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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Understanding The Symptoms of Elder Abuse or Neglect


A horrific story hits the news. An aging Californian has been the victim of abuse, either at home or in a nursing home. Your stomach turns. You have elderly loved ones. How can you know if someone is abusing them? You need information to help you in Read more . . .


Friday, August 18, 2017

What is a Domestic Asset Protection Trust?


Americans have used “offshore” or foreign asset protection trusts for decades as a vehicle to shield their wealth from creditors. Courts have invalidated offshore APTs by applying American law to these assets.
Read more . . .


Monday, August 7, 2017

Learning From Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Estate Planning Mistakes


How can I protect my assets after my death?

Philip Seymour Hoffman was a celebrated actor who starred in such famous movies as The Hunger Games and Charlie Wilson’s War.  Hoffman’s talent on the big screen did not, however, equate to skill in estate planning.  Hoffman passed away in 2014 and was survived by his girlfriend and three young children.  He died with only a will drafted by his CPA in place that left his $35 million in assets to his girlfriend, who was to provide for his children.  His lack of an estate plan resulted in the loss of approximately $12 million in taxes.
Read more . . .


Friday, July 21, 2017

When Should You Talk to Your Parents About Their Estate Plan?


Both aging parents and their adult children are often reluctant to talk about the parents’ finances. The parents may feel money is a taboo topic, particularly with one’s children. The adult children do not want to be considered greedy or intrusive. So many people procrastinate until it is too late.

But it can cause significant problems if adult children do not have the financial talk with their parents.
Read more . . .


Monday, July 17, 2017

How Do I Qualify for Medicaid Without Losing All of my Assets?


Most people hope that when they retire, they will have no financial worries. The reality is, too many people are left without sufficient resources to provide for their healthcare needs. Medicaid was put into place to address this reality, providing coverage for certain medical needs to those without sufficient assets.

Medicaid does have certain maximum income and asset restrictions that need to be understood before you apply. If you have too many assets or too high of an income, you may be denied, or you may be forced to sell some of those assets to repay Medicaid or qualify for those benefits.


Read more . . .


Monday, July 10, 2017

Check Your Beneficiary Designations Today


What might happen if I fail to update my beneficiary designations on my life insurance policies, bank accounts, and more?

While most of us put off estate planning, failing to take some basic steps towards preparing for your eventual death could come at a significant cost for your loved ones and your legacy.  One of the most important things you can do is take the time to designate a beneficiary on your insurance policies, bank accounts, and retirement accounts, or update your beneficiary as your life evolves.
Read more . . .


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 . . .


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