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Utilize a Living Trust as Asset Protection from Medi-Cal Claims

     In a new law to go into effect January 1, 2017, a Living Trust may be utilized to protect assets from Medi-Cal claims for individuals dying after that date. This is a revolutionary law that elevates the advantages of a Living Trust in California to a new high. Previously, a Living Trust provided no protection from such claims - beginning next year it will.

Powers of Attorney Update

     Time and time again we see cases of inadequate powers of attorney which fail to provide sufficient authority to act. These documents usually obtained on-line through legal providers or Trust mills provide generic, basic provisions that can fall short of a client's needs. The recent case of Metlife Insurance Company v. Sumner is an example. In that case, the wife attempted to change an old beneficiary designation of husband's life insurance from the husband's adult children from a prior marriage to a Trust for the benefit of their minor child. She utilized the power of attorney which provided a general authorization clause giving the wife powers in which the principal (owner/husband, who is now incapacitated) possessed over the policy. The Court held that the general powers clause was insufficient to give the wife specific power to change the beneficiary designation without express power to do so in the document. 

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