The Turner Law Offices

Stacy L. Turner, Esq.

Areas Of Practice PDF Print E-mail

Estate Planning:

 

Everyone stands to benefit from the use of basic estate planning tools.  One of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to put four basic estate planning instruments in place.

 

First, a last will and testament should be prepared to make sure that your property is distributed according to your wishes rather than by the default provisions of the California Probate Code.

 

Second, you should have an Advance Health Care Directive and a Durable Power of Attorney for Finance in place to authorize trusted individuals to make medical and financial decisions for you should you become incapacitated or too ill to manage your own affairs.

 

estate planning attorney in MarinFinally, the Advance Health Care Directive includes a directive from you specifying the circumstances under which you would want life support to be terminated.

 

Together, these estate planning instruments by themselves go far in avoiding uncertainty and provide security in extreme circumstances.  However, most families also have needs best addressed by a trust.

 

When you have reached the point where your personal, family and financial needs for the future have come into focus, it is a good time to consider the problems that may arise if proper planning is not implemented:

  • Is your health care secure through an extended old age?
  • Will you qualify for Medi-Cal coverage for long-term care?
  • Do you know who is best suited to run your business and manage your financial affairs if you cannot?
  • Are there children or grandchildren who will not be able to manage an inheritance?
  • What about estate and gift tax liability?
  • Do I want to avoid the time and expense of a probate?

A trust is a highly flexible vehicle for taking specific steps to address specific problems ranging from protecting your eligibility for Medi-Cal to minimizing or deferring taxes.  We work closely with our estate planning clients to find the solutions that will work best in each unique situation.

 

Trust Administration and Probate:

 

Our understanding of California probate law and federal tax policy allows us to provide excellent legal service across the spectrum of trust and estate administration needs.  After a loved one has died there are a number of details that must be handled.  In some cases, the person’s assets will go through the California probate process to ensure bills are paid and property is distributed correctly.  However, probate is not required in every case.  When a thorough estate plan is in place, you may only need estate administration services.  If most assets were held in a trust, you may need trust administration services.  If the deceased only had a small estate, you may simply need to transfer the title of property.


At the Turner Law Offices we can assist with probate and non-probate transfers of assets.  Contact the Turner Law Offices for assistance with the following trust and estate administration services:

  • Obtaining an appraisal of property;
  • Re-titling property and assets;
  • Obtaining Tax Identification Numbers for trusts;
  • Sub-trust funding for AB, QTIP or Special Needs Trusts; and
  • Notifying trust beneficiaries and potential heirs of the existence of a trust as required by law.

 

Long-Term Care, Medi-Cal and Special Needs Planning:

 

Long-Term Care Planning:

Medi-Cal is a public benefits program funded by the federal government and administered by the State of California.  Medi-Cal is a needs-based program that provides for a number of health care needs including long-term care coverage. As life expectancies and long-term care costs continue to rise, the challenge quickly becomes how to pay for the care you may need.

 

Many people cannot afford to pay $5,000-$7,000 per month or more for the cost of a nursing home, and those who can pay for a while may find their life savings spent in a matter of months rather than years. Fortunately, it is possible to preserve your assets and become eligible for long-term care coverage.

 

Special Needs Planning:

If you care for a child or loved one who is disabled and has mental or physical special needs, it is important to consider what may happen to that person when you are no longer able to care for them.  In such a situation, it is natural to want to leave money and assets to your loved one at your death.  However, such a bequest may prevent them from qualifying for necessary public benefits under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medi-Cal. Our law firm can help you set up a special needs trust so that public benefits eligibility is preserved while at the same time providing funds via the trust to supplement the needs of the person who is disabled (i.e., those that go beyond food, shelter, clothing and the medical and long-term care services provided under Medi-Cal).

 

Contact Stacy today: (415) 310-2512

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Stacy L. Turner, Esq.
The Turner Law Offices
1401 Los Gamos Drive
Suite 210
San Rafael, CA  94903

P: (415) 310-2512
F: (415) 737-0162
stacy@sturnerlaw.com