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Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What is a Tax By-Pass Trust?

Using a By-Pass or A/B Trust was a popular way of avoiding estate taxes by couples that had a high-value estate. With the recent changes to the tax code, many couples no longer need to worry about avoiding federal estate taxes. Therefore, the use of Tax By-Pass Trusts may not be as common in estate planning moving forward. However, for some couples, an A/B Trust may still provide some benefits that outweigh any disadvantages of using a Tax By-Pass Trust.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Entrepreneurs - Do You Have a Business Succession Plan?

You are a successful entrepreneur. You took a chance, poured everything into your start-up, and you built a successful and growing business. However, do not lose sight of the importance of planning for the future. It is easy to become so engrossed in the day-to-day business operations that you forget that there may come a day when you will need to exit your business or pass your business on to another person. Unfortunately, we all need to play for illnesses, injuries, incapacitation, and death.


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Friday, July 6, 2018

Housing Market and Fertility Rates May Impact Bay Area Estate Planning

Q: Is the housing market impacting Bay Area estate planning?

Many people don't realize that once they turn 18, they need an estate plan. This is true because tragedy can strike at any age and because a comprehensive estate plan includes more than just a last will and testament disposing of your property upon death. It also includes documents to provide for your incapacity prior to dying.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Five Ways Medicaid Asset Protection Planning Can Benefit You

Eventually, you may need to place a family member in a nursing home or assisted care facility. Unfortunately, the cost of long-term care is increasing each year. The average cost per month for a nursing home in California was approximately $7,450 for a semi-private room according to one


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Monday, June 4, 2018

Sheltering an Inheritance from a Spendthrift Child

Q: How can I prevent my adult child from blowing their inheritance?

From the moment most people become parents, they want to take care of their children. For many, it’s a feeling that never goes away. In fact, children estate planning is often what first brings a young couple into the office for an estate plan.


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Five Things You Didn't Know About Special Needs Planning That Can Hurt You

Special needs planning involves making sure your family member’s daily needs are met, and he or she is safe even if you are unable to continue to provide care and support. Unfortunately, it is easy to make mistakes that can impact the quality of life and independence level of the person with special needs. If your loved one needs assistance managing the tasks of daily life, it is important that you consult with our California Special Needs Planning Lawyer to discuss options for future care for your loved one.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How Public Benefits Attorneys Can Help the Disabled

Q: Can a San Jose attorney help me get disability benefits?

One of the reasons that people put off seeing a Bay Area estate planning attorney is that they're uncomfortable facing the inevitability of their eventual death.

And for many who do have professional estate plans prepared, they don't realize the changes in circumstances along life's path often necessitate updates to that plan.


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Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Importance of Special Needs Planning in California

Q: Will giving a special needs person money jeopardize their government benefits?

Life can be challenging for those who know and love a special needs child or adult. The emotional and financial burden on the caretakers of these special people is often substantial. In addition to struggling to provide for their needs today, many parents of special needs children and adults worry what will happen to their children after they die.


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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Five Facts You Should Know About the Federal Estate Tax

Californians do not need to worry about estate taxes because the state ceased imposing estate taxes as of January 1, 2005. However, your estate could still owe federal estate tax. Our California estate tax attorneys help clients develop an estate plan that reduces or eliminates estate tax to protect your property for your loved ones.


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Monday, March 12, 2018

The Slayer Rule in California Estates


Q: Can a killer inherit from their victim’s estate?

A California estate planning attorney would likely have no inclination that a client’s adult child would contemplate-- much less execute-- murdering their parent to collect on their life insurance policy or as a beneficiary of that parent’s estate. But it happens.
The chilling thought is enough to encourage people not to tell their beneficiaries of their intended future good fortune.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Can a Person Really Avoid Probate?


You probably hate the idea that one day when you die, random strangers, nosy relatives, or gossiping neighbors might be able to look inside your probate court file and see a list of everything you owned, all your debts, and what assets you gave to which people. There has to be a better way. With careful planning and the help of an estate administration lawyer, you can avoid some aspects of the probate process.
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