Our office can be easily reached by people that live in Bellflower, California, a city with a rich history that was originally founded in 1906. It is a vibrant place in its own right with over 70,000 residents, and everything that the greater metropolitan area has to offer is within easy reach.
We have assisted many clients from Bellflower over the years, and we look forward to making new local friends as time goes on.
When you are engaged in your Bellflower, California estate planning efforts, you should understand all of your options thoroughly. Many people think that a last will is the right choice, but in fact, a revocable living trust is a better option for a wide range of people.
If you use a will, the executor that you choose must admit the document to probate, and the court would provide supervision. This process serves a purpose, because it allows creditors to come forward seeking satisfaction before the assets are distributed to the people named in the will.
However, there are some drawbacks that negatively impact the rightful inheritors. This process will take eight or nine months to a year to run its course in most instances, and no inheritances can be distributed by the executor until the court has closed the estate.
There are a number of costs that accumulate during probate, including the executor’s fee, legal expenses, accounting charges, appraisal and liquidation fees, and other incidentals. Money that is spent during probate is essentially coming out of the pockets of the people that are in line to receive inheritances.
These are a couple of the pitfalls, but they are not the only ones. If you use a revocable living trust instead of a last will as the centerpiece of your estate plan, the trustee would be able to distribute assets to the beneficiaries outside of probate. As a result, all of these negatives would be avoided.
The fact that assets can be distributed outside of probate is a major positive, but there are other benefits that go along with the creation of a revocable living trust.
In addition to this type of trust, there are also irrevocable trusts that can serve very important purposes. High net worth individuals that are exposed to the federal estate tax can mitigate their liability through the utilization of certain types of trusts.
A supplemental needs trust can be used to make a loved one with a disability more comfortable without impacting eligibility for government benefits. The point is, there are many tools in the toolkit, so you should consult with a Bellflower, CA estate planning attorney from our firm to make sure you are taking the right steps.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
Another very important facet to take into consideration is the matter of potential nursing home costs. Most people will eventually need some form of living assistance, and a significant percentage of elders will ultimately need the level of care that can only be received in a nursing home.
In our area, a year in a nursing home will come with a six-figure price tag, and the costs have been rising year by year. Medicare does not pay for the custodial care that is provided in nursing homes, so this gap in the coverage is extremely significant.
Medi-Cal is a jointly administered federal/state government program that will pay for a stay in a nursing home. It takes careful planning to obtain eligibility, because there are low income and asset limits. This being stated, if you work with an elder law attorney, you can devise a plan that keeps your money in the family as you aim toward Medi-Cal eligibility.
Schedule a Bellflower, CA Estate Planning Consultation
We are here to help if you would like to discuss the eventualities of aging with a licensed inheritance planning lawyer. You can request a consultation right now if you give us a call at 562-346-3209. There is also a contact form on this website that you can use if you would prefer to send us a message through the Internet.