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Finding the Off Ramp for Your Business Ownership

Posted by Susan Katzen | Jan 12, 2023 | 0 Comments

Business plans often address marketing, growth, and product development issues. However, business owners fail to create an exit strategy, succession plan, or acquisition plan. Although you’re not ready to sell your business or retire now, preparing for the future of your business is crucial. You should decide who to leave your business to when you retire or if you unexpectedly die. You can also include contingencies for an injury, illness, or incapacitation.

How to Make a Charitable Bequest with an IRA

Posted by Susan Katzen | Jan 08, 2023 | 0 Comments

You can donate retirement accounts, such as an IRA, by distributing the proceeds to charity. However, the tax benefits for donating this way are minimal. A tax-efficient donation strategy is to contribute your retirement fund directly to a charitable organization as part of your estate plan.

Why a Power of Attorney Is So Important for Your College Student

Posted by Susan Katzen | Dec 09, 2022 | 0 Comments

When most people think about estate planning tools such as power of attorney, they imagine that they are solely for people who already have children, who have significant assets, or who are nearing the end of their lives. However, you may be surprised to know that many will lawyers also recommend that college students have powers of attorney in place for both their healthcare and their finances. While your college-aged child may not require other aspects of a full estate plan, these power of attorney documents could nevertheless be vital.

TOD Beneficiary: What You Should Know

Posted by Susan Katzen | Dec 09, 2022 | 0 Comments

Your named beneficiaries will likely have to go through probate to receive your real property after your death if it is only in your name and not held in trust. Although transferring property into trust can ensure your family does not have to wait for a judge to validate your will before distributing your assets, it might not make sense for your situation. Another beneficial method is a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed. A TOD deed transfers a person’s real property to named beneficiaries upon the transferor’s death. It is similar to a transfer-on-death registration for an investment account or a payable-on-death designation for a bank account.

“What Is Portability in an Estate Plan?”

Posted by Susan Katzen | Dec 09, 2022 | 0 Comments

Federal estate tax law includes a provision called portability. This provision only applies to married couples. It allows the surviving spouse to use any part of their deceased spouse’s unused estate and gift tax exemption. Including portability in an estate plan protects the surviving spouse from significant estate tax bills if the deceased spouse’s estate didn’t exceed exemption thresholds. With the deceased spouse’s unused exclusion (DSUE), the surviving spouse can transfer their spouse’s unused federal gift or estate tax exemption upon death.

Wedding Bells Later in Life? What Newlywed Seniors Need to Know About Their Estate Plans

Posted by Susan Katzen | Dec 04, 2022 | 0 Comments

Some seniors don’t expect to remarry after a divorce or the death of a spouse. However, life is full of surprises. You could meet someone at any age, even during your retirement years. Many older adults bring various assets and debts into a new relationship. They might also have children from a previous marriage, one or multiple businesses, and collections they’ve worked hard to accumulate. Without adequate estate planning, you or your spouse could encounter significant problems if one of you dies or suffers a debilitating medical condition.

Newport Beach Trust Lawyer on the Elements of a Valid Trust

Posted by Susan Katzen | Nov 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

When creating a trust with a Newport Beach trust lawyer, it is important to understand the specific roles involved. The grantor is the person who establishes a trust. The designated beneficiary is the person who receives the assets held in trust when the grantor dies. Probate is unnecessary because trust property passes outside the last will and testament or intestacy law.

What Single Seniors Need to Know About Their Estate Plan

Posted by Susan Katzen | Nov 19, 2022 | 0 Comments

Whether you’re a single senior who lives alone or one who lives with a partner, establishing a new estate plan or modifying an existing one is essential. You might wish to leave assets to your partner that they could not get through intestate succession, or maybe you have children you want to leave your assets to. Perhaps there are organizations you want to receive a charitable donation upon your death. Whatever your final wishes, you should create a legally enforceable estate plan now.

Trust Attorney Answers, “Is it Better to Inherit Stocks or Cash?”

Posted by Susan Katzen | Nov 11, 2022 | 0 Comments

When you’re inheriting either cash or stocks, one isn’t better or worse than the other. Each offers benefits. Having money in hand upon a family member's death means the ability to use it immediately for any purpose. However, there’s also the risk of quickly running out of the entire inheritance. A stock inheritance allows someone to start or add to their investment portfolio. However, it can also lead to tax liabilities.

Why Moving Is So Hard for People with Dementia

Posted by Susan Katzen | Nov 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

Newport Beach elder law attorneys know that making the decision to move an elderly loved one into an assisted living facility is never easy. However, when your elderly parent or grandparent is struggling with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the situation can be particularly challenging.

Long-Term Care Costs Are Rising — Here’s What You Should Know | Newport Beach Elder Law Attorney

Posted by Susan Katzen | Oct 13, 2022 | 0 Comments

Due to advances in medical technology, more Americans are living longer. In many ways, this is great news. However, this situation has brought about some significant challenges that all aging people now have to face. One of the most pressing concerns is the rising cost of long-term care. Understanding how to cope with the increase of this financial burden can make life easier both for you and your family.

