I was recently asked how to prevent someone from fraudulently changing the terms of a trust by removing pages and inserting changes. The answer is, the wider the distribution of the trust's contents, the more difficult it is to commit fraud. Distributing multiple copies of the trust instrument will eliminate the possibility of the one and only copy being changed to meet some fraudulent goal. You can also record your living trust with the county recorder's office. Additionally, make sure that … [Read more...] about Preventing Fraudulent Changes in a Trust Document
I was recently asked an in-depth question regarding a spouse qualifying for VA benefits. I thought this topic would be of interest to those who read my blog. Summary of question: My mother recently placed my father in a nursing home due to his dementia, which has proved to be a huge financial burden. However, my mother is not eligible for Veteran's Aid since she has a sizable IRA account and, therefore does not qualify for aid. If she converts her IRA account to an annuity, she could qualify … [Read more...] about Veteran’s Administration Special Pension Programs
As an estate planning attorney I am often confronted with situations where the person who has created a trust has not done all of their homework. In short, I’m talking about situations where the trustor has not undertaken the action necessary to transfer registered title of one or more assets into the name of the trust. As an example, pretend Bill Doe creates a living trust, and notwithstanding instructions given him to do so, he does not change the title ownership of his brokerage account … [Read more...] about Changing Title of Assets into the Trust Name
To read this article, follow the link below to our website Law Firm News section at: http://attorneyoffice.com/estate-planning/news.aspx?cid=10798 … [Read more...] about How The New Estate Tax Exclusion Affects Your Estate Plan
Facts: Partner A and Partner B are partners in an LLC treated for income tax purposes as a partnership and co-shareholders in other entities. Partner A and Partner B have entered into a buy-sell arrangement which among other things provides that in the event of the death of one of them, the other will purchase the deceased shareholder’s interests. The obligations to purchase have been partially funded with life insurance. Thus Partner B is the owner of a life insurance policy on Partner A’s … [Read more...] about Cross Purchase ILIT Example
I was recently asked the above question and wanted to share the answer on my blog. First, we need some clarification. Many people receive MEDICARE, but a person’s assets and income are irrelevant for qualifying for MEDICARE. And there is no recovery for benefits received through the MEDICARE system. So if your parent(s) are only receiving MEDICARE, there are no issues or concerns. On the other hand, MEDI-CAL is a means based program. The applicant’s financial means are examined in order to … [Read more...] about Can the Government Go After Assets in a Trust to Recover Medicare or Medi-Cal Benefits?
Why is it important to have a contract between spouses implementing the aggregate theory of community property? First, what is the difference? California Probate Code Section 100 provides that upon the death of one spouse, one half of each asset belongs to the surviving spouse, and one half of each asset belongs to the deceased spouse. This is commonly known as the “prorate” theory of community property. And it can create problems. For instance, pretend a husband (now deceased and hereinafter … [Read more...] about Aggregate Theory Community Property Agreement
There is a “special needs” child or adult in your life. What should you do? Here are some thoughts to consider. • Change – Nothing will remain as it is right now. The Special Needs Person (“SNP”) grows up and grows older. Their needs today are not likely to be their needs in the future. You need to design flexibility into your estate plan, usually best achieved by creating a trust granting broad authority to address the ever changing environment and appointing a trustee(s) whose discretion you … [Read more...] about Planning Considerations for People with Special Needs
For people who have an estate tax problem and a large portion of their estate is their personal residence, a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (“QPRT”) should be considered. The concept of the QPRT was created by the IRS as part of the valuation regulations issued twenty years ago and in the hands of an accomplished estate planning attorney is a highly effective means by which the value of the taxpayer’s residence can be artificially reduced. This is achieved by the use of a combination of … [Read more...] about Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs)
Life Care Planning is a Family Affair. Whether your loved one is a parent, spouse or special needs loved one . . . whether you live with your loved one, in the next town or across the country . . . dealing with an elderly or disabled loved one can cause countless sleepless nights. The experienced, supportive and knowledgeable attorney, geriatric care manager and support staff at the Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law realize that most people are caught up in today’s hectic … [Read more...] about Life Care Planning – What is It and Who Needs it?