If an estate plan is in place, the first place to look for an answer to this question is in the estate planning documents. Normally the documents will set forth a procedure for making a determination of incapacity, and the provisions of one document (such as a living trust) might be different than those included in another (such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Property Management or a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions). A thorough/comprehensive set of documents will likely … [Read more...] about Who Determines Incapacity?
The court proceedings known as “probate” has one primary function, to change the legal title of assets held in the name of a decedent to the name of the new legal owners (the decedent’s heirs). Although there is much more to it than that, if it weren’t for the need to change legal title upon someone’s death, there would be no need to undertake a probate. Assets which will pass to the decedent’s lawful heirs without the need of doing a probate (in California) are: 1) life insurance and pension … [Read more...] about What is Probate?
When it comes to issues of Medi-Cal and the primary residence, there are two situations which need to be considered, qualification to receive Medi-Cal benefits and Medi-Cal recovery against the home after a person has died. Qualification Although there are several situations which can result in the home being considered exempt for purposes of qualifying to receive Medi-Cal benefits, all of which are set forth in Cal Code Regs. Tit. 22 §50425, there is one exemption which normally makes all the … [Read more...] about Medi-Cal Qualification-Home Sweet Home
Yes, we are in crisis, but only because we don’t know where we are. Technically, the Federal Estate Tax has been repealed as of January 1, 2010. However, under the current law, the Estate Tax comes back January 1, 2011 but with a lower exemption ($1,000,000) and a higher maximum tax rate (55%). It seems our government caught the entire professional estate planning community flat footed on this one because no one in their right mind anticipated that we would ever see a one year repeal of the … [Read more...] about Estate Tax Crisis of 2010
In 2001 the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (“EGTRA”) was passed which among other things repealed the Federal Estate Tax. But because of budget limitations, the repeal is for only one year, the year 2010. January 1, 2011, the estate tax comes back automatically unless the law is again changed by Congress. At the same time is made a change in the law pertaining to capital gains taxes to reflect this repeal. When the estate tax was repealed, the law was changed to provide … [Read more...] about Uncertainty About the 2010 Estate Tax Repeal