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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Administering a Living Trust After Someone Dies


If your loved one died and named you as the Successor Trustee of a living trust, you will have a great deal of work to do while dealing with your grief and loss. The good news is that because your loved one left a living trust, usually you will not have to go to probate court. The downside is that, even though there are far fewer steps to go through than with a will or a situation of intestacy, serving as the trustee of an estate can take a year or more.

You do not have to go through all of this process alone. A California estate planning attorney can work with you and do much of the heavy lifting on your behalf.
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Thursday, January 20, 2022

What is in a California Estate Plan?


The specific documents in a California estate plan can vary somewhat. The general concept of a California estate plan is a combination of documents that protect the individual while one is alive and the heirs and beneficiaries after one’s death.

Everyone has a unique situation and different goals and needs, which is why one person’s estate plan might contain different papers than another person’s estate plan. A California estate planning attorney can evaluate what you need and answer your questions, like, what is in a California estate plan?

What is Usually Included in a California Estate Plan?

The “starter kit” of a California estate plan typically includes a basic living trust, a pour-over will, a durable power of attorney for financial matters, a living will or healthcare directive, and a HIPAA medical records authorization. The purpose of these documents is:

  • A basic living trust keeps you from dying intestate (without a valid will or trust) and helps you to avoid the loss of privacy and the expense of having a will go through probate court.

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Monday, January 17, 2022

Hidden Traps in Outdated Living Trusts


If you created a living trust 10 or 20 years ago, you probably need to update it to avoid problems for yourself and your beneficiaries. Even a living trust from five years ago could need some revisions if it is going to meet your current goals and needs.
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Saturday, December 11, 2021

Estate Administration: What Does it Mean to File the Inventory?


If you are named to serve as the personal representative of a loved one’s estate, you will have many responsibilities under the California probate code. One of these tasks is to file an inventory with the probate court. You will have to follow the rules and perform this task correctly before the judge will approve the inventory.

California law allows you to work with professionals when administering an estate. A California estate planning attorney can help you with estate administration and explain what it means to file the inventory.
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Saturday, December 11, 2021

What is the Best Way to Ensure My Children Inherit My Home?


For many people, their home is their largest asset. Therefore, they want their children to inherit their home. Working with a California estate planning attorney is the best way to ensure your children inherit your home after your death.

Leaving Your Home to Your Adult Children

There are four basic ways you can leave your home to your children in your estate plan:

Last Will and Testament

Most individuals choose this simple route to pass their home and other assets to their children. Your Will allows you to choose who inherits your property.
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Saturday, December 11, 2021

How Difficult is it to Change my Will after it is Finalized?


You might decide sometime after making a will that you want to change some of the terms of the document. Perhaps one of the beneficiaries is now deceased, or you no longer own an item you gave away in the will.
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Sunday, November 14, 2021

What You Need to Know About the Latest Developments in Health Care Directives and Dementia Directives


Dementia is one of the common health issues that individuals face as they age. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia cause a person to lose their memory. They also lose the ability to understand many of the things going on around them, including the ability to make health care decisions.

A California elder law attorney assists you in executing documents that protect your right to choose your medical care. It is important to make your desires known now while you can make informed decisions about medical treatments and care for dementia-related illnesses.
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Sunday, November 14, 2021

How are Annuities and Retirement Benefits Treated for Tax Purposes?


As you evaluate your preparations for retirement, you need to know how your income will get taxed after you stop working and have a fixed income. Many people rely primarily or solely on Social Security retirement benefits when they retire. Pensions are not as commonplace as they used to be. Some people invest in annuities and wonder if doing so was a prudent financial decision.

A California estate planning attorney can answer your questions, like, “How are annuities and retirement benefits treated for tax purposes?” and draft your estate planning documents.


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Sunday, November 14, 2021

10 Tips For Family Caregivers: Tips for Caring for Elderly Parents with Dementia


Serving as the caregiver for an aging relative with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be exhausting, stressful, and isolating. Since millions of Americans find themselves in this situation, it could help if you have a few pointers to help you on this challenging path.

A California elder law attorney can provide guidance on the many legal issues that you and your loved one might face. This blog will give an overview of suggestions in several areas of caregiving, like everyday care, changes in communication and behavior, a healthy and active lifestyle, home safety, and taking care of the caregiver. Here are 10 tips for family caregivers: tips for caring for elderly parents with dementia.
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Sunday, October 31, 2021

What Can We Learn About Estate Planning from Britney Spears' Situation?


The shocking truth that we all need to realize is that what happened to Britney Spears could happen to any of us. A judge could take away your control over your income, the assets you have built up over the years, your right to make medical decisions, and nearly everything else that matters to you. A court could appoint someone to make all of your decisions, even against your wishes.

The good news is that you can take steps now to protect yourself from an outcome like what Britney Spears has experienced. You can sign legal documents now to select people you trust to act on your behalf if you should ever become incapacitated, permanently or temporarily, from an illness, accident, or some other reason.
Read more . . .


Saturday, October 30, 2021

Understanding the Types of Guardianships


California allows for two types of probate guardianships for minor children and adults – guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate. In the guardianship of the person, the court-appointed guardian acts in the place of a parent and makes the day-to-day kinds of decisions that a parent would for a child or that a competent adult would make for himself. A guardian of the estate, also called a conservator, manages the financial affairs of the minor child or incapacitated adult.

A Read more . . .


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