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Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Sunday, October 1, 2017

LifePlan Estate Planning is a Plan for Life


Q: What is the best time to consider estate planning?

The answer would be… yesterday. But today is acceptable, too.

It's never too early to see a skilled California estate planning attorney to get your affairs in order.
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Monday, September 11, 2017

The Importance of the Human Touch in Estate Planning

Q: Would you talk to a robot about end-of-life decisions?

No one likes to think about their death. Or their possible disability. And if they aren't thinking about it, then they aren't planning for it.


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Friday, August 18, 2017

Choosing A Trustee - What To Look For


Designating a trustee can be an agonizingly difficult decision. A trustee may have to serve for many years, even for generations. You want to make sure the trustee will be able to perform the multiple tasks and have staying power to complete the job. That is why it is vital to know, when choosing a trustee, what to look for. After reading this article, consider talking with a


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Don't Mess with Mama


Q: How can I prevent my parent from elder abuse and fraud?

She gave you life, taught you right from wrong, and stood by you each step of the way, keeping you safe from harm. Of course, we are talking about your mama.

But will you be ready to protect her (or dear old dad) when the time comes?

Guardianships for seniors, also referred to as conservatorships, can help us protect our loved ones when they are no longer able to make safe and sound decisions or they become vulnerable to fraud or undue external influences.
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Monday, July 17, 2017

How Can I Prevent Someone from Contesting My Will?


It is a sad but true fact. The body is not yet in the ground, and the relatives are squabbling over the inheritance. Did dear old Aunt Edna leave a will? Was anyone disinherited and did anyone get a windfall? Did she stick it to all of you and leave everything to charity?

There are ways to avoid these ugly disputes among family and friends. If you do not want your loved ones turning on each other after you are gone, you may be asking, “How can I prevent someone from contesting my will?” Talking to an


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Monday, July 10, 2017

Contesting Wills in California


Q: What is a will contest?

California probate and estate administration attorneys have seen it all when it comes to people making claims against the estates of those who have died with a will, a process known as a “will contest”.

Well it certainly is not uncommon in California for long lost, estranged, unknown, or never-acknowledged children of newly-deceased celebrities to suddenly “surface” and make a claim against the estate. A celebrity's out-of-wedlock baby and a hush money payment to make it go away wouldn't raise an eyebrow today – – but it was a big deal in the 1920s!

Sid Grauman– – the showman and founder behind a series of old-time “movie palaces” including the famous California Chinese theater where legends of the silver screen are immortalized through cement hand and footprint ceremonies--reportedly had a claim made against his entire estate two weeks after his death in 1950.
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Do I Really Need a Healthcare and Financial Power of Attorney?


A “power of attorney,” or POA, is a legal document that gives a named individual the same power to handle your affairs that you ordinarily have. A power of attorney may be “nondurable,” meaning that it ends once its creator becomes incapacitated, or “durable,” meaning that it continues after its creator becomes incapacitated.

Typically, a power of attorney document names the person or persons its creator chooses to handle their affairs. It lists the specific duties or powers the named person may exercise, and it names any conditions related to the exercise of those powers—for instance, that the named person may only exercise them if the creator is incapacitated.

A California


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Friday, June 9, 2017

Preventing Nursing Home Falls and Elder Abuse in California


Q: How can elder abuse and nursing home falls be prevented?

In the good ol’ days, extended families comprised of several generations often lived together in family “compounds”, making it easier for younger generations to look after older generations because they all lived under one roof or in neighboring houses.

A historical shift towards more independent living and the younger generations’ migration to urban areas, coupled with the increase in life expectancy due to medical advances-- while widely regarded as progressive and positive--presented a host of new problems for caring for our senior citizens who had no one to care for them on a daily basis. This new reality led to the development of what we now refer to as elder law-- a series of rules and regulations enacted to provide for and protect the elderly.
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

How to Protect Your Children’s Trust Assets from Creditors


Many parents plan on having their children inherit their trust assets. However, when planning a trust for your children, you want to make sure you complete the task correctly. Getting the trust done right ensures that you can choose how you want to assign the property to your children, and also protects their assets from creditors. An experienced


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to Fund a Living Trust


Today, estate planning is about more than having a will and getting your affairs in order before you die. Instead, it's a matter of planning for life, and many individuals are creating living trusts in order to protect their assets, plan for incapacity, provide for their loved ones, as well as to avoid probate. A revocable living trust, for example, is an estate planning tool that distributes assets to your beneficiaries after you pass away, but allows you to continue managing your affairs during your lifetime.

In any event, once a trust is in place, the trustee must transfer property into the trust. This is known as funding the trust.
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Sunday, May 7, 2017

8 “Red Flags” of Potential Financial Elder Abuse


Q: What signs should I look for if I suspect financial elder abuse?

California elder abuse lawyers have noticed a rapid increase in not only the size of the elderly population over the past few decades, but also the number of ways vulnerable senior citizens can become victims of elder abuse. While proper trust and estate planning can prevent most instances of financial elder abuse, there will always be unscrupulous characters that prey on our senior citizens.

Elder abuse can take several different forms.


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