Is Special Needs Planning Something You Need To Understand? Part Two

Many times parents tell the siblings on a special needs child that from their own inheritances, they must provide money to their sibling with child with special needs. This is not a solution that will protect a child with special needs after the death of the parents!  There must be formal planning and assets set aside for the special needs child.  Remember…your other children may have their own family expenses and financial issues.  This does not ensure that special needs child will get the help they need.

It is important for the  parents of a disabled child  to provide clear instructions and a legal documentation that will lessen the burden on the family and create a plan that makes sure the family will understand how to help care for the loved one with disabilities.

It is important for advanced special needs planning!  None of us know when we may die or become incapacitated.  It is important to plan early, just in case something should happen to you earlier than you expected! If there is not a special needs trust set up before parents die, the child with special needs may never be able to compensate for a failure to plan. Special needs beneficiaries cannot directly receive an inheritance without possibly losing their state and or federal benefits which may be critical for their quality of life and medical needs.

 A properly designed special needs trust promotes the comfort and happiness of the special needs beneficiary without sacrificing eligibility of government benefits. These government benefits can include medical and dental expenses, necessary or desirable equipment training and education, housing, transportation and an allowance for food.

If this special needs trust is properly funded, the disabled person also can receive funds to be used for quality-of-life-enhancing expenses. The state and federal laws or rules can change so once a trust is set up, it is important for the assigned trustee to continually seek the  advice of an elder law attorney when administering a special needs trust.

LA LAW Center, PC is happy to discuss your family situation in a free consultation. Please call (818)241-4238.

Is Special Needs Planning Something You Need To Understand? Part One

Understanding the pitfalls associated with special needs planning is a must for all who assist families with  loved ones with special needs. At LA Law Center, PC we want to make sure any family with these concerns know what they need to know to protect their loved ones.There are many misconceptions that may become very costly in the future as fiscal pressures cause state and federal governments to cut back benefits for people with disabilities. So it is critically important that you  proactively and properly plan for loved ones with special needs.

The budget pressures of the federal and state governments make proactive planning for special needs beneficiaries increasingly more important.  It is important not to make the mistakes below that could cause special needs beneficiaries to rely exclusively on shrinking government funds, or that place them in unduly restrictive or ineffective structures.

 Many disabled persons receive Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), Medi-CAL (Medicaid) or other government benefits that provide basic food, shelter and/or medical care. Many professionals(Family Attorneys or Tax Advisors) give bad information and suggest that families disinherit special needs loved ones to protect the public benefits. However,  you need to discuss your family situation with an Elder Law Attorney that understands how to protect a special needs person and ensure the best quality of life possible that may include the benefits of inheriting family money. The best solution is to create a special needs trust to hold the inheritance for a special needs beneficiary.  A properly drafted special needs trust will protect public benefits a disabled beneficiary may be receiving, and it will provide for proper care of that individual throughout their lifetime.

Please check back we our blog and we delve more into how to protect loved ones with special needs.  For specific inforamtion, we offer a free consultation on the phone or in out office. Please call (818) 241-4238.

Estate Planning Advice from Celebrities… do it NOW!

Some people make resolutions, some begin some spring cleaning and organizing, and others just strive to do things better than last year! What many people are not thinking about, and probably should be, is setting up a plan to protect his or her family with an estate plan, will or trust.  Do not wait for a new year… do it now while you are thinking about it…or at least determine what you want to happen with your assets if you are no longer here.

The New Year is a time where people are feeling optimistic about their future and their lives, and are not usually thinking about planning for their death or the death of their loved ones, but setting up a plan in which a person’s personal wishes are legally documented is an important task that should be a part of anyone’s New Years Resolution list. There are a lot of reasons for this preparation: obviously it will protect a person’s wishes in case their life ends suddenly or after a long illness, but establishing the people who will make medical decisions for yourself if you happen to become unfortunately incapacitated is something many people do not think about when debating establishing an estate plan, will or trust.

