.C. SWAT officers. February 6-12: A former LAPD officer goes on a violent spree throughout Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. February 20: A deadly rampage from sleepy Ladera Ranch all the way up to Orange.
Has Orange County become unsafe? Is violence here on the rise? Continue Reading →
We knew it already, didn’t we? For sure, BMR Insurance Agency wouldn’t be celebrating over 30 years in business in Tustin if it wasn’t such a wonderful place to live.
We know that many of you already put up your Christmas trees, and hopefully you’ve been enjoying their wonderful pine scent, festive looks and twinkling lights. Some people wait until closer to Christmas to choose the tree and decorate it.
Either way, you’ll probably hang treasured ornaments on it, and place your carefully chosen presents underneath it—presents you’ve probably spent a pretty penny on. Continue Reading →
Hanukkah starts this Saturday, December 8th, and for those of you who are not aware, one of the traditions of the Hanukkah celebration is the menorah. The menorah is a candelabra with nine branches that are lit during the eight-day Hanukkah holiday, and is used to celebrate a miracle, when the Jews found only enough pure olive oil to light the menorah for one day after a successful revolt centuries ago. The miracle was that the supply lasted eight days, until a new supply could be obtained. Nowadays, the menorah has eight candles to light each night during Hanukkah.
In addition to the menorah, another Hanukkah tradition is making latkes, pancakes made of potato and onion and fried in oil—another celebration of a small amount of oil keeping a long-lasting flame. And even as careful as you can be, most house fires are started in the kitchen, which means that you should be extra vigilant when using hot oil for cooking.
With one to eight candles burning nightly plus hot oil or grease, there’s bound to be some fire-related accidents. Please review this handy list of safety tips to practice during the Hanukkah celebration to keep your family safe and sound. Don’t ruin the holiday by accidentally burning your house down!
- This week is the perfect time to test the smoke detectors in your house, and change the batteries if needed.
- Buy a fire extinguisher and keep it near the place you’ll be setting up the menorah.
- Place the menorah on a non-flammable, solid and level surface.
- Make sure all candles are secure in their holders.
- Keep all flammable materials, including drapes, blinds, decorations and plants, away from the menorah.
- Before lighting your menorah, make sure that it is meant to be lit, and not for decorative purposes only.
- Electric menorahs should not be used if wiring insulation is frayed or broken.
- Never, and we mean NEVER, leave a lit menorah unattended.
- When cooking latkes, keep children away from the hot oil; ideally, keep children away from the kitchen.
- Keep frying pans on the back burners of the stove, and keep the handle of the pan(s) away from the edge so children cannot reach it.
- If cooking oil catches fire, turn off the gas or electric range and cover the pan with its lid—if you can do so at no risk to yourself. Ideally, use a fire extinguisher appropriate for grease fires.
- Never throw water or a wet towel on an oil fire, as that will cause the hot oil to splatter on you or ignite something nearby.
Please have a happy and safe Hanukkah celebration! Call us if you want to make sure your home is properly covered, along with all of its contents, give us a call. Those Hanukkah presents may need extra coverage that you don’t currently have. Call us at BMR Insurance Agency, where you’ll always get a real live BMR employee on the phone: 714-838-1911.
Estate Planning Lessons from George LucasA guest post from Robert Lamm, Partner at Cummins & White, LLP
As a child, I was a big fan of Star Wars. I loved all of the movies (Star Wars, The Empire Strike Back, and Return of the Jedi) and insisted on having all of the toys and action figures. I even managed to score a Death Star, which, back in the day, was quite unique. All of my friends were jealous, and life was good.
Then, George Lucas released the “prequels” and the magic was lost. The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith were all a modern-day cinematic Hindenburg. In the end, I guess plot and casting really does matter. Awesome special effects will only take you so far.
Having said all that, I have to tip my hat to George Lucas. Lucas Arts, the owner of the Star Wars brand created by Mr. Lucas years ago in a galaxy far away, is a money making machine and in case you have not heard, Mr. Lucas just sold his entire stake in the company to Disney for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. It turns out Mr. Lucas is a Jedi Knight in the Art of Estate Planning, and he too saw “Taxmageddon” coming.
First of all, by selling in 2012, he is saving about 10% in capital gains tax. While that may not seem like much, 10% of a few billion dollars is a lot of money. Moreover, depending on how he structured the deal, he could be saving his children up to $2 billion in future estate tax and save them from a forced liquidation of the company upon his death. I suspect that Mr. Lucas will still play an active role in promoting the Star Wars brand, but it will be off of his balance sheet for estate tax purposes. Not bad, young Jedi.
When asked about the deal, Mr. Lucas said, “I felt like I wanted to put the company somewhere in a larger entity that would protect it….We could go on making Star Wars for the next 100 years.” Somewhere in the background, I can hear Obi Wan saying, “The force will be with you, always.”
It was difficult for us in Southern California to understand the devastation left behind on the East Coast by Hurricane Sandy, especially as we were enjoying record temperatures and true “beach weather”.
But just think back to two Decembers ago, when downtown Laguna Beach was under four feet of water right before the Christmas holiday. Although not as bad as a hurricane by any means, that storm devastated south Orange County, and had people being rescued from their roofs, homes were destroyed and old-growth trees uprooted. Then there were the windstorms last year at this time that were sweeping the Southland, causing millions in damages to homes, businesses and cities. Continue Reading →
We’ve been promised that the temperatures will calm down by the end of this week, and we can’t wait. Not just because our air conditioning usage (and therefore our electricity bill) will drop considerably, but also we want to get in to some fall clothes, cooking and activities.
Now, we don’t get a traditional “autumn” here in Southern California, with frosty mornings and swathes of trees changing color. The days get a little shorter, the nights get a little chillier—as the joke goes, it gets below 60°F here, and residents put a sweater on over their shorts and flip-flops. If it gets really cold, they might pull out the sheepskin-lined boots. Continue Reading →
With constant images of the beach, surfing and hot sunny days posted on television programs and the Internet, California is well known for its natural water sources and the plethora of available recreational sports. Water skis, jet skis, yachts, canoes, kayaks—all provide hours of fun and excitement. But did you know that just like a car, you are expected to have insurance coverage for your boats and personal watercraft? Continue Reading →
There are plenty of movies out there that depict special events gone awry and we, as the audience, find them hysterical. It could be as simple as meeting your upcoming in-laws over the weekend, or as complex as a bachelor party in Vegas. But the bottom line is that it is not so funny when it actually happens in your own personal life—especially on your wedding day, quinceanera, bar mitzvah, or any other special day. Continue Reading →