Estate PlanninG

Elder Law & Planning for Your Estate

Dying is a part of life. It is a given that we will all pass one day. Understandably the majority of people do not like to think about their mortality or of being incapacitated. Nevertheless, it should not stop us from planning for incapacitation or death. Waiting is not an option because the consequences of doing no planning are huge. Some of the consequences are:

  • Your intended beneficiaries will not receive what you intended;
  • There might not be sufficient funds to pay for:
  • Extra administrative costs,
  • Unnecessary taxes, court fees,
  • Fighting among heirs,
  • Nursing home care: or
  • Medi-Cal Estate Recovery.

No matter how large or small your estate may be, estate planning is very important. Estate planning ensures that your intended beneficiaries inherit your property, when you want and how you want.

Planning ahead can improve your chances of Medi-Cal eligibility without subjecting your estate to the five year lookback period. It allows you to save money on taxes, court costs and attorney fees, while preserving your wealth.

By creating a comprehensive plan, your family can grieve and move on without the burden of unnecessary financial confusion.

Estate plans often include a number of important estate planning instruments; for example, they may include a durable power of attorney, advance health care directives, annuities, life insurance, a will, a revocable living trust, and long-term care insurance.

A good estate plan will address bequeathing assets to named beneficiaries, but it will also address long-term care and the need for Medi-Cal planning.

If you want to gift assets to your grandchildren, there can be many benefits one of which includes reducing the size of your taxable estate. The only issue with making outright gifts is that you cannot control how the money is spent. But there are some other strategies with planning that ensure that your grandchildren will spend their inheritance prudently.

For example, you can pay for educational and medical costs for your grandchildren, in addition to making annual gifts of $14,000 (as of 2013). The caveat with this strategy is that payment has to be directly to the school or medical provider.

California Estate Planning Attorney San Ramon

There are many ways that you can maximize the value of your estate while reducing taxes. At Santaella Legal Group, APC, our Contra Costa County elder law attorneys have the experience in helping our elderly clients craft comprehensive estate plans.

Since no two clients' situations are alike, we welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and establish a unique estate planning strategy that will allow you to accomplish your goals.

We urge you to take advantage of a consultation by calling (888) 698-3951 or you can fill out our online case evaluation form.