Three Critical Things You Should Do to Make Sure Your Heirs Don’t Lose Your Money!!

6988272680_8146a984c3_o My colleague, attorney Martha Patterson, sent out a great piece describing Three Critical Things You Should Do To Make Sure Your Heirs Don’t Lose Your Money. Please take the time to read her experience-based common sense suggestions below.

Ms. Patterson has successfully helped hundreds of clients establish their estate plans.

Since my practice focuses on representing those who have been injured by the negligence of others, I believe it’s important to leave the estate planning advice to an expert like Ms. Patterson.

Here’s what she said:

If your spouse or heirs cannot quickly figure out what you own after you pass away or become incapacitated, you won’t just leave them frustrated-you might leave them with less money. State Treasuries and other government agencies currently hold more than $32 billion in unclaimed financial assets, and most of these proceeds belonged to now deceased account holders whose heirs were unaware that the accounts existed. In the past heirs went to your file cabinet and safe deposit box. Today things have become much more complicated, online accounts…automatic withdrawals and bill payments… and dozens of passwords and PIN codes. All of this makes it harder for your heirs to find your bank accounts, brokerage accounts, life insurance, and unredeemed savings bonds. If your heirs cannot find your money the money ends up in a State Treasury or other government agency.

Here are 3 things to do to make sure your heirs can find your money:

1. Ditch The Safe Deposit Box For a Fire Proof Safe

safeIf your heirs do not know where it is it could be difficult if not impossible to find. Further, if your heirs do not have the key and do not have permission to access the Safe Deposit Box, the Bank could require your heirs to get permission from the Court before they will open the box. A better solution for keeping important papers is a fire proof safe.

2. Keep A List of Your Accounts and Keep it Current

List of Accounts

You should have a Paper list of your accounts with institutions and account numbers. You may want to keep the list as part of your Trust and also make sure that you give a copy of the list to the person who will handle your affairs when you die.

3. Keep A List of Your Passwords

VLUU L110, M110  / Samsung L110, M110

It has become more and more important for people to change passwords and make them more complicated (harder for people including your spouse and heirs to guess), if our heirs can’t access your online accounts money can be lost. I recommend keeping your passwords in a safe location.

I know we all want to keep our financial information private, and may not want our spouses or heirs to know everything about what we own and how to find it, unfortunately when we become incapacitated or pass away in the digital age our heirs will not be able to open our mail, or go to the corner bank to find your money, you need to be proactive and make sure there is a way to find the information.

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to take some time to plan your estate so that your family will be protected and your assets preserved if you die or need care, give Martha Patterson a call at (866) 452-9657.

You can also call me, of course, and I will be happy personally introduce you to Ms. Patterson. I can be reached at

(323) 852-1100

(818) 306-5799 or

(877) 487-8221

As always, I’m here for all of your legal needs. If your issue is something other than personal injury, then I have a great network of attorneys personally vetted by me to whom I can refer you.

Lowell Steiger 2014

Lowell Steiger

Suspended Coffee

This has nothing to do with being a lawyer and everything to do with being a human being.

Suspended coffee

I saw this on and realized that this is a concept worthy of going viral. 

If you go into a Starbucks or Peets or Coffee Bean or any coffee house, order a coffee for yourself and order a "suspended coffee."  You'll pay for two coffees but will walk out with one.  A homeless person, on a cold winter day, will walk in and ask the barista if they have a suspended coffee and, lo and behold, the homeless person will walk out with a hot cup of coffee in his or her hands to help them through the day.

Click here to see the original post

Suspended coffee 002


Five Immediate Steps You Should Take After an Accident or Injury

You’re going to need the advice and representation of a
personal injury attorney if you’re injured in California.  Chances are, though, you’re not going to
be hiring an attorney within the first few hours of the incident. 

So, with or without an attorney, here are Five Very Important
Steps you should take immediately after an accident or injury.

Step One: Don’t Discuss The Incident With the
Other Party or Their Representative

Steps 003 silenceThe other party, or their representative (usually an
insurance company adjuster or investigator) may try to get to you to answer questions soon after the incident – oftentimes within hours.  Statements that you make at the time of the
accident or following the accident could be used against you as the case

Do not talk to the other party or their representative with
your attorney present!