Some people choose not to worry about the fate of their lives after they become seriously injured or deceased, and that choice has lead to disastrous ends in many circumstances. Here, in Los Angeles, the California court system will decide how a person’s end of life health care decisions are made if there are no legal documents giving those directions. Many families spend years in nasty court battles trying to sort out a loved ones assets because a proper will or trust was not established. Hugely public estate feuds have been apparent for many years involving many high profile celebrities and wealthy individuals, and in each case the need for an established estate plan becomes evermore apparent. Wealthmanagement.com gave a list of celebrities and famous individuals whose end of life plans did not go over as swimmingly as they might have hoped, and they serve as lessons of why these documents are so important for every adult, young or old.

Here are a couple of examples:

Sonny Bono, musician and California Congressman experienced a sudden death after a tragic skiing accident without a will or trust established, that left his wife, Mary, to open up a probate estate and needed to be granted permission to have authority over his music rights after claims from his second wife, Cher, and an alleged love child conflicted the security of his estate of over 1 million dollars.

James Brown wished to leave his entire 100 million dollar fortune in a special trust that was set up to benefit needy children, but because he had not updated his will during the time of his most recent marriage, his money did not get sent to the children in need, or to his family.

The actor John Wayne’s family is battling over the millions in his estate. His daughter Aissa Wayne wants to sell her share of the estate and another child Ethan Wayne will buy her out but needs to come up with a fair market price to do so. They are unable to agree on what that is. He says $10,704,000 while she says 15,400,000. The case is being heard in LA County Superior Court.

Although there are a lot of horror stories of celebrities estates gone wrong, one of the most inspiring high profile estate stories comes from the King of Rock and Roll himself, Mr. Elvis Presley. He had a will, along with estate planning  tools that were put in place to make sure that his finances would be handled appropriately, despite greedy music executives trying to get a hold on his assets.

These are obviously grandiose stories that seem far fetched to most of us, especially considering the sheer amount of money involved in their estates, but similar things happen to people with less assets and wealth every day. These kinds of missteps leave families involved with the court and probate teams for years, and the security that would come with a will or trust is gone.

It is a good time to start making life decisions that leave you and your family healthier and happier than years past. One of the best ways to ensure that your family can continue to live in this way is to plan for the future of your family, even if you aren’t around.

For a free consultation please call 818 241 4238 or go to www.la-lawcenter.com

 

Important Retirement Decisions at Age 70!

Happy birthday!… Now get your act together!!!

In 2016 the first baby boomers will reach age 70. I can not believe it! If you are looking at the big 70 this year, you have critical decisions have to be made that will affect your retirement. These are critical  decisions that you won’t want to forget.

1) Social Security. Sign up if you have not done it yet! Now is the time to receive the maximum benefit from Social Security. There is no advantage to waiting beyond age 70.

2) Required Minimum Distributions- Sign up and begin taking required minimum distribution (RMD) from your tax-deferred plans. The IRS rules state that you must start taking distributions from your IRAs and other tax-deferred plans after you reach age 70 ½. If you miss this deadline or you don’t take out enough, there is a 50% penalty on your taxes. There are a few exceptions but check with your tax advisor!

3) Review your estate plan and make sure you have a plan for long term care in case your health fails! Now is the time to review your plan with an elder law attorney.  Elder law attorneys know the laws of qualifying for nursing home care and moving assets to protect them form Medi-CAL Estate Recovery.  Make sure all of your plans are documented and you have a strong Elder Law Power of Attorney for finances and Advance Health Care Directive  that allows your trusted loved one to help you if you become incapacitated.

If you are in Southern California, LA LAW Center, PC offers free consultations and review of documents, so please call us for an appointment (818) 241-4238.  We are happy to review your documents and discuss Medi-Cal Planning.

Controlling your online identity when you die….

Many years ago, when someone passed away, there were family and friends to notify and a couple of bank accounts to close and maybe a house to transfer to family, well it today it is a different story! Hopefully you have left a list of passwords so your trustee or executor can help with many online issues.

In 2016 there are many things that need to dealt with when you leave this earth.  Every year in this technology era you may add new online presents that someone must deal with when you are gone.

