In the United States, the divorce rate is around 50 percent for a first-marriage with a significant percentage of those divorces resulting in a remarriage. Consequently, blended families are fairly common in the U.S. If you are part of a blended family, you know the hard work it takes to successfully blend two existing families into one harmonious new family. One thing you don’t want to overlook when creating a blended family is the heightened importance of having a comprehensive estate plan in … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for Blended Families
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
Before the pandemic, Americans were more mobile than ever. The pandemic has only increased the number of persons relocating for a variety of reasons. When you move, you have to change your address, your voter registration, and all sorts of other things. But, do you need to revise your estate planning documents? Like with many things in law, it depends on your situation. Attached is some insight from my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Will Your Estate Plan Still Work If You Move?
Protecting your loved ones is likely an important reason why you created an estate plan. For your estate plan to fully protect you and your loved ones, however, you may need to incorporate funeral planning into the plan. While it may not be easy to consider, the reality is that protecting your loved ones often calls for you to consider your own death. To help you understand, let's look why you need to plan for the cost of dying. Death Is Expensive Thinking of your death and funeral in … [Read more...] about Why You Need to Plan for the Cost of Dying
Last month we discussed generally how trust planning can be very useful in Medi-Cal Long Term Care planning. This month we’ll focus on specific types of trusts that can be useful in planning relating to Medi-Cal Long Term Care. They are: Medi-Cal Gifting Trust: This irrevocable trust is used to preserve clients' assets while still letting them qualify for Long Term Care Medi-Cal. With this trust, the person who creates the trust and puts his or her assets in the trust can't access the … [Read more...] about The Use of Trusts In Medi-Cal Long-Term Care Planning (Part II)
As many of our clients know, we regularly assist families facing daunting long term costs with planning aimed at obtaining available financial benefits from both the Veterans Administration and the Medi-Cal program. This planning is often very complicated but, nevertheless, extremely worthwhile for families struggling with these expenses. Valuable tools commonly used in our planning are various Medi-Cal Trusts. In this series of articles we’ll introduce you to these various trusts, and how … [Read more...] about The Use of Trusts In Medi-Cal Long-Term Care Planning (Part I)
If you are the fortunate recipient of an inheritance, be it small or large, from someone else’s estate, it is prudent to pause to evaluate the consequences. Tax Issues In the past, inheritances often came with tax consequences. Fortunately, this is not a problem for most Californians who inherit money or assets from other’s estates. The two most common tax issues related to inheritances are the estate tax, sometimes referred to as the “death tax” and the inheritance tax. The estate … [Read more...] about Handling an Inheritance
As clients of our firm well know, we are strong advocates for planning for not only our inevitable passing but also for the possibility for the need for some form of long term care. It’s a fact of life that the longer we live, the greater is the likely need for long term care. Paying for that care can be very expensive. The five basic methods to pay for such care are: 1.privately with one’s one assets; 2. with long term care insurance; 3. with Medicare, which is a limited benefit; 4. with … [Read more...] about Planning for Medi-Cal’s Look Back Period
One of the primary benefits of a trust is that the assets you include in the trust will likely avoid the probate process. There are different types of trusts and we can assist you in determining which ones are right for you. A testamentary trust is a type of trust that is included in a will or a living trust, but does not go into effect until the person who created it dies. Trust administration is an important process and understanding how a testamentary trust works will help you make a … [Read more...] about What is a Testamentary Trust and Why Would I Need One?
There has been a very recent development in California’s End of Life Option Act. The Act is the law that permits terminally ill adult patients with capacity to make medical decisions to be prescribed an aid-in-dying medication if certain conditions are met. The law went into effect on June 9, 2016. Last week, a judge in Riverside County ruled that the Act was passed illegally during a special session of the Legislature called by the Governor that was supposed to focus on specific health care … [Read more...] about Update on California’s End of Life Option Act