Many people assume that if you have been a couple for a long time in California, that you eventually become legally married under common law. California does NOT recognize common law marriage regardless of how long you have been together, and/or if you declare to others that you are married. Under California law, unless a couple is legally married or has a legal domestic partnership, the surviving life partner may not be provided for by the estate. Learn how to avoid this!
Stepping into the role of trustee can be emotional and stressful and disagreements may happen. The trust must dictate how the co-trustees need to proceed when they disagree. This could be by unanimous decision, majority rules, and in worse case scenario, a court must break a tie. Co-trustees is a risk that can lead to hurt feelings and family strife. Learn some tips on how to avoid this.
There are generally three types of fee structures: Flat Rate, Fee-for Service (may be called “point” system), and/or a hybrid, sometimes referred to as Levels of Care. Some places are creative in how they assess care charges but these three buckets will give you a general idea of what you are most likely to encounter in an Assisted Living environment.
Federal estate taxes have been significantly decreased, effective as of Jan. 1, 2018. For single individuals, if you die in 2018, there is no estate tax imposed unless you own more than approximately $11.2 million. For married couples, the estate tax exemption is now over $22.4 million per couple. This exempt amount will continue to increase until Jan. 1, 2026, when the law automatically sunsets and the exemption returns to approximately $5 million per person. Learn more about the New Tax Fix AB Split.
It is incredibly important to recognize that you have emotional and physical needs, and to take preventative steps so that you do not compromise your personal well-being. If you do not fill your own cup, who will? If you are in need of some suggestions for caregiving resources in your area, please contact our office at (408) 286-2122. We are always here to help in any capacity we can, either as attorneys or as a resource.
You should feel really proud of yourself if you have done your estate plan. You made it easier for your family to care for you if you become incapacitated, and you have avoided the probate process at your death by creating a living trust. Did you finish your estate planning homework? Did you actually fund your trust?
You finally committed to making an estate plan, and now you are in possession of a big binder or envelope full of your original documents. Now, the question is where to put it, or if you created your documents many years ago, do you know where they are? Here are some tips to keep these documents organized, handy, and safe.
A holographic will is a handwritten will (no typing on the computer) that is valid in California if it meets certain requirements identified at California Probate Code §§6110-6111. Although it seems cost-effective to be able to simply jot down your final wishes next to that crossword puzzle you were trying to finish, there are potentially some major pitfalls.
When you are healthy and independent, it can be hard to imagine a life where you cannot make decisions for yourself. Change, however, can happen suddenly and it is important that you empower your family to speak for you if you have an accident or a serious illness. Talking with your loved ones now and proactively planning for the future is the best way to ensure that your desires will be respected.