So, someone just gave you a gift, and you are wondering whether you will be required to pay any taxes on it. It depends on the situation. Is it an inheritance, as opposed to a gift from someone who is still living? What is the value of the gift? Inheritance taxes may apply Whenever you receive money, personal property or real estate from someone’s estate when they die, you will be required to pay an inheritance tax. The executor of the estate will divide the assets from the estate and … [Read more...] about Do I have to pay taxes if someone gives me money?
Probate is the process by which property passes to your heirs after your death. It is not always required, however. In fact, it is not difficult to avoid the probate process altogether. There are several estate planning tools that can be used to ensure that your property passes to your heirs without having to go through the probate process. Some common tools used for this purpose include joint ownership of property or assets, revocable living trusts, gifts and pay-on-death accounts. You … [Read more...] about Is Probate Always Required?
Making the decision that a parent needs a guardian can be very difficult. Typically, this question arises when a parent has begun to show signs of mental impairment. For instance, your mother may be forgetting to take her medication more frequently. Or she may forget she has food cooking on the stove. If she has begun to get lost or disoriented when she is away from home, or has become a danger to herself or others, it is probably time to consider a guardianship. What do I do? The preferred … [Read more...] about Does My Mother Need a Guardian?
A power of attorney is a flexible estate planning tool that allows you to choose someone who will handle all or part of your personal affairs, including making health care decisions. The person who signs and executes the power of attorney is known as the “principal.” The person authorized to act on behalf of the principal is the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” A durable power of attorney is a special kind of power of attorney that will remain in effect even if the principal becomes … [Read more...] about Should I have a durable power of attorney for health care?
Many people are faced with the prospect of having a conservator appointed to attend to the personal affairs of a loved-one. There are both advantages and disadvantages of this legal process. There are also some alternatives to a conservatorship that may be more appealing. It is a good idea to discuss your options with an elder law attorney before making a decision on which course to take. What is a conservator? A conservator is a person appointed by a judge for the benefit of someone who … [Read more...] about What are the advantages and disadvantages of a conservatorship?
When a loved one dies, the surviving spouse may be at a loss when it comes to knowing what to do next. When there is a living trust between spouses, there are some initial tasks that need to be taken care of. The process is not necessarily complicated, and knowing what to expect will make the process easier. Find the trust document and then read it. The first step is to locate the trust document. Once you find it, read the terms to get a general understanding of what will be needed. Even … [Read more...] about What Happens to a Living Trust When One Spouse Dies?
When a loved one becomes unable to care for themselves without assistance, it can be a difficult and emotional time. There are a lot of important decisions that need to be made. If your loved one is still in good health, and you are considering a plan for the future in case they become incapacitated, then there are several options. However, if your loved one has already reached the point of incapacity, the options are fewer. What are the options if we anticipate incapacity in the … [Read more...] about What are the Options for Taking Care of an Incapacitated Loved One?
A power of attorney is a multipurpose estate planning tool that allows someone you choose to handle some or all of your affairs. The person signing and executing the power of attorney is now as the “principal.” The person chosen and authorized to act on the principal’s behalf is called the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” A “Durable” power of attorney is a special type of power of attorney that continues to operate even after the principal becomes incapacitated. A durable power of attorney can … [Read more...] about Should I have a durable power of attorney for healthcare?
A will is a legal instrument that allows you to determine how your assets will be distributed to your heirs when you die. But what is a “Living Will?” Basically, a Living Will tells everyone what course of medical treatment, if any, you want followed if you are ever unable to communicate your wishes for yourself. A common example is a DNR or “Do Not Resuscitate” order. Another example is a written statement that you do not want to be placed on life support if you are brain dead. A Living … [Read more...] about What Is a Living Will in Los Angeles California?
Termination of a power of attorney in Los Angeles CA necessarily depends on the type of power of attorney you are dealing with. A power of attorney in California is a legal document authorizing an agent to act on your behalf. Your agent can be authorized to do many things for you, including signing checks, filing tax returns, entering into contracts and other financial transactions. One good thing about a power of attorney is that it can be customized to fulfill your specific purposes, … [Read more...] about How Do You Terminate a Power of Attorney in Los Angeles CA?