Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

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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Monday, February 12, 2018

The Protections of Guardianships for Seniors in California

Q: Can guardianships for seniors help prevent elder abuse?

He almost got away with it. And some speculate he may have had other victims before.

In what surely ranks high on the list of ultimate California elder abuse cases, a so-called caretaker of his wife's elderly distant cousin who died under suspicious circumstances, reportedly received a three-year prison sentence in a last-minute plea bargain in which he pled guilty to:

  • "felony elder abuse,
  • attempted grand theft,
  • possession of a forged driver’s license,
  • money laundering derived from criminal activity,
  • two counts of forgery of notary public or corporate seals,
  • two counts of attempt to file false/forged instruments,
  • four counts of second-degree burglary,
  • seven counts of grand theft; and
  • 23 counts of acts constituting forgery".
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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

How Might the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Affect Your Estate Plan?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 is the first significant tax remodel in over 30 years. It contains numerous changes to how Americans can keep their money when they earn income, operate businesses, make gifts, and pass assets on to their heirs. To maximize your bottom line after taxes, you need to understand how the TCJA affects your estate plan.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What Veterans’ Benefits are Available to Me in California?

Few Americans do more to earn the benefits of their citizenship than active duty military veterans.  Most people are aware that Congress has approved a special set of benefits for veterans in return for the service they have provided, but fewer are aware that the State of California has also created its own set of special benefits for the 1.8 million veterans who live here.

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