Like many people, you may include a living trust in your estate plan. As the Settlor of the trust, you appoint the Trustee, designate the trust beneficiaries, and dictate the terms used to administer the trust. You will also choose how you wish to fund the trust. No matter how much thought you put into making all those initial decisions, circumstances may change in the future causing you to want to modify your trust. Let's explore how to modify a living trust. What Is a Living Trust? A … [Read more...] about Can I Modify My Living Trust?
If one of your loved ones has a substance abuse problem, an inheritance may make the addiction worse or even kill him or her. At the least, the inheritance is likely to be squandered. For anyone who has an addiction such as drugs or alcohol, it is best to pass the inheritance in trust, not outright. How Outright Inheritances Work Outright gifts pass into your beneficiary’s individual name. They are within your beneficiary’s full control, to be spent any way he deems appropriate. This … [Read more...] about The Addicted Beneficiary: A Problem and a Solution
With the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent in the United States, blended families have become the norm in today's society. If you have just created a blended family, or are planning to do so in the near future, there are a number of changes that you may need to make to your existing estate plan in order to reflect your new status as a blended family. Although each family is unique, the following are possible options to consider. Adding Your Spouse to Titles. Titles to real property, … [Read more...] about What Changes Do I Need to Make to My Estate Plan When I Create a Blended Family?
The earlier you begin your retirement plan, the more comfortable you will be during your retirement years. If you are now nearing your “Golden Years,” however, there are additional steps you should take to ensure that your affairs are in order. To help you get started, let's look at five important steps to take when you are ready to retire. Decide where you want to live. This is undoubtedly something you have been thinking about for many years; however, there are several good reasons … [Read more...] about Retirement Planning – 5 Important Steps
Many seniors qualify for Medi-Cal to help cover the high cost of long-term care (LTC). If you are one of those who currently relies on Medi-Cal, you may be concerned about the ramifications of relying on Medi-Cal. In fact, you may have heard stories about Medi-Cal taking assets after the death of a program beneficiary. Let's look at what assets Medi-Cal seek to recover after you are gone. Qualifying for Medi-Cal Medi-Cal is the name given to California’s Medicaid program. For most seniors, … [Read more...] about Can Medi-Cal Take My House after I Die?
Many people choose to use a living trust in addition to, or in lieu of, a Will to pass down estate assets. One reason people often choose to use a trust to distribute assets is the ability to direct when assets are distributed and even how assets are used by the beneficiaries. The benefit you gain by being able to dictate how trust assets are used, however, could be threatened if a beneficiary can sell or encumber her interest in the trust. Let's explore whether or not a beneficiary cannot … [Read more...] about Can Beneficiaries Sell Their Trust Benefits?
Historically, trusts were used almost exclusively by wealthy families to guard and pass down the family wealth from one generation to the next. Over time, however, trusts evolved to become much more useful to the average person. Consequently, trusts are now among the most common additions to the average estate plan. Let's look at five important steps to consider when creating a trust. Trust Creation Steps Define your trust purpose. This is the critical first step in creating a trust. … [Read more...] about 5 Steps in Creating a Trust
Many seniors enter their retirement years knowing little about Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, because they were covered by employer-sponsored or privately funded health insurance throughout their working years. That lack of knowledge can be problematic – and costly – if you are one of those seniors and you now need to qualify for Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. In fact, you may find yourself subject to a lengthy waiting period during which Medi-Cal will not cover any of your … [Read more...] about How Does the Medi-Cal Waiting Period Work?
Trusts have become popular estate planning tools. Trusts come in many forms and can be constructed to accomplish specific goals in many cases. A basic trust consists of a trustor, a trustee, at least one beneficiary and assets that are used to fund the trust. Beyond the basics, trusts then fall into one of two broad categories — revocable and irrevocable. Although there are numerous other decisions that must be made when you create a trust, deciding whether your trust will be revocable or … [Read more...] about Do I Need a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust?
Everyone knows that an estate plan can ensure your chosen beneficiaries receive the right inheritance. But did you know there are other benefits too? Here’s five things a good estate plan can for you. Protect Against Disability – No, your estate plan can’t prevent disability from striking but it can certainly ensure that you and your estate are protected if it happens. Using an Advanced Health Care Directive and General Durable Power of Attorney can ensure that your medical wishes are … [Read more...] about Five Lesser Known Benefits of Good Estate Planning