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November 2018 Archives

Serving as executor can be a big job

When someone is named as executor of a California estate, the tasks they are faced with may be confusing and substantial. The executor, who is named in the will, must file and pay remaining taxes from the estate, handle creditors, value assets and distribute property to the named beneficiaries. Being named executor is often an honor and an expression of trust from the deceased person, but it is also a serious legal responsibility that requires a significant amount of preparation and work.

A medical source statement can assist a disability application

People in California applying for Social Security disability benefits may want to do everything they can to bolster their applications. A medical source statement is a document created by a physician that helps to show an applicant's medical condition. It includes a number of factors, including the person's diagnosis and his or her capabilities and functional deficits.

Lessons to be learned from Stan Lee's estate issues

Stan Lee, the man behind many of the superheroes that entertain both kids and adults in California and around the world, passed away in November, 2018 at the age of 95. But the end of Lee's life has led to an entirely new saga involving the comic book writer, editor, and publisher's estate. Hints of possible issues came even before Lee's death. In early 2018, he signed a declaration expressing his concerns about his daughter's spending habits. In the document, Lee also talks about three men with "bad intentions" whom he believed were influencing his daughter.

Handling absent or uncommunicative trustees

For many California residents, trusts can be an optimal method to achieve their estate planning goals while preserving privacy, as trusts transfer property outside the probate system. Settlors can develop a range of innovative methods to pass wealth to their beneficiaries. However, when creating a trust, it can be important to select the right fiduciary. The trustee, who manages the assets on behalf of the beneficiary, should be someone responsible, trustworthy and communicative.

Approval for Social Security disability without a hearing

Many Americans living in California apply for Social Security disability when they become unable to work. There are several stages of the application process. Most applications are approved after a hearing with an administrative law judge, but some are approved right away without a hearing.

Silent trusts can help people plan discreetly

Many people in California consider how they can best protect their assets now and provide for their families in the future. Trusts provide important mechanisms not only to pass on wealth between generations without relying on the probate system but also to realize significant tax savings during a person's life. Therefore, many people wish to create trusts to provide for their children or other loved ones in the future. However, some people are concerned that if their children grow up knowing that a substantial trust fund is waiting for them, they may feel less incentive to succeed academically and in their careers.

Silent trusts provide discreet asset management options

Wealthy people in California may want to ensure that they can pass on significant assets to their children or other loved ones. However, many people may not want to disclose their plans early on, especially if they have many years left to live and want to benefit from tax as well as estate planning. In addition, their children may be quite young, and parents may want to encourage them to work hard and succeed without planning to rely on family money. However, when people create trusts, the trustees managing the assets have a responsibility to report on their administration to trust beneficiaries.

Parents can plan for their children's future today

Parents in California may have an interest in establishing a legacy for themselves long after they depart this world. One way to do that is to ensure that their children have the money needed for a quality education. This goal may be accomplished by using a trust or by investing in a 529 plan. Before creating a trust, it is important for a parent to know what his or her money is intended to accomplish.

Applying for disability with no medical records

California residents who are seeking disability benefits from the Social Security Administration are not required to have medical records on hand to file or qualify for disability. However, to make a determination about an applicant's benefits, disability examiners will need to have medical history treatment notes. For those who don't have the financial resources to visit a doctor, they may have to consult with local medical clinics to see if there are any that may assist individuals who have limited resources or no insurance.

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