The acronym HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. In this post, we will explain why this piece of legislation is something to take into consideration when you are planning your estate. Advance Directives for Health Care Everyone is well aware of the fact that you have to facilitate postmortem asset transfers when you put your estate plan in place. A lot of people think this is the long and short of it, but a proper estate plan will also address … [Read more...] about What Is a HIPAA Release?
A power of attorney, or POA, is a legal document that has been around in varying forms for centuries. The concept, or purpose, behind a power of attorney is the ability to give another person the legal authority to act on your behalf. The extent and the duration of the authority depends on the type of POA that you execute. Although POAs are widely used by people of all ages, they are particularly popular with the elderly. Unfortunately, they are also widely used by people who want to take … [Read more...] about Basics of Powers of Attorney
If you are working on an incapacity plan, you may wish to consider the use of a revocable living trust. Like its counterpart, the irrevocable living trust, a revocable living trust takes effect during your lifetime. Although a revocable living trust does not offer the same asset protection or estate tax benefits as certain irrevocable trusts, it does allow you the benefit of being able to make changes to the trust. A revocable living trust can also be an extremely attractive incapacity planning … [Read more...] about Living Trusts and Incapacity Planning
Some folks want to avoid estate planning because they associate it with death. However, estate planning is NOT just about death. In fact, good estate planning is focused on life, including retirement planning, college planning, gifting programs, charitable planning, asset ownership, asset protection, disability protection, and tax strategies. An experienced and qualified estate planning attorney can design a comprehensive estate plan that protects you and your family, while you’re alive … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: It’s Not Just all About Death
The most significant action of Congress in 2019 relating to retirement and estate planning was the late December passage of the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019”, commonly known as the “Secure Act”. It was signed into law shortly thereafter and is effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. In this and future newsletters, we will look into the provisions of the Secure Act and also some strategies to maximize benefits and minimize problems created by this … [Read more...] about CONGRESS PASSES THE SECURE ACT: HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU?
In today’s society, family members are often scattered throughout the country and even abroad. This phenomenon can cause much stress and worry when an elder family member who is not nearby now needs additional assistance in managing his or her affairs. The first step to long-distance caregiving is to understand your loved one's situation and needs. Schedule a visit with your relative or friend spanning several days to observe how they make decisions, solve problems and complete daily tasks, … [Read more...] about Caring For a Distant Elder Family Member
In every estate plan we prepare in our office, we include an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) and a form that authorizes disclosure of medical information to designated individuals you have appointed to positions in your estate plan. This latter form is done to comply with the so-called HIPAA law. An advance health care directive is a legal document you use to provide guidance about what types of treatments you may want to receive in case of a future, unknown medical emergency. It also … [Read more...] about What is a POLST and Do I Need One?
One of the main benefits of living trust planning is disability planning. You maintain control over your finances only if you have disability planning; otherwise, the court may step in, through the conservatorship process, and takes over (even if you’re married.) Your disability trustees who you have hand picked have control over any assets that are funded into your trust. This means that those you select to step into your shoes, should you become disabled, can only manage, invest, and pay … [Read more...] about Can a Living Trust Help with Disability Planning?
Estate planning means preparing for possible incapacity and inevitable death. An estate plan can include many different types of documents, including wills and trusts. The variety of tools available will allow for a customized and comprehensive estate plan. There are many misconceptions regarding estate planning. Here your Sacramento estate planning attorney will dispel some of the common myths. Estate plans are not only for the rich or elderly One common misconception is that, if you are … [Read more...] about Sacramento Estate Planning Attorney Clarifies Common Misconceptions
A person's ability to comprehend things happening around them is referred to as "mental capacity." With legal proceedings in particular, the term capacity generally refers to as the ability to understand the nature and consequences of the legal proceedings. In the legal context, it can also refer to whether the person is competent enough to enter into a legally binding agreement. If this becomes an issue, you may need incapacity planning. "Capacity" in the area of estate planning When it … [Read more...] about Understanding Incapacity as part of Incapacity Planning