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Elder Law

CALIFORNIA TRANSFER ON DEATH DEEDS: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Photo of a Home

Sarah Spenless is an elderly widow with just one asset holding value: her home, which is worth $500,000. She would like her three children to inherit the home. She doesn’t want to spend the money to create a living trust, and she doesn’t want her children to have to go through a probate proceeding. With situations like hers in mind, the California legislature ushered in a new way to pass property to a beneficiary upon death: the California Transfer on Death Deed (“TOD deed”). Assembly Bill 139, effective January 1, 2016, was hailed by lawmakers as a way to avoid...

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New Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Law: Another great reason for a revocable living trust

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California’s current Medi-Cal recovery rules are primed for a big change. Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law new provisions limiting reimbursement to the state for Medi-Cal benefits received. On January 1, 2017 these new provisions become effective, and for those of us who die on or after that date the creation of a revocable living trust becomes ever more important. Under current law, the state can make claims on the estate of a deceased person for any Medi-Cal benefits they received at age 55 or older. Liquid assets may have to be surrendered, as well as a residence, as a...

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The ABLE Act: A New Tool for the Special Needs Community

Late in 2014, the ABLE (“Achieving a Better Life Experience”) Act was signed into law. The law is aimed at achieving a manner in which those with special needs can save money without losing needs based public benefits such as SSI or Medicaid (Medi-Cal here in California). This is an important issue and, perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the Act is that it brings attention to this valuable community and addresses a serious struggle that they face. The fact that the ABLE act had strong bi-partisan support is encouraging for the special needs community and those who serve it.While an...

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Five Essential Things Every Adviser Must Know About Estate Planning & Elder Law*

*This is an abbreviated version of Bradley Erdosi’s article originally published in the OC Lawyer magazine. Estate planning, probate and elder law are very specialized areas of the law. Often an adviser working in these areas must consider many different issues in order to properly advise a client. Besides the many cross-over issues, these areas of the law are typically highly emotional for a prospective client and/or his or her family members.Nevertheless, estate planning, probate and elder law issues present themselves in many other areas of the law when counseling a client. Therefore, it is essential that those who counsel clients in...

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