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November 2017 Archives

Social Security disability approval time

Many California residents will apply for Social Security disability or SSI every year and may wonder how long the process takes. The answer depends on multiple factors, including how long it takes the applicant to go through each stage of the process.

How California residents can protect their assets after death

According to WealthCounsel's estate planning awareness survey, 40 percent of Americans have set up a will but only 17 percent have a trust in place. The low numbers have some experts worried that many are not adequately protecting their assets for the benefit of their heirs. Whether they have a home, savings account or 401(k) plan, their assets will one day be distributed, so it's important to have an estate plan to protect their best interests.

Understanding Social Security disability

There are several misconceptions about Social Security disability insurance in California. While news stories may claim that there is rampant fraud in the SSDI system, it is very difficult for people to get approved for benefits when they have become disabled.

How to apply and qualify for disability benefits

Workers in California and around the country have approximately a 20 percent chance of being disabled for at least three consecutive months during theircareer. Those who don't have disability insurance may have trouble replacing lost income. However, it may be possible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits while out of work. The program is available to those who have enough credits to qualify as it funded by payroll taxes.

Types of trusts

California residents have many options with regard to estate planning tools. One of these options, trusts, can be used to ensure that certain assets are protected and distributed to the intended beneficiaries according to the wishes of the trust's creator. There are multiple types of trusts one can choose from to make sure that the assets intended for their heirs are properly managed.

Think of estate planning during divorce

California residents have a lot on their mind when going through a divorce. Most people probably are not thinking about estate planning. However, divorcing spouses may need to update their existing wills, trusts, retirement beneficiaries and end-of-life documentation.

Submitting evidence to support disability claims

Up to 25 percent of Californians will become disabled sometime during their working years. When people suffer disabling conditions, they may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. It is important for workers to understand what the agency will look for when it reviews their benefits claims.

Can you force reluctant parents to move to a home?

One of the hardest parts of dealing with aging parents with dementia from Alzheimer's or other illnesses is ensuring their continued safety in their home environments. Sometimes everyone but the elderly parent — adult children, neighbors, doctors — agrees that the parent now needs a supervised living environment to remain safe.

Why decanting may be best when altering a trust

California residents may have a need to either cancel or make changes to an irrevocable trust. While it may be more difficult to do so compared to a revocable trust, there is a process that allows that to happen. It is called decanting, and it involves creating a second trust and pouring assets into it from the original trust. Once the asses are inside of the second trust, its terms will govern how assets are to be treated.

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