CA Estate Planning Blog

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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Friday, March 3, 2017

Proving The Old Adage Right

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” -Benjamin Franklin

Truer words have never been spoken, and it is the intersection of these two certainties that leads to many a headache and oftentimes heartache. Working with an experienced attorney can help ensure that all the taxes owed are paid without unduly burdening surviving family members or other beneficiaries of an estate.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Living In A Tax Deduction

You have probably heard about how Hugh Hefner sold the Playboy Mansion but retained the right to live there until he dies. And you might have read that Zsa Zsa Gabor did something similar since to her famous estate, leaving her (ninth) husband, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, homeless when she died. But did you know that quite a few non-famous people are also selling or gifting away their home while keeping the right to live in it?

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Do Heirs Have to Pay Off Their Loved One's Debts?

The recent economic recession, and staggering increases in health care costs have left millions of Americans facing incredible losses and mounting debt in their final years. Are you concerned that, rather than inheriting wealth from your parents, you will instead inherit bills? The good news is, you probably won’t have to pay them.

As you are dealing with the emotional loss, while also wrapping up your loved one’s affairs and closing the estate, the last thing you need to worry about is whether you will be on the hook for the debts your parents leave behind. Generally, heirs are not responsible for their parents’ outstanding bills. Creditors can go after the assets within the estate in an effort to satisfy the debt, but they cannot come after you personally.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ Estate Plans

A few months ago we blogged about how Khloe Kardashian stepped in to make medical decisions for her estranged husband Lamar Odom even though they were in the process of getting divorced. We encouraged you to update your medical directives and healthcare power of attorney documents as you go through life and your family circumstances change because you might not trust your soon-to-be ex as much as Odom trusted Khloe.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Once You Give A Gift, It’s Gone

Slate’s advice columnist, Mallory Ortberg, aka “Dear Prudence,” recently answered an interesting question involving heirloom etiquette that every person who is planning on gifting specific items in their estate plan should read.  


"Diamond drama: A few years ago, my grandfather carried out one of my grandmother’s final wishes before her death. She had a beautiful wedding band with seven sizable diamonds and, incidentally, seven granddaughters.

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Becomes Law

On December 7, 2016, the Senate approved the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, allowing competent individuals with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Military Benefits Mess Not A Surprise

From 2004 to 2015, some members of the California National Guard were given bigger bonuses than they should have for reenlisting. When the government attempted to claw-back the money, they ruined a bunch of soldiers’ finances, and sparked public outrage. For those of us that deal with military and veterans’ benefits on a regular basis, this mess was not surprising.
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