Like most people, you are probably aware of the need to have an estate plan in place that dictates how your estate assets are to be distributed in the event of your death. Hopefully, you also recognize the need to have an experienced estate planning attorney assist you in the creation of that plan. That may not be the only time you need an estate planning attorney though. Let's look at five additional reasons why you might need an estate planning attorney. Petitioning for Guardianship At … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help with More Than Just Creating Your Will
Like many people, you may find yourself including a living trust in your estate plan. If so, you will need to make several decisions during the creation of that trust. Among the most important of those decisions will be deciding who to appoint as the Trustee of your trust. Here are 10 questions to ask when choosing a Trustee for your living trust. What Is a Living Trust? A trust is a legal relationship wherein property is held by one party for the benefit of another. A trust is created by … [Read more...] about Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Trustee
Sometimes, the most difficult part of creating an estate plan is not deciding who to include as beneficiaries but deciding how to gift assets to those beneficiaries. For example, you may be reluctant to pass down assets directly to a beneficiary because that individual cannot be trusted to manage his/her own money for one reason or another. If you find yourself in that position, a spendthrift trust may be the solution. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, let's see how a spendthrift … [Read more...] about The Benefits of a Spendthrift 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
If you have yet to create your estate plan, you may be tempted to try taking a shortcut by turning to easily located online legal forms such as DIY Wills, trusts, or other estate planning documents. After all, using a DIY Will should save you both time and money and finally get your estate plan started, right? It may seem that way to you; however, in the end, your loved ones may pay the price for your shortcut because of the hidden dangers in DIY Wills. Let's explore why a DIY may be declared … [Read more...] about Is a DIY Will Valid?
In order to qualify for Medi- Cal Long Term Care benefits, you as an applicant must fall below certain income and asset thresholds. However, not all your assets are taken into account when it comes to determining whether you meet the requirements. Countable vs. Non-Countable When you submit an application for Medi-Cal Long Term Care benefits, your assets fall into two categories: countable and non-countable. Only your countable assets are part of the equation for determining whether … [Read more...] about Medi-Cal Planning Tips
Planning is important for your income taxation during life as well as for any estate tax at death. Even though 2021 is just starting, it’s not too early to think about planning for whatever it may bring your way. My friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert, has some thoughts. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Tax Planning for 2021
No way! Married people need estate plans. Some folks think that because they own assets jointly with a spouse, they don’t need an estate plan. In fact, joint ownership is called a “poor man’s estate plan.” In reality, it should just be called a “poor estate plan.” Joint tenancy ownership is riddled with perils. Likely, the most serious peril is the unintentional disinheritance of your children. Sadly, it happens too often because of joint ownership. This is what can happen when you … [Read more...] about Married People Don’t Need Estate Plans, Right?
Contrary to popular belief, you should not include your burial instructions or other final arrangements in your Will. Instead, leave your burial instructions or other instructions regarding your final arrangements in a separate instrument. The reason for this is timing. Most likely, your heirs or executor may not find your will immediately, and by the time someone locates it, it may be too late. You need to make sure you give your funeral instructions to someone who can locate it … [Read more...] about Where You Should Leave Your Burial Instructions or Final Arrangements
An advance health care directive is a written document authorized under California law that allows you to take control of your medical care. By creating an advance directive before you become too ill to refuse certain medical treatments, you can take control of your future health care while you are still mentally able to do so. However, if you become mentally incompetent or unable to create an advance directive, you lose control of the ability to choose medical treatments. Some states refer … [Read more...] about Make Your Advance Health Care Directive Before It’s Too Late