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August 2016 Archives

Estate planning strategies to protect college savings

California state laws governing debt collection may contain some harsh surprises for uninformed residents of California who expect their college savings to be safe from debt collection judgments. While federal bankruptcy law provides some protections against collections on college savings accounts, California's debt collection laws are not as protective in their scope. Many kinds of qualified higher education savings accounts are more vulnerable to collections, such as 529 College Savings Plans. California residents who wish to protect the assets they have set aside for the educations of loved ones have some options in estate planning to ensure that their wishes are fulfilled.

How do I leave my body to science?

When it comes to making end-of-life arrangements, many individuals desire to make a gift of their physical body to scientific research. This noble gesture is an excellent choice for those wish to make it part of their legacy, but it does require some forethought and planning.

How should I prepare my partner to assume accounts I control?

Responsible estate planning takes into account the likelihood of outliving a partner, but often even those who intentionally plan for this eventuality forget key details that make the reality of losing a loved one an unnecessary nightmare. While your estate plan may cover the broad strokes of how the life you have built with a partner will change when one of you passes away, the safety and security of such a plan is often in the details.

Dividing real estate between multiple heirs

When determining how to divide unwieldy family assets such as real estate among several heirs, there are many opportunities for emotions to run high and relationships to become strained. It is safe to assume that no testator would want the legacy of his or her last will and testament to lead to his or her loved ones engaged in a protracted battle over how exactly to split up some Earthly belongings.

California's Revocable Transfer on Death Deed: Another Possible Estate Transfer Tool

A recent blog post highlighted the need for estate planning, and used the untimely death of music legend Prince as a cautionary tale. Because Prince apparently did not plan for the distribution or management of his estate, it is likely to be tied up in probate court proceedings, ultimately costing the estate time and money.

New legislation help protect assets through estate planning

California estate planners just received a major win in the area of estate recovery for Medi-Cal recipients. SB-833, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown just a month ago, has removed the state's ability to recover assets from a surviving spouse's estate for those who received Medi-Cal benefits and pass away on or after Jan. 1, 2017.