Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Taking Control of Your Health Care (by Kyle A. Krasa, Esq.)

A key aspect of estate planning is to plan for health care decisions in the event of incapacity.  Below is an overview of the most common health care planning documents.    

Advance Health Care Directive  

An Advance Health Care Directive (“AHCD”) has two main features.  First, it allows you to name an agent to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.  Commonly referred to as a “health care power of attorney,” it is essential to name an agent and at least one or two alternates in the event that the first agent is for any reason unable or unwilling to act.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Full Disclosure (by Kyle A. Krasa, Esq.)

A trust is a relationship of three parties: (1) the Grantor, also known as the “Trust Maker,” who designs, implements, and funds the trust; (2) the Trustee, also known as the “Trust Manager,”who manages the assets of the trust for the benefit of the Beneficiary in accordance with the terms of the trust; and (3) the Beneficiary who benefits from the assets of the trust.

In a Revocable Living Trust where all three parties are the same person or the same married couple, there is no concern as to whether the Trustee is properly managing the assets for the benefit of the Beneficiary in accordance with the Grantor’s instructions.  However, when the Trustee is different from the Grantor and the Beneficiary, it is of paramount importance that there is full disclosure as to how the Trustee is managing the assets to make sure that the Trustee is acting in accordance with the terms of the trust and that the Beneficiary’s rights to the trust’s assets are being enforced.  

The California Probate Code imposes three key duties of disclosure on a Trustee who is managing a trust for a third-party Beneficiary: (1) the duty to account; (2) the duty to provide reports; and (3) the duty to keep beneficiaries informed.

(1) Duty to Account (California Probate Code § 16062)

The Trustee has an affirmative duty to account to the current Beneficiaries of a trust at least annually and upon the occurrence of specified events.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Celebrity Estate Planning Blunders (by Kyle A. Krasa, Esq.)

Celebrity Estate Planning Blunders Prominent figures such as musicians, athletes, and actors have many talents and characteristics that are to be admired and enjoyed.  There is no better live singer than Gwen Stefani.  Witnessing Aaron Rodgers throw a perfect pass at legendary Lambeau Field is awe-inspiring.  Tina Fey’s wit and dry sense of humor is insightful.  However, many celebrities do not make the best decisions with respect to their estate planning.

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