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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What to Expect During the Probate Process


During probate, a court supervises the work of gathering a deceased person’s assets and distributing them, whether to pay off creditors or to give heirs the parts of the estate designated for them in the deceased person’s will (or designated by state law if the person died without a will).

Every probate court has a detailed set of rules for the probate process. These include rules about what documents must be filed, what information must be included in those documents, and which deadlines must be met. Many states use part or all of the Uniform Probate Code (UPC), a set of model probate laws created by a team of experts in the process.

A good attorney can help you Read more . . .


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Should I Purchase a Long-Term Care Insurance Plan?


Not many people talk about long-term care, but they should. As the first batch of baby boomers hit the big 65, the conversation will likely gain more traction.

Insurance policies that cover extended nursing care make sense. After all, nursing care and home staff services are expensive. These costs can burn through your savings, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions, becoming more than your family and friends can handle.
Read more . . .


Friday, June 9, 2017

Estate Planning and the Spousal Fiduciary Duty


How could the Spousal Fiduciary Duty impact estate planning in California?

When you say “I do” in California, you not only dedicate yourself to your spouse in sickness and in health, but you also become bound by the Spousal Fiduciary Duty.  In California, the law imposes a legal duty on all married people to act with the upmost honesty and fairness towards his or her spouse.  The Family Code specifically states that marriage imposes the duty of highest good faith and fair dealing, preventing either spouse from taking unfair advantage of the other.  Married Californians should be aware of the Spousal Fiduciary Duty as it can impact your Read more . . .


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Forget bingo! More Americans are working part-time in retirement - Why Are More Seniors Opting to Work During Retirement?


More Americans are working past retirement than ever before. As baby boomers hit the big 65, more and more are opting to continue working. Why are so many seniors choosing to spend their golden years in offices rather than at home? According to California elder law attorneys, there are a number of reasons, not the least of which, is the Read more . . .


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Common Oversights in Estate Planning


Many people think their journey is complete once they’ve completed an estate plan. However, these people, no matter how much planning they’ve done, can still fall victim to common oversights in estate planning. When creating an estate plan, you want to be certain that you’ve incorporated all factors into it.

Even the with the best intentions, you may still forget about some of the most important concepts you should mention in either an estate plan or will. Forgetting to mention these things could dramatically affect the family members or people you are trying to protect.
Read more . . .


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Don’t Have a Will? Here’s What Will Happen to Your Estate


What will happen to my estate if I die without a will in California?

Less than half of all Americans, 44 percent, have a will in place that describes how their estate should be handled after their death, according to the latest Gallup poll.  Many people share the view that a will is unnecessary unless they have a large estate.  However, a will is one of the most vital estate planning tools available to Californians.  Everyone in California, regardless of their age or estate size, should have a will.  Below is a look at what will happen if you die intestate or without a will in California.


Read more . . .


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Who should you appoint as executor in your will?


You already know you should have a will, but maybe you’re getting caught up trying to decide whom you should appoint as your executor. What does the law say? Can you appoint your family members as executors? What about your brother who lives in another state? Can you appoint more than one executor?

California probate laws are reasonably accommodative. However, it may be a good idea to consult a Read more . . .


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Top 3 ways to reduce federal estate tax in 2017


Federal estate taxes are very high. How high you ask? A whopping 40 percent high. This means that if the value of your estate is above the federal exemption, the federal government will claim 40 percent of what is in excess. That’s 40 percent of your estate taken away from your spouse, children, grandchildren and other relatives. Thankfully, with the Read more . . .


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Federal Estate Tax Repeal Could Mean Tax Increase for Californians


Should I postpone making my estate plan until the federal estate tax is repealed?

President Trump has proposed completely eliminating the federal estate tax.  This controversial tax currently remains at 40 percent, but with a Republican House and Senate, it is possible that the tax will soon be reduced or erased.  However, in February, California Senator Scott Weiner introduced a ballot measure that would create a California estate tax in the event the federal estate tax is repealed.  Californians who have been holding out on estate planning till the repeal of the federal estate tax should delay no longer because taxes may just get higher in the state.  

What is the Estate Tax?

The federal estate tax is a tax levied on the net value of the estate of a deceased individual prior to distribution of funds to the heirs.
Read more . . .


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Top Four Reasons Why You Need To Avoid Probate In 2017


You’ve probably heard this before, “You should definitely avoid probate.” Ever wondered what is probate and what makes it so bad you should avoid it at all costs? We’ll tell you why, but first...

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed according to his/her will or according to law.
Read more . . .


Thursday, March 16, 2017

How do I take someone out of my will?


Creating a will gives you the power to decide how your property and other assets will be distributed after your death. As the drafter, you are able to specifically dictate who gets what assets you have remaining. In some cases, this includes taking someone out of your will or otherwise disinheriting them.

Generally, people choose to disinherit someone in their family for a variety of reasons, which can include:

  1. Estrangement
  2. An attempt to protect the interests of one person over another
  3. Ensuring that someone you deem as deserving gets the money or assets you think they deserve
  4. Concerns over the motives of the individual once they have access to your money or other assets

Because disinheriting someone in California can be a very difficult process, you will want to work closely with a Read more . . .


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