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Estate Planning

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Nursing Home Ratings: How to Find a High-Quality Home


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a Five-Star Quality Rating System “to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and to help identify areas about which you may want to ask questions.” The rating system was a wealth of information, but one can easily get lost in so much data.

A California long-term-care planning attorney can help you plan and prepare for the move into a long-term care facility. Now, let’s talk about using nursing home ratings: how to find a high-quality home.

The Rating System

The CMS nursing home rating system uses a simple five-star rating methodology.
Read more . . .


Saturday, April 9, 2022

What is the Difference Between an Executor and a Trustee?


The terminology in the administration of the estate of a deceased person can be confusing. Three of the principal terms one needs to understand are executor, trustee, and administrator. An administrator processes the estate of a person who dies without leaving a valid will or trust, a situation called dying intestate. An executor follows the instructions of a deceased person’s will. A trustee manages and distributes the assets of the decedent according to the terms of a living trust.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 21, 2022

Attorney Safeguarding Your Assets from Creditors & Lawsuits


You have worked hard to accumulate your assets and property. However, you could lose a substantial portion of your savings and assets because of a lawsuit. Even if you were not at fault, a jury could decide you are liable. If so, the party seeking compensation could pursue claims against your assets.

After your death, creditors could file claims against your estate.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Debunking 4 Myths About California Trusts


There is so much misinformation going around about trusts and other estate planning topics that we thought we would clear up a few things. You do not want to rely on what your friend’s uncle’s brother’s neighbor’s coworker’s golf buddy supposedly said about California trusts.
Read more . . .


Thursday, February 17, 2022

What is the Difference Between a POLST and an Advance Healthcare Directive?


A Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a physician order that helps give people with severe illnesses more control over the end-of-life care they will receive. A POLST and an advanced healthcare directive can include some of the same terms and instructions, but there are quite a few differences between these documents.

A California estate planning attorney can explain these documents and answer your questions, such as, what is the difference between a POLST and an advance healthcare directive? Your lawyer can also draft these and other documents to help you be prepared for future situations.

Differences Between a POLST and an Advance Healthcare Directive

Here are the ways in which a POLST and an advance healthcare directive are not the same:

  • They are different types of documents. An advance directive is a legal document, whereas a POLST is a medical order.
    Read more . . .


Monday, February 14, 2022

The Right Questions to Ask When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility


Looking for an assisted living center for your aging loved one can cause high anxiety. You want your relative to be happy, safe, and healthy, but you might not have confidence in your ability to select the right place, particularly if you have never gone through this process before.

Here is a sampling of the right questions to ask when choosing an assisted living facility. A California estate planning attorney can provide additional guidance and draft legal documents to make sure your loved one is protected and prepared.

How Many Residents Live at the Facility and at What Level of Assistance?

When there are enough residents, the facility is likely to have more variety in its activities, food options, floor plans, and other features than a smaller center.
Read more . . .


Friday, February 11, 2022

10 Worst Retirement Planning Mistakes to Avoid


Planning for retirement can be overwhelming. Either it feels so far away that you might not think you need to do anything about it yet, or you might think that it will be impossible to save enough money, so you give up entirely. A sound retirement plan could help you avoid both of these extreme positions and give you financial security and peace of mind.

It is challenging to plan for something you have never experienced, like retirement. The fear of making a mistake can lead to anxiety.
Read more . . .


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.
Read more . . .


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.

Read more . . .


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.
Read more . . .


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.
Read more . . .


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