Executor… Agent… Trustee… What are all these things???

Trustee… Executor… Agent…  POA… Will… Trust… When you have a Trust based estate plan you end up having a number of legal documents that accomplish different tasks; are usable at different times and the people who might act under them have different titles. For your Trust – it is effective immediately – throughout your life…

Why Adding Your Adult Children to Your Bank Account or Real Estate is NOT the Best Way to Plan

Some people think that the “easy” way to avoid probate – or even just the “easy” way to be sure that their “loved ones” can access their money to care for them in the event of incapacity is to add them to their bank accounts or even their real estate. This is the wrong way…

Common Initial Steps to Take When Someone Has Died

Typical Initial Steps to Take When Someone Has Died After someone passes on, who will have the authority to handle things will depend on whether or not they had an estate plan. If they had a trust or will based plan then the Trustee and/or the Executor, is authorized and empowered to carryout all duties…

Talking to Your Elderly Loved Ones about their Estate Plan

As an estate planning attorney I am frequently asked how to go about approaching the subject of estate planning with elderly parents.  This can be a tough conversation but it is certainly an important and valuable one to have, for both generations. The following is a list of typical questions to begin the dialogue: •…

What causes a person’s estate to go through Probate??

Probate in California happens when the following facts are in alignment: #1 – a person died #2 – they were over 18 #3 – they owned assets – house, car, bank accounts, cds, stock, bonds, etc – any one of these or any combination of these #4 – the assets they did own were in…

Final Wishes – Who Will Make Your Funeral Arrangements?

Originally written in November 2010 Just received a call from a long time client who is the Conservator for his Mom – she just passed away and now the mortuary he wants to have do her final arrangements is stating they need ALL of her children to agree on what is to be done. Under…

Healthcare Agents and Medical Decisions

Originally written in September 2010 I encourage all of my clients to consider signing a healthcare power of attorney. This document gives broad powers to someone you trust, such as a spouse, sibling, or close friend, to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are ever unable to make such decisions for yourself. However,…

Our Unique Process to Help Clients Create their Estate Plan

In our office we have a fairly well defined process for helping clients create their estate plan.  We constantly review this process & our systems to improve the experience for our clients and to insure that we are delivering state of the art legal assistance. When a prospective client calls they will speak with my…

MediCal 101 – The Three Phases of MediCal for Long Term Care (updated for 2017)

When a person needs to be in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and they cannot afford to private pay and if they did not obtain Long Term Care Insurance, then in the State of California they would look to Medi-Cal as a possible payment solution. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. This is a public health…

What Happens When a Person Dies Without a Will or a Trust? What is intestate?

When you pass away, who will inherit your assets/your estate is dependent on a number of factors. One of the most important factors is how your assets are titled. If the asset was in a trust – it will be controlled by the terms of that trust. If the asset was held jointly with another…