CA Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Joint Accounts and Your Estate Plan


How might joint accounts form a part of my estate plan?

A thorough and effective estate plan will involve many components.  Joint accounts and pay on death accounts can form a central part of any estate plan.  A joint account is a financial account held by more than one party.  Upon the death of one account holder, the assets held in a joint account will generally transfer to the other living account holders.  Our


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Friday, August 25, 2017

Exploring the Differences Between a Will and a Trust in California


Do I need a will or trust?

Wills and trusts are two common estate planning tools.  With both a will and a trust, you can ensure your family will receive your hard earned assets and be protected after your death.  Each of these estate planning tools, however, have benefits and drawbacks.  Our


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Monday, August 21, 2017

Estate Planning is Not Just for the Wealthy


Why is it important for everyone to have an estate plan?

There is a common misconception that estate planning is a concern of only the wealthy.  To the contrary, an estate plan has everything to do with providing security for you and your family, and little to do with wealth.  With your estate plan, you will enable someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable and to carry out your last wishes upon your death.  We all need a plan in place to ensure our loved ones are cared for if we die.  A


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Monday, July 17, 2017

Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid in California


How can I avoid making costly estate planning errors?

Estate planning is often one of the last things that people consider when they analyze their finances.  While some of us will eventually end up making an estate plan, many others die before ever creating an estate plan that protects their families left behind.  Estate planning is a vital part of your legacy and should be an important task on your financial to-do list.  As you set out making an


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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Estate Planning Tips for Veterans


How do I apply for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension?

Veterans risk their lives to protect and defend our nation.  In exchange for their service, all veterans should be cared for in their old age.  In furtherance of this goal, the Veterans Aid and Attendance (A&A) pension was created to provide benefits that will assist veterans and surviving spouses in paying for the care they need.  California veterans should contact a


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Gifting Tax-Free


How much money can I give without paying taxes in 2017?

The old proverb “it is better to give than to receive” has much truth to it.  Giving money to family and friends or your favorite charity can be immensely rewarding, both during your lifetime and upon your death.  When you decide to give, there are ways in which to gift your funds so that you do not have to pay taxes on this amount.  Our


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Friday, May 12, 2017

Funding Your Trust


How can a trust help my assets to avoid the probate process?

A trust is one of the most powerful estate planning tools in existence, but unless you fund your trust, it will be of little value. Funding a trust involves transferring assets into the trust.  This can be accomplished by changing the titles on your accounts, property, or beneficiary designations.  Funding a trust can be challenging for individuals with multiple homes or several accounts.  With the help of your California trusts and estate planning attorney, you can ensure your living or irrevocable trust is properly created and funded, allowing your assets to pass to your heirs without the need for probate.


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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Legal Assistance for Fiduciaries


How can an estate planning attorney help me to fulfill my fiduciary duties?

A fiduciary is defined as any person who acts in a representative capacity, with legal authority, on behalf of someone else or a decedent’s estate.  There are several different types of fiduciaries, depending on the context, including a trustee and executor.  Fiduciaries play a vital role in estate planning and those who have been selected as a fiduciary will need to meet stringent legal standards or they could face legal repercussions.  If you have been named as a fiduciary, you should consult with a


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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Estate Planning Essentials for Non-Traditional Families


What important estate planning tools should I use to protect my non-traditional family?

The dynamic of the American family is ever shifting.  Today, a large portion of Americans live in so-called “non-traditional” households.  Non-traditional families often include unmarried couples or stepparents.  While


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Protect Your Retirement with Estate Planning


What estate planning tools can protect me and my loved ones during retirement?

Your retirement should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment.  You’ve worked hard to financially prepare yourself for your golden years.  You may have stashed away significant funds in a retirement account, purchased a home wisely, and maintained a healthy lifestyle, all in anticipation of your ideal retirement.  However, even with the best financial preparation, your retirement may be at risk if you have neglected estate planning.  Our


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

California Law Now Limits Medi-Cal Estate Recovery


What steps can I take to protect myself from a Medi-Cal lien?

Governor Jerry Brown approved legislation last year that limits California’s estate recovery from low income recipients of Medi-Cal.  The new law took effect on January1st of this year, and it considerably limits the power of the state of California to recover from individuals who receive state medical assistance during their lifetime.  As of this year, claims filed by the California Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Program will not exceed the minimum requirements set under federal law.  


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