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
Special Needs Trust
There are a number of events that cause people to recognize the need for estate planning, but none as powerful as becoming a parent for the first time. As a parent, you want to ensure that your child is financially secure if something happens to you. If you have a child with special needs, the importance of estate planning is increased dramatically. One of the most common tools used by parents when creating a plan for their child with special needs is a Special Needs Trust. Before you decide if … [Read more...] about What Can Be Purchased with a Special Needs Trust?
We have previously wrote about the long-awaited arrival in California of the so-called ABLE accounts. Formally, known as an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, they are a low-cost, easy-to-access plan established by federal law that began rolling out in 2016 and is now available in California. Modeled after the so-called “529 accounts”, an educational savings program offered by individual states, ABLE accounts let children or adults with disabilities incurred before age 26 … [Read more...] about An Update On ABLE Accounts
Trusts are very valuable estate planning tools that provide a way to hold and manage assets for the benefit of your loved ones. You have the opportunity to include your own instructions as to how the property should be distributed and under what circumstances. A trust is an especially valuable tool if you have a loved one with special needs. Special needs trusts are a particular type of trust used just for this purpose. If you are considering whether you need this type of trust, your special … [Read more...] about Special Needs Trust Attorney Describes Types of Trusts Available
Receiving an inheritance may be exciting for some, but stressful for others. There are many questions that arise when individuals get word that they are about to inherit from a loved one. The most common question is: will I have to pay an inheritance tax? Luckily, if you live in California, there is no California inheritance tax, but that is not true in every state. Here is what you need to know: What is inheritance tax? An inheritance tax, as the name implies, is a tax imposed by the … [Read more...] about Is there a California Inheritance Tax?
Getting the news that you have inherited money or property from a family member is usually a good thing. For some people, it may be more of a concern. If you receive income-based government benefits, you may be concerned that your benefits will be in jeopardy if you receive a significant inheritance. For instance, if you receive Medi-Cal or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you assets must not exceed a certain amount in order for you to remain eligible. If that's the case, you need to … [Read more...] about Protecting Your Inheritance with Inheritance Planning
People sometimes assume that a trust is a somewhat glorified legal device that accomplishes the same thing that a will would accomplish. In fact, there are different types of trusts. Trusts can satisfy objectives that a will would not satisfy. Let's look at some of these scenarios. Estate Tax Exposure The federal estate tax is a legacy threat to high net worth families. This tax carries a 40 percent top rate, so we are talking about a very significant level of taxation. The good news is … [Read more...] about Isn’t a Trust Just a Glorified Will?
There are various different circumstances that can exist within a family. For example, there may be a child that you love who has special needs. The desire to provide for the child within your estate plan may be there, but you may be concerned about eligibility for Medi-Cal coverage. Before we proceed, let's provide some background information about Medi-Cal for those who may not know the facts. The Medicaid program is in place to provide a health care insurance safety net for people of all … [Read more...] about Don't Disinherit a Child With Special Needs