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Estate Planning 101

       Attention all procrastinators! We need to talk. There is something you have been putting off and don't quite understand. Over the next thirteen weeks, we are going to be talking about Estate Planning. That's right, the subject you've been postponing because it makes you face the reality of life, which includes aging, death and possibly, incapacity. Oh, sorry. It's not a good time? Okay, when will it be a good time? On the way to the hospital in the back of an ambulance? Hooked up to a machine? After that catastrophic stroke?

Stop Your Trust Amendments Before It's Too Late!

       Would you like everyone you have ever mentioned in your Trust to receive a copy of that document? What about ex-friends, remote family members, or even ex-lovers. What about charities, house help, gardeners, etc? But wait a minute Jack, what if I removed them in a subsequent Amendment, you reply? Yeah, that's right, you did, and presumably they won't be an heir in your estate. However, that will not prevent them from taking a gander at your Trust and all of the Amendments at your death. How is that possible if you removed them from the Trust? It is not only possible but it is required by California law. Additionally, your children will have the opportunity to see how you changed the distribution to them over the years through Amendments. The source of this law is California P.C. Section 16061.7. It requires that when any portion of a Trust becomes irrevocable, all beneficiaries and heirs at law, mentioned in the original document and all Amendments, are entitled to a copy. Additionally, they are given 120 days to contest the Trust, if they wish.

The IRA Tax Trap- Designating the Living Trust as the IRA Beneficiary

       Remember when you arranged that IRA with the financial institution and received a "bunch of papers"? Yeah, one of those "bunch of papers" was a Beneficiary Designation form- now remember? Okay, I'm going to ask you 3 questions which can have devastating results depending on your answers.

Long Term Care Insurance And Filial Support For Parents- What is It- Why May It Become Necessary?

       Once upon a time, as many bedtime stories began, long term care was not a huge, financial concern. People lived shorter lives, coronary heart disease was more prevalent which ended lives more quickly, Alzheimer's, as we know it, was unknown. As a young boy, I watched my grandfather die in his bed at home in Fordyce, Arkansas after a stroke. There was nothing to be done except wait for the certainty of death as he lay there in and out of consciousness. It was part of life - dying at home without medical care except for the country doctor who made rounds with his little black bag. No miracles in there other than his stethoscope, knee pounder, and some tongue depressors.


Stephens Law Group
12526 High Bluff Dr.
Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92130
Phone: 858-314-8847
Fax: 858-792-0806
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Friday 9am-1pm

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