Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Saturday, October 13, 2018

What Types Of Things Can Special Needs Trusts Be Used To Pay For?

A special needs trust allows you to preserve a family member’s eligibility for government benefits and supplement those benefits. A First Person Special Needs Trust is used to hold title to property that is owned by someone with special needs. A Third Party Special Needs Trust is funded by other assets, such as an inheritance or court settlement.

If a special needs trust is not drafted and funded very carefully, the person may not be eligible for Medicaid and other government benefits. A California special needs planning lawyer assists individuals in drafting special needs trusts so that the trusts do not interfere with government benefits.
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Glenn Campbell Estate Faces Will Contest

Can Alzheimer’s disease impact a will contest?

The first line of the last song the late country music legend, Glenn Campbell, performed before succumbing to his longtime battle with Alzheimer’s disease was telling. This song titled, I’m Not Gonna Miss You, begins with the line, “I’m still here, but yet I’m gone…”.

Was he thinking about the three children he reportedly disinherited when he came up with the title? Will the same three children use that first line in their legal efforts to get his last will and testament thrown out? Hopefully, his estate planning attorneys took special care when creating a comprehensive estate plan for someone vulnerable to a will contest.

Sadly, the superstar’s estate has all the makings of a Read more . . .

Friday, September 21, 2018

Court Protects Spiderman’s Creator from Possible Undue Influence

Q: How can elders be protected from undue influence or abuse?

It would be hard to imagine Spiderman or Black Panther falling victim to elder abuse. But plenty of people without superpowers are vulnerable to physical, emotional or financial elder abuse or exploitation.

Maybe even those who create our invincible superheroes—like the Marvel Comics legend, Stan Lee, who is now 95 years old and widowed.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Five Reasons You Should Revisit Your Estate Plan After the New Tax Law

The changes to the federal tax laws in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) have far-reaching implications for many taxpayers. In addition to your personal income taxes, the changes in federal tax laws by the TCJA may impact your retirement planning and estate planning goals. As with any substantial change in tax laws, you need to review your estate plan with your..

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The End of Life Option Act Doesn’t Replace a Living Will

Q: What if any impact will California's right-to-die law have on estate planning?

The End of Life Option Act, also known as California’s right-to-die law, was recently reinstated. The highly controversial law allows terminally ill people whose doctor has determined they only have six months or less to live to obtain a prescription to end their life.

A significant portion of a comprehensive California estate plan has nothing to do with transferring assets upon death --which is generally accomplished through a last will and testament and/or trust document.

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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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