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Estate PlanninG
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    • 24th Annual MCLE Spectacular!

      Check out this new article, Contra Costa County Bar Association proudly presents the 24th Annual MCLE Spectacular! Friday, November 16, 2018. Click here to find out more!

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    • Suspended California Corporations and Litigation

      A corporation whose corporate powers have been suspended or forfeited is without capacity to prosecute or defend against a suit until revivor of its powers by the appropriate statutory procedure ( ...

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    • Filial Laws: So Who is Legally Responsible for Elder Parents?

      Filial, meaning due from the daughter or son, is a funny word to say. However, filial laws have, in recent years, garnered increasing attention for their serious implications. If you have heard of ...

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    • Are Your Seniors Being Financially Exploited?

      We expect our golden years to be relaxing and rewarding. Yet as we grow older, we tend to start relying on other to assist us with things that we could once handle on our own. It is during those times ...

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    • Lawful Grounds for Discharge from a Skilled Nursing Facility and Defenses

      As an elder law attorney and advocate I often get frantic calls from family members when a skilled nursing facility has advised them that they plan to the discharge the resident within a week or days. ...

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    • Special Needs Trust Fairness, At Last

      December 13, 2016 marked the end of a 23 year-long period where mentally fit individuals where barred from establishing their own special needs trusts. The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, part of ...

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    • See Through Trusts

      The stretch payout is available to the designated beneficiary, defined in the IRC Code, as "any individual designated as a beneficiary…". If the owner of an IRA or qualified plan dies before their ...

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    • 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 ...

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    • Filing Estate Tax Returns Does Not Have to Be Intimidating

      Taxes are one of those realities that executors and heirs need to deal with after the death of a loved one. For most, a final federal and state income tax return must be filed if the individual earned ...

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    • What Happens If a Loved One’s Estate Planning Documents Can’t Be Found?

      When a loved one passes away or is determined mentally incapacitated, it is crucial for the personal representative, executor, trustee, or agent under a power of attorney to have access to the ...

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    • Deciding What Happens to Your Personal Belongings After You Die (And What To Do if No One Wants Them)

      For most of us, sitting down to consider our estate plans can be an emotional exercise. Not only is facing our own mortality daunting, but the process of deciding who you want to leave your personal ...

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    • What It Means To Be The Guardian Of A Minor

      Acting as the guardian of a minor is one of the most important roles a person ever fulfills. Along with taking on that responsibility, you may be trying to navigate stressful and emotionally-charged ...

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    • Filial Laws: So Who is Legally Responsible for Elder Parents?

      Filial, meaning due from the daughter or son, is a funny word to say. However, filial laws have, in recent years, garnered increasing attention for their serious implications. If you have heard of ...

      Read More
    • Medi-Cal Recovery

      Medi-Cal Recovery By Ivette M. Santaella We receive many phone calls regarding Medi-Cal recovery. Many people fear that Medi-Cal will put a lien on their home and that they will lose their homes. ...

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    • Santaella Legal Group, APC Will Have a Table at the National Healthcare Decisions Day Volunteer Event

      At the Santaella Legal Group, APC , we are excited to announce that we have a table at the National Healthcare Decisions Day Volunteer Event in Oakland. Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Henry J. Kaiser ...

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    • Guides from the California State Bar

      The State Bar of California provides comprehensive pamphlets regarding estate planning and elder issues. Whenever we go out on a presentation, or meet with a client, we provide them with a copy of a ...

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    • Santaella Legal Group, APC Now Offering Notary Services

      At S Santaella Legal Group, APC , we are proud to announce that after completing an 8 hour course, taking an exam and an oath, both attorneys Ivette M. Santaella and Linda C. Blackwell are public ...

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    • Filial Laws: So Who is Legally Responsible for Elder Parents?

      Filial, meaning due from the daughter or son, is a funny word to say. However, filial laws have, in recent years, garnered increasing attention for their serious implications. If you have heard of ...

      Read More
    • Lawful Grounds for Discharge from a Skilled Nursing Facility and Defenses

      As an elder law attorney and advocate I often get frantic calls from family members when a skilled nursing facility has advised them that they plan to the discharge the resident within a week or days. ...

      Read More
    • Nursing Homes and What You Need to Know About Admission Agreements

      Putting a love one in a nursing home is very difficult. When I had to place my Mom in a facility I cried the whole way. The last thing you need when you get there is to be bombarded with paperwork and ...

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    • How to Sever Joint Ownership of Property

      Did you know that one of the most common forms of property ownership in the United States is joint tenancy with rights of survivorship (joint tenancy)? Joint tenancy is a legal right to property ...

