Funeral, Burial & Memorial Arrangments

Funeral, Burial & Memorial Arrangements             An important estate planning consideration that sometimes gets overlooked is the funeral, burial and memorial arrangements.  What do you want?  Who do you want to be in charge?  How will the expenses be paid?  Do you wish to have your burial site cared and maintained on a regular basis? […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Liability for unpaid agents acting under a Power of Attorney

In 2011, uncompensated agents who act under a power of attorney as another’s agent for financial and property affairs may now be held more easily accountable for a loss to the principal’s property.  Previously, uncompensated agents were not liable unless the loss resulted from the attorney-in-fact’s bad faith, intentional wrongdoing, or gross negligence.  That immunity […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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A General Assignment of Assets to one’s Living Trust can help avoid a Probate.

                Re-titling assets, like stock and bonds, from one’s name into one’s living trust is necessary to avoiding an unnecessary probate of such assets if held outside of the trust.  Sometimes people fail to transfer some or all of their intended trust assets into their trust.  A general assignment […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Tying Up Loose Ends

Getting one’s affairs in order is not complete until all loose ends are tied-up.   Loose ends can otherwise unravel some part of one’s estate plan.  Let’s take a look at some common problem areas. Examine who are the legally designated primary and alternative beneficiaries to your retirement accounts.  Retirement plans are a sizable element of […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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When a beneficiary dies before receiving the full inheritance

The longer the administration of a deceased person’s estate takes the greater the chance that a surviving beneficiary might die before receiving his or her full inheritance.  In that case, what happens to the deceased beneficiary’s undistributed inheritance?  The answer depends on a variety of factors.  Let’s consider, for example, a hypothetical trust established by […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Trustee Duty to Inform Beneficiaries Cannot Be Waived

Many trusts documents waive the trustee’s duty to account and to report to the beneficiaries.  This is allowed by law subject, however, to a court nonetheless requiring such an accounting when necessary to protect the beneficiaries.  The duty to provide accountings is often waived by the trust’s creator because the creator wants to reduce trust […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Domestic Partners & Tax Returns

When filing their income tax returns, Registered Domestic Partners must now report half of their community property earnings on their federal individual tax returns.  The IRS issued a letter in 2010 ruling reversing its prior position. Accordingly, each domestic partner reports half of his/her income and half of his/her partner’s income when filing their individual […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Good News Regarding Medi-Cal

        This past weekend I attended a very informative legal education seminar in Sacramento regarding Medi-Cal.  It focused on the proposed (draft) Medi-Cal regulations that will eventually implement the dreaded 2005 federal Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) legislation; that greatly constrict Medicaid eligibility nationwide.  There was also a 1 hour question and answer session […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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