An elder law attorney is a lawyer who focuses on a particular area of the law. There are certain eventualities that seniors face, and elder law attorneys help people who are concerned about the legal ramifications. Since there are a number of important legal matters that may confront you when you reach an advanced age, you should certainly discuss the future with an elder law attorney so you can be appropriately prepared. There are certain questions that you may want to ask at the … [Read more...] about What Questions Should I Ask an Elder Law Attorney?
There are a number of different ways to make sure that your loved ones receive your property after you pass away. Joint tenancy is one possibility. Co-Ownership of Property If you own property, you could choose to add a co-owner to the title or deed of the property. This person would become a joint tenant in legal parlance. To provide a simple example, let's assume that you own your home outright. You want your son to inherit your home after you pass away, so you add him to the title as a … [Read more...] about What Is Joint Tenancy?
You may wonder why you would ever want to qualify for Medi-Cal. Most people are aware of the fact that Medi-Cal is a government health insurance program that is only available to people with very limited financial resources. How could you qualify for Medi-Cal if you planned ahead effectively for retirement? Plus, why would you need Medi-Cal coverage when you are going to be enrolled in the Medicare program? These are good questions, and we will answer them in this blog post. Living … [Read more...] about Can I Just Give Away My Assets to Qualify for Medi-Cal in California?
Anyone can be sued, so to a certain extent, asset protection is important for everyone. At the same time, there are people who are in certain professions who are particularly vulnerable to legal actions. These would include physicians who are open to malpractice suits, and landlords who can be sued by tenants that are injured on rental property. There are various different ways that you can protect your assets from claimants, and one option would be the creation of a family limited … [Read more...] about What Is a Family Limited Partnership & How Does It Work?
The probate process is something that you should be aware of when you are devising your estate plan in California. This is a legal process, and it comes into play when a person has property their your direct personal possession at the time of their passing. Property that is considered to be probate property would not be distributed to the heirs until the estate was probated and closed by the court. Because this process can be time-consuming and expensive, people sometimes implement probate … [Read more...] about Is Probate Always Required In California?
In the United States, there are taxes that can be imposed on large asset transfers. We have a federal estate tax, and the tax carries a rather hefty 40 percent maximum rate. The reason why we say that the tax is applicable on large asset transfers only is because there is an estate tax exclusion. This exclusion stands at $5.43 million in 2015. If the value of your estate is less than the amount of this exclusion, it would not be subject to the estate tax. In addition to the federal estate … [Read more...] about What Is the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion?
There are certain misconceptions that circulate with regard to estate planning. One of them is the belief that trusts are only useful for very wealthy people. High net worth individuals do have a unique set of estate planning concerns. Asset transfers that exceed the amount of the federal estate tax exclusion can be taxed at a maximum rate of 40 percent. At the time of this writing late in 2015, the estate tax exclusion stands at $5.43 million, but it is going up to $5.45 million next year … [Read more...] about Are Trusts Only for the Rich?
80%: The likelihood that a person age 65 will need nursing home, assisted living, home or community care during their lifetime. $90,000: The average cost per year of a private room nursing home in California in 2012. 2.5 years: The median length of stay in a nursing home (901 days). $225,000: The average cost per year of a private room nursing home multiplied by the median length of stay. $5,518: Median household wealth remaining after a family member lives in a nursing … [Read more...] about Five Numbers
When setting up a trust, preparing the documents does not finish the process. If the person who sets up the trust fails to properly transfer their assets into it, it can become an underfunded or unfunded. This lack of proper funding can lead to a failure of a person’s estate plan, and also increases the potential for disputes throughout the process of probating the estate. What an Unfunded Trust Is A trust is a legal construction that involves a trustor, a trustee, and a beneficiary. The … [Read more...] about What an Unfunded Trust Is
Funding the Trust is an essential but often overlooked step towards avoiding a lengthy and expensive probate. Creating a trust instrument, with all of the appropriate instructions, provisos and expressions of intent, is worse than useless if no step is taken to fund the trust by transferring assets into the trust. Even when attorneys draft the trust instrument, they have been known to assume that clients will take this important step without explaining to them the need and importance. The … [Read more...] about The Pitfalls of Unfunded Trusts