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    • A Special Needs Trust Can Now Be Designated as an Option Beneficiary

      Effective January 1, 2017, Defined Benefit Program members and Cash Balance Benefit Program participants may designate a special needs trust or supplemental needs trust, as an option or annuity ...

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    • Why Buy-Sell Agreements are Important to Business Owners

      What happens to your business if you are disabled or die? A Buy-Sell Agreement provides a plan for a seamless transition with minimal disruption to your business. There are two categories of Buy-Sell ...

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    • You Inherited a Retirement Account: Now What?

      For decades, common financial planning wisdom has encouraged almost all-American workers to maximize their contributions to qualified retirement accounts. Indeed, doing so can be a powerful way to ...

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    • Changes Looming... New Restrictions to VA Planning

      The House of Representatives passed new legislation on October 29, 2013, that would restrict the ability of our veterans (and the many financial and legal advisors who assist them) to qualify for ...

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    • Limited Conservatorship

      A limited conservatorship is a special type of conservatorship established for individuals with development disabilities. This legal proceeding impacts the ability of the special needs individual to ...

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    • An Interview With Jeff Hayden About Guardianships and Conservatorships On “Your Legal Rights” Podcast

      On March 10 th , Ivette Santaella was a guest on “Your Legal Rights” podcast with host and Bay Area attorney Jeff Hayden. For more than 30 years, “Your Legal Rights” has provided KALW listeners with ...

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    • Ivette Santaella Discusses Marketing with Passion

      Managing Attorney Ivette Santaella joined Lawyer Business Advantage to discuss how she utilizes her passion for law to power the success of her marketing and business development efforts. Click here ...

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    • Special Needs Trust Fairness, At Last

      December 13, 2016 marked the end of a 23 year-long period where mentally fit individuals where barred from establishing their own special needs trusts. The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, part of ...

      Read More
    • Benefits of Having a Comprehensive Durable Power of Attorney

      It is so important to have a detailed and comprehensive durable power of attorney. Unfortunately many durable powers of attorney are too general and cause problems, especially for seniors. Before a ...

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    • The Importance of Reviewing Your Accounts and Property When a Loved One Passes Away

      When you create an estate plan, the main objective is usually to make sure that your accounts and property aren’t only in your name. If they are, they will be subject to probate when you die (a ...

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    • What You Need To Do After A Loved One Dies

      We don’t need to tell you that losing a family member can be stressful and emotional. The last thing most people want to do is think about making phone calls, signing papers, or making funeral ...

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    • How to Help Your Loved Ones (and Assets) Avoid Probate

      Today, many people are using a revocable living trust instead of a will or joint ownership as the foundation of their estate plan. When properly prepared, a living trust avoids the public, costly and ...

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    • How to Get into a Skilled Nursing Facility

      If you or an elder you know are interested in getting into a Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), it is likely because of the wide range of services SNFs provide that exceed what regular nursing homes or ...

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    • The Able Accounts for Special Needs Individuals

      Individuals who will be eligible for the CalABLE program have even more reason to look forward to its launch later this year following the passage of CA Senate Bill 218 last October. Signed in 2014 by ...

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    • Special Needs Trust Fairness, At Last

      December 13, 2016 marked the end of a 23 year-long period where mentally fit individuals where barred from establishing their own special needs trusts. The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, part of ...

      Read More
    • A Special Needs Trust Can Now Be Designated as an Option Beneficiary

      Effective January 1, 2017, Defined Benefit Program members and Cash Balance Benefit Program participants may designate a special needs trust or supplemental needs trust, as an option or annuity ...

      Read More
    • Who Should I Choose As My Trustee?

      Naming a trustee is the next important step after establishing your trust. A trustee’s responsibilities include collecting income, paying bills and taxes, saving and investing for the future, buying ...

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    • Choosing a Successor Trustee: What You Should Know About Their Role and Responsibilities

      Choosing who will serve as successor trustee for your revocable trust can be a difficult decision. However, it’s important to carefully consider who will fill this role, as they’ll be responsible for ...

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    • Should You Own Your Timeshare in Your Trust?

      Timeshares have come a long way since they first arrived in the real estate market back in the ’70s. In the early days of timeshare ownership, high-pressure sales tactics, exceedingly vague contracts, ...

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    • Veterans Administration Pension Benefits

      Veterans Administration Pension Benefits are paid to veterans who were in military service during wartime and who have little or no income. Veterans who have serious disabilities may qualify for Aid ...

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