Estate Planning for Special Assets

            There are often particular assets in one’s estate which may require special consideration either due to its nature, value, or significance.  Let us consider some types of special assets and how they might be handled.             Businesses that require a license or special expertise will require that a special trustee […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Caring for Dependent Adult Children.

           Parents with dependent adult children with disabilities or mental illnesses are naturally concerned about who will care for their children when they can no longer do so themselves.  Dependent children, after all, often live at their parents’ home, receive substantial personal care and financial assistance from their parents and rely on their parents to […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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The Importance of the Residuary Clause.

          Is a residuary clause necessary in a will or trust? Yes, both a will and a trust should always contain a residuary clause in addition to any specific bequest clauses. The bulk of a decedent’s estate, if not all of it, typically passes according to the terms of the decedent’s testamentary residuary clause.  Let […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Inherited IRA’s are not Protected Retirement Plans

An Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) that is inherited by a designated death beneficiary will not be treated as a retirement account exempt from the beneficiary’s creditors inside a bankruptcy. So decided the US Supreme Court on June 12, 2014, in Clark et ux v. Rameker.  Let us review the benefits of retirement accounts and what […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Preserving the Step Up in Basis at Death of Second Spouse

    The income tax concept of “basis” figures prominently in estate planning. On the sale (or final disposition) of an asset, the seller’s basis is used to calculate whether the seller has a gain or loss for income taxes.     A capital gains tax occurs when an asset is sold or more than its […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Affordable Care Act & Expanded Medi-Cal

  Under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), low income persons under age sixty-five (65) may enroll in the expanded Medi-Cal in order to meet the federal requirement that everyone have health care insurance. At age 65, Medi-care covers doctor visits, hospital visits, and some prescription drugs.  Medi-Cal, however, remains relevant for long term residential custodial […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Using Irrevocable Trusts in Needs Based Benefit Planning.

           Medi-Cal and VA “needs based” benefits planning confronts both front end eligibility issues and back-end estate recovery issues.  Medi-Cal and VA benefit rules differ.  Planning for both together, when relevant, requires satisfying two different sets of rules.  Such planning often involves transfers of real and personal property by the person […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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The Right to Make Personal Care decisions.

              Under California law every person is presumed to be competent to make his or her own personal care decisions unless otherwise determined incompetent by a court.  Nonetheless capacity decisions are made all the time by others that affect one’s rights. Seniors may be especially concerned about others taking away their decision making […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Good News For Trusts that Manage Real Estate.

              In the recent Frank Aragona Trust case, 142 T.C. No. 9 (2014), the US Tax Court reached a taxpayer favorable decision, one that benefits trusts that materially participate in real estate business activities.  For years, the IRS has steadfastly refused to allow trusts to deduct net operating losses related to real estate […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Financial Elder Abuse and Undue Influence

              On January 1, 2014, California amended its statutory definition of “Undue Influence” in section 15610.70 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.  This new definition of “Undue Influence” applies both to “financial elder abuse” that affects the victim while alive and also to undue influence that affect the victim’s “testamentary dispositions” after death. […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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