Newport Beach Probate Attorney on What You Need to Know about an Estate Inventory

Posted by Susan Katzen | Oct 06, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you are serving as the executor of someone’s will, one of the most important tasks you will need to do is to complete an inventory of the decedent’s estate. This could feel like an overwhelming process, especially if the deceased person had a lot of assets. However, knowing more about the process you are about to embark on can help you feel a lot more prepared. Here is everything you need to know about an estate inventory.

Newport Beach Estate Lawyer on What You Need to Know About Decluttering and Downsizing for Your Loved One

Posted by Susan Katzen | Sep 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

It can be difficult to say goodbye to the things we own. Older adults might have an even harder time doing so because many of their possessions may hold decades of meaning or sentimental value, and the thought of parting with these mementos can bring up a lot of unexpected emotions. At some point, however, it will become necessary to let many of those things go. Decluttering and downsizing can make life much more manageable for your elderly relative. If you are about to start clearing out unneeded items from your loved one’s home, here are a few tips to help the process go as smoothly as possible for everyone.

Estate Planning Lessons from Disney’s Encanto

Posted by Susan Katzen | Sep 14, 2022 | 0 Comments

In the early part of 2022, many young families spent a lot of time watching Disney’s award-winning animated film Encanto. Repeatedly. While the movie is obviously a great source of entertainment for kids, Newport Beach estate planning attorneys have also noticed that it contains a lot of valuable lessons that can help people prepare for their family’s future.

Ten Facts to Understand about Living Wills

Posted by Susan Katzen | Sep 07, 2022 | 0 Comments

A living will is not a last will and testament used to pass your assets and property after you die. Instead, it is a mechanism to communicate to your family and doctors how you want medical care conducted when you aren't able. Your living will is an essential part of an estate plan to help you and your family in an emergency. No one will have to guess your choices, which may even prevent quarrels over treatment options to employ during a heightened emotional time.

An Overview of Trusts and the Trustee's Role

Posted by Susan Katzen | Aug 31, 2022 | 0 Comments

No matter where you are in the estate planning process or if you are just starting to consider your options, you probably have questions about how you want your assets distributed and who should be given that responsibility. A trust can be a great tool in your estate planning tool kit. A properly created trust can give you and your family more options and privacy than a will.

Why Disinheriting Your Special Needs Child for Benefit Protection is Unnecessary

Posted by Susan Katzen | Aug 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

Families with special needs children face unique challenges and opportunities to protect their children’s futures. Providing appropriate medical, educational, recreational, and employment opportunities for your special needs child can result in a lifetime of pursuing public and private programs and services. Too often, the parents or persons responsible for financial and medical management of the special needs child receive misguided advice to disinherit them.

Planning for Special Needs Children and Adult Children

Posted by Susan Katzen | Aug 17, 2022 | 0 Comments

What are special needs? Special needs is a specific disability type requiring focused attention on education for those with learning difficulties, behavioral or emotional problems, or physical disabilities. For example, individuals with autism, ADHD, Asperger syndrome, Down syndrome, dyscalculia, dyslexia, deafness, blindness, and cystic fibrosis fall into the special needs category, as do cleft lips, missing limbs, and more. The US government combines this group into the overall classification of disability, and current US Census data estimates the US disabled population to be 12.7 percent or 41.1 million individuals.

Fund a Special Needs Trust with Life Insurance

Posted by Susan Katzen | Aug 10, 2022 | 0 Comments

The parents of a special needs child have unique responsibilities when looking to the future care of their child. Funding a special needs trust (SNT) with life insurance is one of the most important things you can do to provide additional monies while protecting eligibility for government benefit programs. Life insurance policies provide special needs families and their children comfort and security. If families experience future financial setbacks (one or both parents die early, lessening wealth accumulation), money will still be available for their child’s future.

Naming a Special Needs Child as a Beneficiary of an IRA or Retirement Plan in a Trust

Posted by Susan Katzen | Aug 04, 2022 | 0 Comments

Leaving behind assets to benefit a child with special needs requires careful planning to protect their needs-based government benefits. It is also important to protect those assets against later claims after your death and, in some cases, during your lifetime, for additional available public benefits such as Medicaid. Many parents choose to set up a special needs trust for their child with a disability, but can you put beneficiary-named accounts in this trust? A lot of wealth may be in your IRA and 401(k) that requires naming a beneficiary. Know the risks when naming your special needs trust as a beneficiary of your retirement accounts.

Five Must-have Legal Documents

Posted by Susan Katzen | Jul 18, 2022 | 0 Comments

An estate plan is necessary for all Americans who want to protect themselves and their families. Making sound decisions regarding finances and healthcare can become challenging as you age due to diminished mental capacity or declining health. Putting these five must-have legal documents in place before life becomes too difficult to handle is crucial for your protection and wishes. It is not legally permissible for you to create these documents if you are too far into ill health, and guardianship will become necessary for decision-making on your behalf. Retaining a trusted elder law attorney is the first step to setting these legal guidelines to carry out your wishes.

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