Newman Law Group

Tustin Estate Planning Law Blog

Yes, medical professionals have singular planning needs

It is certainly not unusual to note that doctors, dentists and many other medical professionals have multiple and distinct planning needs that are flatly dissimilar from individuals in other career fields.

In fact, it is logical that they do, given the singularity of their industry and the unique training that qualifies them for practicing within it.

Medicaid benefits: You're entitled to those, right?

If you worked hard for decades, making all requisite payments to government entitlement programs through payroll withholding taxes, you're dutifully entitled to receive benefits under the Medicaid program in the event you need long-term care, right?

Let's take a quick time out on that assumption to clear up what much empirical and anecdotal evidence indicates is a base misunderstanding that legions of Americans have when the word Medicaid pops up.

Evolving families and related estate planning considerations

In addressing various configurations, a tag team of columnists focusing upon America's huge baby boomer demographic note that a boomer parent "may be in a first and only marriage, never married and single, never married and with a current partner, divorced and single, or divorced and remarried."

What is central to note about that observation in the realm of estate planning is this: The organic, fluid and often complex composition of American families makes a cookie-cooker planning scheme applicable to most cases a broad absurdity.

Literally, a cottage industry in the realm of estate planning

If you're lucky enough to have a second residence where family getaways and annual vacations occur (by a river perhaps, or far off in the woods), you likely feel truly blessed.

From California to Connecticut, millions of American families have cabins at which they periodically congregate to de-stress and reconnect, with some of those properties having played an important role in family bonding and memory making for decades.

Medi-Cal eligibility: proven attorney can help with twists, turns

Legions of aging baby boomers in California and across the country believe that many of their financial concerns regarding health care will abate as they enter their senior years, owing to their eligibility for Medicare benefits they have worked hard for over decades.

There is certainly some reasonable basis for that expectation, given the intent of Medicare to seamlessly step in for company-sponsored or privately secured insurance coverage at the age of 65.

Could your heirs identify, access your digital assets as needed?

Are aspects relating to your so-called "digital assets" -- which are likely expanding in seemingly exponential fashion -- just about to drive you crazy? Are you having trouble simply keeping track of them?

If so, imagine what it would be like for your heirs attempting to locate and then access your various online accounts to deal with them appropriately after your death, in the event you have not helped them to do so through careful inventory and documentation.

Your college-bound child: Any estate planning considerations?

If your Southern California family has recently dropped off a child at college to begin his or her newly exciting life as a freshman, you and your spouse might be thinking that you've thought of everything that needs to be taken care of.

In fact, you -- and, importantly, your son or daughter -- might have failed to attend to some key matters.

You've set money aside for heir's education: Is it protected?

There is an obvious and clear upside related to an education savings account set up on behalf of a child or other loved one. The money grows over time and is slated to be ready and available at those important future moments when it is needed.

And, concomitantly, there is a lurking downside relevant to a so-called 529 College Savings Plan or other advanced-education funding device recognized by the federal government in some cases, namely this: The money saved might not be beyond the reach of judgment creditors.

Good news, bad news: Your inherited property is ... contaminated

Land is certainly in no short supply in the United States. It's a big country, and many millions of individuals and families own deeds to real property.

In California and elsewhere, a chunk of realty can be an envisioned central consideration in an estate plan, with a devise intended to benefit heirs.

The instructive value of Prince's ongoing estate planning war

OK, perhaps we should concede at the outset of this post that stratospheric pop star Prince did not bequeath an estate planning war in the wake of his recent passing.

Indeed, though, acrimony and massive uncertainty have prevailed regarding Prince's financial empire following his death.