The Northern California Center for Estate Planning and Elder Law proudly serves people in and around Roseville, CA. We are deeply rooted in the community, and we provide our friends and neighbors here with personalized, one-on-one attention.
There are websites on the Internet that sell generic legal documents like wills and trusts. They want you to think of estate planning as a cookie-cutter affair that can be done by any DIY enthusiast who has an Internet connection.
In fact, your family deserves better. Every situation is different, so there is no universal estate plan that is right for everyone. Your estate plan should be be custom crafted to suit your specific needs. This is something that we explain to our clients from the outset.
Roseville, CA Wills and Trusts
Since there is no one-size-fits-all estate plan, you have to explore all of your options so that you understand what estate planning tools are right for you. A last will is often thought of as the simplest and most effective document for people who are not wealthy, but this is really not the case.
The simplicity notion is patently untrue because of the existence of the probate process. Inheritors that are named in a will do not receive their inheritances shortly after the passing of the decedent. A will is admitted to probate, and the court supervises the administration of the estate during this process.
How long will the heirs have to wait for their inheritances? The exact duration the probate process will depend upon the circumstances. In California, you are looking at close to a year at minimum in most cases. There are more complicated situations that can take considerably longer.
This is one pitfall, but there are a couple of others. You probably don’t want anyone and everyone to know how you decided to distribute your resources. When an estate is probated, the contents of the will are entered into the public record, and the general public can access these records.
The expense factor is another negative. There are a number of different costs that present themselves during the probate process, and the expenditures are essentially coming out of the pockets of the inheritors.
To avoid probate, you could establish a revocable living trust. After your passing, assets in the trust could be distributed to the beneficiaries by the trustee that you name outside of probate. You could also include spendthrift protections, and this is another benefit.
Trusts of different kinds can satisfy other, more advanced objectives. For example, high net worth individuals may be exposed to the federal estate tax. There are wealth preservation trusts that can be used to gain estate tax efficiency.
A supplemental needs trust is another trust that can provide a solution when certain circumstances exist. People with special needs often rely on government benefits that are only available to applicants with limited financial resources. An improvement in financial status can result in a loss of benefits.
To preserve benefit eligibility, you could make a loved one with special needs the beneficiary of a supplemental needs trust. The trustee could use the assets to make the beneficiary more comfortable, but there would be no loss of benefits.
These are a couple of examples, but there are trusts that can be utilized to address many different estate planning challenges.
Nursing Home Asset Protection for Roseville Residents
Many elders ultimately require nursing home care. Right now, approximately 25 percent of people who are 85 years of age and older are residing in nursing homes. Half of people who are 95 years of age and up are nursing home residents.
Nursing home costs are high all around the country, but in the Roseville area, costs are among the highest in the country. Unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for nursing home care. If you have to pay for a couple of years in a nursing home, the expenses could wipe out everything that you intended to leave to your loved ones.
Medi-Cal will pay for long-term care, but it takes careful planning to qualify if you have assets in your own name. We help clients who want to strategically position their assets so that they can qualify for Medicaid without losing anything in the process.
A Roseville, CA Estate Planning Attorney You Can Trust
We take our personal and professional commitment to our neighbors here in the Roseville area very seriously. If you choose to work with our firm, you will feel comfortable from the outset, and you will ultimately walk away with a carefully crafted, tailor-made estate plan. If you are ready to take action, call us at 916-437-3500 or send us a message to set up a consultation.