Step Two: Seek Immediate Medical Attention 

Steps 002 medicalIf you’ve been injured, or there is a possibility that you’ve
been injured, get thee to a doctor, emergency room or an urgent care facility
immediately.  Be sure that the medical
practitioner documents your injuries and the fact that you’ve just been
involved in an accident (or fall, or dog bite, etc.)


Step Three: Write Things Down 

Steps 003 write it downIt’s natural for our memories to fade with the passage of
time.  We’re all human.  Make written notes so that you can refresh
your memory about the incident.  In
California, some cases don’t get to court for years.   Defense attorneys (the lawyers who are going
to try to gut your case) will do their best to paint you as a liar or
exaggerator if you don’t have a great recollection of the incident.

Step Four: Save The Evidence

You want to
be sure, to the extent possible, that evidence is preserved.  Evidence is essential in proving your case
down the line!

Do not
lose, alter or destroy evidence!

Steps 001 evidence
Vehicle Accident: Repair work should not be started
until detailed pictures have been taken of your vehicle (car, truck, bicycle,
motorcycle, etc.)

Dangerous or Defective Product: Save the product and its parts (for
example, if a bottle breaks, save the broken pieces!).  Keep the box in which it came.  Save the receipt!

Dog Bite or Animal Attack: Save the torn clothing and any
other evidence of the attack.  Don’t wash
the clothes you were wearing.

Slip and Fall  / Trip and Fall: Keep the shoes you were wearing, do
not throw them out and do not keep wearing them.  You will want to keep them in the condition
that they were in at the time of your fall. 
In other words: Don’t wear, repair or throw them out until your case is

Step Five: Take Pictures of Your Injuries

Steps 001 picturesTake
pictures of all parts of your anatomy that show signs of injury before the
healing process begins.  Date the
pictures accordingly (be sure that your digital camera has the right
date!).  Then take daily pictures of your

If you have
scarring, be sure to get pictures.  If
you’re going to have the scars surgically removed or reduced, be sure to take
before and after pictures.

In some
situations, your lawyer may hire a professional medical photographer to take
these pictures.



I represent people who have been injured due to the carelessness of others.  It's my job to take the pressure off of you so that you are free to heal.

Call me 002

(877) 487-8221

Email me now

LS 2012

All Consultations Are Free

Vehicle Recalls October 2007: Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac, Chevy, More

2008_c_class The National Highway Safety Commission has announced the recall of several vehicles.  Read the entire NHTSA Report by clicking here (article requires Adobe Acrobat Reader – if you don’t have the Reader, click the link in left column to download the Reader for free).  Below is a partial list of the recalled vehicles:

Goshen Coach 2005-2008 GCII, Pacer II, Sentinel, Pacer LS and 2005-2007 Euroshuttle Transit Buses

Utilimaster 2007Aeromaster Walk-in Delivery Vans

2008 Mercedes C-Class

2007 Chrysler Dodge Ram, 2007-2008 Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring

BMW 2005-2007 K1200 R Sport Motorcycle, 2006-2007 550I and 650I

and much more.

Click here to go to the NHTSA Defects and Recalls website.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve" 

Crime and Punishment: The Role of Juries

Massachusetts School of Law Question of Law Presents "Crime & Punishment: The Role of Juries"

The Massachusetts School of Law, located in Andover, Massachusetts, makes high quality, affordable legal education available to less privileged persons who are traditionally excluded from the legal profession. As part of its mission of providing high quality education and information for both law students and the general public, the Massachusetts School of Law also presents information on important current affairs to the general public via television and radio broadcasts, an intellectual journal, conferences, author appearances, blogs and books. For more information visit  MSLAW podcasts are available from MSLAW videos are available from Google Video.

Client Comment

Lowell represented my son in 1997 when he was involved in a near-death accident. Throughout the entire painful and very stressful situation, Lowell was very supportive and honest. I have the utmost respect and confidence in Lowell, and continue to refer others to him. His reputation is based on his integrity, his confidence and his passion for fairness and justice.

Lowell, you are truly wonderful; thank you for everything.

Nasonia and Steve