At some point, you will get involved with the estate planning process. Along the way, there are many questions to answer. Here is one of the most important: Should you create a will or living trust? For many years, a basic will was the most commonly used estate planning document. However, as of late, a growing number of people are turning their attention to a living trust. If you find yourself wondering what to do next, it’s important to understand the many benefits of a living trust. … [Read more...] about What are the Benefits of a Living Trust?
Can I Modify My Living Trust?
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?
Our Available Services During COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic
The health and safety of our clients, staff, and friends of the law firm are top of mind amid concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As estate planning and elder law attorneys, our practice is dedicated to serving our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, those who are ill, disabled, experiencing mental health challenges and children with special needs. The uncertainty around the pandemic has many people with immune system challenges concerned about exposure to the … [Read more...] about Our Available Services During COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic
Terminating a Living Trust
Due in large part to the flexible nature of a living trust, it has become very popular to include at least one living trust in a comprehensive estate plan in recent years. As such, it is likely that you will find yourself involved with a living trust at some point in your life. You may also find yourself wondering when a living trust terminates. To help answer that question, we'll explain when and how a living trust terminates in California. What You Need to Know about Living Trusts It … [Read more...] about Terminating a Living Trust
Assisting Family and Friends During These Trying Times
Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our clients were already assisting elderly or disabled family member and friends with such things as meals, medications, medical visits and shopping. Regular visits just to check in were also part of many folks’ normal routines. COVID-19 restrictions have had a large negative impact on many of these activities. So, how can you continue to assist under these new circumstances? Here are a few thoughts: Medical Issues Under a federal … [Read more...] about Assisting Family and Friends During These Trying Times
Important Notice Regarding COVID-19
We are happy to report that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still able to deliver quality legal services and to serve our community with their legal needs. We also are doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing facial coverings, disinfecting our office, providing hand sanitizer to all visitors, practicing social distancing, and offering telephonic and video conferencing options. While we navigate our way through this unprecedented era, we will be operating with the above … [Read more...] about Important Notice Regarding COVID-19
Interaction between Education Savings (“529”) Accounts and ABLE Accounts
In previous newsletters, we have discussed both so-called “529 accounts”, which are a type of tax-efficient education savings accounts and ABLE accounts, which are a relatively new type of account that can be established to provide additional resources for persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. While each account is for a different purpose, they do share some similar features. Due to a recent law change, it is now possible to make limited transfers from existing 529 … [Read more...] about Interaction between Education Savings (“529”) Accounts and ABLE Accounts
Planning for the SECURE Act
As we advised in last month’s newsletter, the “Secure Act” was part of a larger law that passed with (rare) bipartisan support in late-December 2019. It was effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. This is the second in a series of articles on the Secure Act. The first article looked at the basics of the Secure Act. This article examines planning strategies for dealing with the Secure Act. As laid out in the first article in the series, the Secure Act requires more rapid distributions of … [Read more...] about Planning for the SECURE Act
Where Do It Yourself = Do It Wrong
An estate plan is an important part of one’s plan for the future. Many realize that they need the assistance of an experienced and qualified attorney to assist them in their efforts. Unfortunately, some folks will cut corners in their estate planning efforts in an effort to save a few bucks or because they think they are as smart as or smarter than their estate planning lawyer when it comes to drafting documents or both. Even with persons who were prudent enough to have their original plans … [Read more...] about Where Do It Yourself = Do It Wrong
Top 3 Reasons to Create a Living Trust
Although a Last Will and Testament remains the most common estate planning document, a living trust is not far behind in popularity. One reason living trusts are so commonly included in an estate plan is the flexible nature of a trust. The Sacramento living trust attorneys at the Northern California Center for Estate Planning & Elder Law discuss the top three reasons to create a living trust for your estate plan. What Is a Living Trust? The general concept behind a trust is rather simple. … [Read more...] about Top 3 Reasons to Create a Living Trust