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Estate Administration

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Don't let the life insurance that covers your spouse or parent get away!


Do you know what life insurance policies cover your spouse or parent? Few of us can remember like an elephant. Many years ago, when someone came to our firm for help after their spouse or family member died, we would follow procedures offered by a large life insurance database to check and see whether there was any life insurance on the life of the person who had died. Using this database, we regularly found life insurance benefits for surviving family members. Then the insurance industry group that offered the database went away.

Family members often do not know what insurance their spouse or parents carry.
Read more . . .


Friday, November 27, 2015

Pre-Planning with a San Diego Elder Lawyer for Nursing Home Care

Pre-Planning with a San Diego Elder Lawyer for Nursing Home Care

One of the more difficult topics that San Diego elder law attorneys and their clients must discuss is the potential need for nursing home care. However, talking about it and knowing the options is actually one of the things that can make things easier. With the help of a good elder care lawyer in San Diego, seniors and their adult children can plan ahead to remove fear and uncertainty about the future.

One of the most compelling reasons for pre-planning nursing home care is the fact that the senior can be thoroughly involved in the process. Far too often, San Diego elder law lawyers work with families where the person in need of care has experienced physical or mental impairments that limit their participation in the planning process.  It is not uncommon for seniors who have had a simple fall, even if they only suffered bumps and bruises, to feel paralyzed when they face the planning process.  Whether overwhelmed by facing a sudden reality that they need to plan, are incapacitated and unable to communicate or their cognitive functions have deteriorated due to dementia or other problems, elderly individuals who wait too long can find that they have a hard time making their true wishes know or perhaps simply cannot make long term care decisions without guidance..

An additional problem that pre-planning solves is that nursing home care is often needed on very short notice, as the result of an unexpected illness or injury. In the midst of a medical crisis, most families would prefer to already have arrangements in place so they can simply focus on treatment, recovery, or long-term care.

Understanding the importance of pre-planning is a great starting point. The next step is to familiarize yourself with some of the conversations you and your elder law attorney should have. For example, a lawyer may talk you, as their client, through the various alternatives to nursing home care in order to determine what is really the best option for you. Instead of a nursing home, it’s possible that you might be better served with in-home care or at an assisted-living facility. An elder lawyer with extensive experience in the San Diego area will also have first-hand knowledge regarding the reputation and levels of care available from various local caregivers and institutions.

The entire process of researching, selecting, applying to, and paying for nursing home care is complex. It’s not something that most people can navigate easily. Pre-planning with an elder law attorney can remove some of the mystery and also gives you the opportunity to compare facilities and negotiate prices. Each of these things gets considerably harder when being done in a rush on the heels of an illness or accident.

The thing to keep in mind is that San Diego elder care lawyers are experienced in focusing on the needs of seniors. From pre-planning for nursing home care to qualifying for Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid plan) to setting up a smart estate plan, elder law attorneys have specific knowledge of the unique planning issues that directly affect our older generation.  A San Diego Elder Law Attorney  can help you and your family anticipate problems and prepare solutions for problems that haven’t even arisen yet!

The Weissler Law Group can help you start or fine tune your planning to prepare for aging and care related issues. Call us at (619) 281-1888


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Preparing your Executor or Trustee for Wills and Trust Administration in San Diego

Wake up and Prepare your Executor or Trustee to Administer your Will or Trust in San Diego

As an individual puts together his or her estate plan, there is a need to really think about how it will be administered. California Wills and trusts administration can be a complex process, although having an estate plan in place is without a doubt one of the best ways to simplify it. Another way to improve the outcome of the administration is to thoroughly prepare your executor or successor Trustee for the job ahead of them.

In California we call executors and successor trustees “Personal Representatives.” In San Diego Personal Representatives are called on to take care of many different details related to administering a will or trust. In order to improve that person’s efficiency and make the most of your estate plan, start by talking with the person you want to perform the job and make sure that he or she is willing and able to do so. It’s possible that you could name someone as the executor of the estate intending it to be an honor, but without briefing them in advance, that person might actually feel like it is a burden or unwanted responsibility. Keep in mind that this doesn’t make the person uncaring, rather, it allows you to name someone who will do the job willingly and well. For many people they just don’t have time in their lives to step into another’s shoes and either wind up their affairs or administer them over an extended period of time.

You can also smooth the process for the executor by actually discussing the contents of your estate plan with him or her, as well as with other family members and friends who will be affected. It’s hard to foresee what kinds of problems could arise during will or trust administration, so laying things out in advance can help avoid surprises later. Family dynamics are an incredibly personal and complicated thing, and the estate plan will likely need to take them into consideration. So, if one family member has a problem with addiction, a grandchild has a disability, or one sibling is substantially wealthier than others, these are all possible reasons a plan might not look the way everyone expected. Your goal of protecting more vulnerable family members could be perceived as unfair by those who don’t ‘need’ the help but feel distributions should be equal. Preparing them, and the executor, can avoid drama later—including but not limited to discouraging someone from trying to contest your will or trust.

Keeping your executor, or successor trustee, apprised of potentially upsetting aspects of the estate plan can help them navigate the will or trust administration later, especially since they will be clear on your intentions and therefore better armed to carry them out. Their abilities can also be bolstered by introducing them to your estate planning lawyer who can help them to really understand what will be expected of them and give them insight into things like taxes, court costs, paying off debt, and so on. With a little guidance up front, family conflicts can be reduced and your will or trust’s administration can run as smoothly as possible.  

At the Weissler Law Group we work to make certain our Clients' wishes are carried out and family conflicts are minimized or avoided.  We can be reached at (619) 281-1888


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The Attorneys of the Weissler Law Group assist clients in San Diego, California as well as in: Coronado, Pacific Beach, Del Mar, Solana Beach, La Jolla, Del Cerro, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee, El Cajon, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Escondido, National City, Spring Valley, and Chula Vista.



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