What is a Conservatorship?

     A conservatorship happens when a petition is filed with the Court for one to be established because someone can no longer take care of his or her life.  This can be a conservatorship of the person [personal care issues] or of the “estate” [meaning finances] or both.  The Court appoints a person to handle and be responsible for another person’s financial and/or daily living affairs and needs. A conservatorship may be necessary when a person in need cannot handle his/her affairs and has not nominated another person to help through a trust or power of attorney document, when the person nominated is not suitable, or in the case of physical or financial abuse.        If you are looking at a conservatorship as an option, the planning has failed.  You can totally avoid having to go to Court, having to make all your personal financial information public, having to account annually, by setting this up during your life.  With powers of attorney for asset management and health care, someone is nominated in advance to step in for you if you can no longer handle your own decisions.  A Trust can also set out your personal care directions. You list a series of people you nominate so that if there is someone who cannot do the work [due to death or unavailability], the next in line can step in.  This is also the case if there is elder abuse.  The next in line can take steps to replace the abuser and protect the elder.  A conservatorship is a valuable tool.  You can, however, avoid having to go...

In Case of Death List

In Case of Death List The following agencies need to be notified of your loved one’s passing. Not all may apply to your situation: Social Security Administration Veteran’s Administration (if the decedent formerly served in the military) Defense Finance and Accounting Service (military service retiree receiving benefits) Office of Personnel Management (if the decedent is a former federal civil service employee) U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service (If the decedent was not a U.S. citizen) State Department of Motor Vehicles (If the decedent had a driver’s license) Credit card and merchant card companies Banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions Mortgage companies and lenders Financial planners and stock brokers Your estate planning attorney Pension providers Life insurers and annuity companies Health, medical and dental insurers Disability insurers Automotive insurer Mutual benefit companies All three credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion Any memberships held by the decedent (ex: health clubs, professional associations, clubs, library etc.) You can list the decedent on the Deceased Do Not Contact List, maintained by the Direct Marketing Association, which is a service that removes the decedent from all direct mailing...

Why Do I Need To Plan My Estate When The Estate Tax Exclusion Is Up To $5,000,000!?

Why Do I Need To Plan My Estate When The Estate Tax Exclusion Is Up To $5,000,000!? I talk to a lot of people who stopped worrying about planning their estates when the 2011 threat of the $1,000,000 limit of assets that could transfer to their heirs without estate tax jumped to an unbelievable $5,000,000 per person! The legislature extended a tax bill already on the books for two more years and increased the exclusion amount from $3,500,000 to $5,000,000. At a $1,000,000 limit, in California, it is fairly easy to see exceeding that amount when one considers the value of your house and retirement assets and planning became critical. Now, it seems people have relaxed and figure, I suppose, that unless they are any where near five million dollars in their estates, they have nothing to worry about. Think again. First, that $5,000,000 amount is only through December 31, 2012, which is next year. Second, it has nothing to do what happens to your body, only your money. Third, the new exclusion amount does nothing for your children should a Guardian be needed. There is much more to planning your life and estate than just how much money you have. Let’s start with a very basic background on the Estate Tax in the United States. The estate tax is one part of the Unified Gift and Estate Tax system in the United States. It is a tax on the transfer of the “taxable estate” at death of any assets by any means, whether via a will, according to the state laws of intestacy, a transfer of property from...
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