I found this very interesting article that I thought would help those thinking about this issue. please ckick on this article…hope it helps!

Do You Need to Control Your Online Identity After Your Death?

Many Americans are worried about living longer than their assets will last….

Today in 2015, it is a very different time than ever before when it comes to seniors and proper planning.  In particular Americans are thinking about their retirement and how they will survive their golden years.  Being in Los Angeles with the high cost of living this is even more of a concern! There are many strategies to be considered for seniors for retirement and for long term care planning.  I thought this article was an informative one that we should share with our blog readers.

https://www.northwesternmutual.com/about-us/studies/planning-and-progress-2015-study

You can always call us for a confidential consultation regarding Elder law and planning issues regarding VA or Medi-CAL planning. (818) 241-4238

Protect Your Assets!! What You Do Not Know Can Hurt You!

 

Protect your assets!  Just like the busy squirrels that are always hiding and protecting their nuts! We work hard for our assets and need to think about the possibility that there is always someone thinking of a way to get them from us.

Over 19 million new lawsuits are filed in the United States every year.  A great number of these lawsuits can frivolous and trying to settle for a fast buck. California has a reputation for siding with the creditors and making it more difficult to protect our assets!  Anyone that has established a professional business can be a target! Doctors, lawyers, accountants, many types of business owners and multiply property owners need to aware of the risks associated their businesses.

Your assets (home, bank accounts, business assets, etc.), that may be at risk can include, personal liability of corporate officers and directors, lawsuits from former business partners, personal injury suffered on property owned by you or your business or in a car motor accident, professional malpractice liability and many more.
Good Insurance is the first line of defense, but it may not totally protect against lawsuits.  Asset Protection is something that needs to be thought about BEFORE an incident occurs!! You should implement legally-sound protection strategies that will help preserve your wealth and safeguard your assets.
You need to make sure you are confident about the risk you personally or in business could have and then consult an asset protection attorney to evaluate the best and most cost effective ways to legally protect your stash of NUTS from any potential creditors.

We offer free confidential reviews of your current estate and give you levels of asset protection strategies.  Call us at 818.241.4238 or go to www.la-lawcenter.com

Wealthy Individuals and Families and Keeping Their Estates in Order are Exhausted These Days!

Wealthy individuals and families have many options and concerns about protecting their assets and planning for retirement.  In Los Angeles the cost of living and taxes are another big consideration in our plans. Older people with assets really need to talk to an asset protection attorney that understand asset preservation for long term care.  Today’s society seems exhausted by all of the choices and decisions they must make…read more …http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/29/wealthy-suffer-from-estate-planning-fatigue.html

At LA Law Center we try to help families focus on what is critical in planning their estates!

Call for free consultation! (818)241-4238

 

What Can We Learn from Robin Williams and His Estate?

It is important for everyone to make plans for your death…just in case!!!  We see many celebrity families in major public court battles over assets, weather they have major financial value or sometimes even more important great sentimental value. It is extremely important to set up exact directions for distribution of personal effects and other assets, if there is more than one marriage involved in the family… or there is a significant other that you want to leave assets when you are gone.  There are trusts that allow assets to be divided upon the death of first spouse, so that person’s children will still be beneficiaries if there is a second spouse.  It is very sad to see Robin Williams family fighting in court… hopefully this story will give you a nudge to make sure your affairs are in order before it is too late!  This is the latest about the Williams legal battle… read more..

Senior Scammers… What Can You do?

Today’s Senior Scammers continue to try to dupe our older citizens by trial and error and when it works, they hit hard! They are very good at mostly phone calls that generally have an urgent nature with the target of getting money from an unsuspecting senior.  As an adult child or loved one, you may be able to easily spot a scam, but elderly people are targeted and they may not tell you about the scammer. Talking to your senior loved ones and paying attention as well knowing what to look for with the most common scammers can help you protect your older loved ones to stay safe from scammers. Read more here.   Or go to   http://seniors.lovetoknow.com/estate-financial-planning/scams-that-target-senior-citizens

At LA LAW Center we will be happy to help you with any possible scammer and explaining this to your senior loved one!