Setting The Incapacity ‘Trigger’ in Your POA & Trust: Two Doctors or One?

Q. I am in my late 80’s and am updating my estate plan. I find I have an important decision to make:  in my Power of Attorney (“POA”) and my Trust, if I ever lose mental capacity should I require the opinion of two doctors, or just one, to certify my incapacity before duties transfer… Read More »

Planning an Inheritance for A Child or Grandchild on Public Benefits: The Special Needs Trust?

Q.  One of my grandchildren has a disability and receives SSI and Medi-Cal. I would like to leave him a bequest from my estate when I pass. But won’t doing so cause him to lose his public benefits? A.  Not if you plan correctly. As you probably know, your grandson cannot have more than $2,000… Read More »

Decanting: A New Way To Reform A Trust After the Death of the Trustor

Q. My brother created a trust a few years back, naming our sister as one of his beneficiaries and me as the Trustee. He recently died and we now have a problem:  our sister receives public benefits (Medi-Cal and SSI) and the receipt of an inheritance would cause her to lose those benefits.  Is there… Read More »

What Are CUTMA Accounts?

Q.  As a grandparent, I keep hearing about CUTMA accounts, usually in discussions about gifts to grandchildren. What are they, actually? A. CUTMA is an abbreviation for “California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act” and, as you surmise, it refers to gifts made to minors. Minors cannot own property in their own name, as the law… Read More »