Wills and Trusts Help to Distribute your “Stuff”

Have you ever moved out of a house or apartment after 5, 10, 15+ years? Did you notice anything? You probably realized you might need to apply to appear on the next episode of Hoarders. We all do it. We all accumulate “stuff.” Stuff can be junk or highly valuable; either way, we all have it. But what happens to all this stuff when you are no longer living?

Wouldn’t it be great to have a plan to give your belongings ...

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Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Estate Taxes

There are a few ways you can legally eliminate or drastically reduce your estate taxes. Only a qualified attorney can help you make an informed decision, so take a moment to educate yourself with the tips below, but don’t be afraid to contact us to speak to an attorney for free about these issues.

Annual Gifts

A person can make a monetary gift annually to another person, usually a child or grandchild, of up to $14,000 per year without having to pay ...

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End-of-Life Care: Patient Notification Laws

Currently, health facilities including hospitals and hospices are regulated and licensed by the California Department of Public Health. If it happens that a licensed health care provider diagnoses a patient as terminal, the provider is legally required to inform the patient of all choices they have concerning both medical care and end-of-life care.

A recent change to this law proposes to include some other person, named by the patient or their power of attorney, to the people who shall ...

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Estate Planning is Essential for Your Future

Economic uncertainties in today’s world make it more important than ever to have an estate plan in place. CNN’s “Money 101″ series covered estate planning and offered up some information and tips for those considering implementing the various tools of estate planning. Here are some:

  1. Having even a basic estate plan in place is important, no matter what your net worth may be. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be wealthy to consider having a trust and/or will.
  2. The elements ...
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Special Needs Trusts

If your family includes a member (or members) that require special needs, there are some very important things you must consider when planning for your future. There is a special kind of trust called a “Special Needs Trust” that we at Vanguard Legal Group have found very helpful.

A special needs trust can do many things, including marking funds for future care. The special needs trust also allows assets to be under the care of an appointed trustee. As importantly, a special ...

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Supreme Court Ruling Could Affect Your IRA

The Wall Street Journal published a story in October titled, “Court Ruling Sparks Rush to Shield IRAs.” The article goes into depth about a June 2014 decision by the courts that ruled an inherited IRA is not considered a retirement account. Their decision hinged on the fact that a beneficiary can withdraw funds from the account at any time without penalty. The result of this decision means that any inherited IRA funds will no longer be protected from creditors if the beneficiary must ...

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Challenges of Probate: Dealing With Creditors

At Vanguard Legal Group, our priority is helping our clients avoid situations like probate. Probate occurs when one dies without the proper estate plan in place. You can learn more about avoiding probate at one of our free estate planning workshops or by speaking with an attorney.

However, if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of probate, you may find there are many challenges.

There are several obligations one has when officially handling a probate. One of the most important ...

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Ways to Make a Senior’s Home Safer

As we grow older, we often face challenges with mobility. It can be difficult to get around, especially if you own home is not designed for use by seniors. If you or a loved one are having trouble getting around, please take a moment to review the safety tips below so you can stay safe:

Inspection: At least once a year, or more frequently if needed, conduct a safety inspection of the home. The first one is the most important ...

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Assisted Living Waiver: A Program for Senior Assisted Living in California

Beginning in 2006 the ALW, or Assisted Living Waiver, allowed elder residents and those with disabilities access to assisted living care through Medi-Cal. This was available to those Californians living in San Joaquin, Sacramento and Los Angeles counties.

The purpose of the law is to allow those with minimal incomes, who are already in the Medi-Cal program and who would previously have needed to receive services from nursing facilities, to stay in their current living situation, or move to an RCFE, a Residential Care Facility ...

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The Power of LLCs

There are many uses for a Limited Liability Companies, or LLCs. In California, one of the most common uses for an LLC is to hold rental real estate. If you have at least one rental property, you can benefit from placing that property in an LLC. Doing so can result in all of the following:

Income Tax Savings

LLCs operated by an individual, a married couple, or even a group of individuals can help the owner(s) realize significant income tax savings through ...

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