ESTATE PLANNING & ASSET PROTECTION
Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts are often confusing and somewhat troublesome. Planning for protecting your assets when you’re gone can be a difficult and stressful process. The Law Offices of Sharma Kliche are well versed in making this a straightforward and as uncomplicated as possible. There are important reasons to plan ahead to prepare your Estate Plan, Will and Trust. Avoiding probate and the Death Tax will save your beneficiaries court time, money, and discord. In order to start your Estate Planning and Asset Protection, we’ve provided the below steps to prepare for your Estate Planning consultation.
1. Gathering Financial Documentation
2. Choose your beneficiaries and trustees
3. Choose a name for your trust
4. Find your grant deed to your home
5. Choose a disbursement plan
6. Think about community property versus separate property
7. Decide whether you want to include asset protection
8. Decide whether you need to include guardianship provisions
9. If you have a special needs child, decide whether you want a separate special needs trust
10. If you are a married person, consider including tax planning to protect yourself from estate taxes
Finally, call us and we will be happy to walk you through everything you will need to create a proper, and complete estate plan. Once created, you will only need to update the durable powers of attorney once every five years unless there is a change in congressional law or your family situation like an addition or a child or marriage/divorce. Please call us for a free phone consultation on any of our legal services.
SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS
Unfortunately, the use of SNTs is sometimes hard to understand. Although we cannot possibly explain all of the nuances of the SNT in a short blog, we will give you some of the basics here. A special needs trust (SNT) is usually established for an individual that has mental or physical disability that will not allow for him/her to engage in any gainful activity by reason of medical or physical impairment that will lead to death or which has lasted or will be expected to last at least 12 months (42 USC section 1382C(a)3(A). The main purpose of establishing an SNT is to maintain SSI benefits. If you receive SSI, you will more than likely also get Medi-Cal for your health care needs. These are major benefits that people with mental or physical impairments need. By establishing an SNT the beneficiary will still receive SSI benefits, and the special needs trust can be the beneficiary for any assets that the parents leave for the beneficiary. There are two types of SNTs that can be created, a third party SNT and a first party SNT. It is recommended that a third party SNT be created. This is a trust created by the parents of the child, and the beneficiary is the SNT rather than the individual. This ensures that the child will continue to get SSI benefits, and Medi-Cal. The parents assets can be used for a variety of different things like vacations, classes, hobbies, transportation, professional services, furniture, pet supplies, etc. essentially almost anything that is NOT an outright cash gift that will help the recipient live a better quality life. The beneficiary will never own the property in the trust, and will not have direct access to the trust funds. The assets left to SNT usually consist of money and property and the trustee of the SNT will use the assets for the benefit of the impaired child. The trust is usually terminated when either the assets run out of the child passes away. If there are still assets available in the SNT those assets are passed on to someone else. The above description describes a third party SNT. There are also first party SNTs but they are not recommended. They have very particular rules, and must adhere to those rules strictly. They also require a pay-back provision in the trust that will pay back the government for services rendered. For more information on SNTs generally, and especially third party SNTs, please call us for a free legal consultation on this our legal services.
Family Law encompasses a variety of different areas including divorce, child custody, child support, modification orders, spousal support, and collaborative divorce. If you are married then your divorce may include all of the above. If you have never been married, and you have children the only things you have to worry about are child support and child custody. The laws regarding divorce are the same now for both traditional and same sex couples. Under a divorce situation, you have to consider division of assets, child support, child custody, and spousal support. Modification orders refer to changes in custody, which in turn affects child support. Unfortunately, even if you adjust child custody, the other party can petition to re-adjust almost immediately. As you can imagine, these situations are highly emotional and sometimes stressful. It is in your best interest to try and work out everything you can as amicably as possible. If you can work things out, you can hire one attorney to represent both parties under a collaborative divorce. This basically means that the attorney is not technically representing you or your spouse, but rather is creating the paperwork necessary to file an uncontested divorce (means you are not fighting over anything). Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested we can get you through it with as much ease and comfort as possible.
Chapter 7 in essence discharges your debt, if you qualify. This is for individuals who are overwhelmed with a large amount of debt, and do not have large assets that can be sold to help pay off the debt. Once the bankruptcy is finalized, all of your debt is gone and creditors can no longer come after you. Certain debts like child support and taxes cannot be discharged. A “means” test must be passed to see whether or not you qualify for this type of bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 is the most common. If you have a steady income, this may allow you to restructure your debt and repay it within a time frame. Usually 3-5 years. This type of bankruptcy allows you to keep your assets. Once your repayment plan is complete, your debt is completely paid off.
Want to move to the United States and live the American dream? Already in the United States and need help with your immigration status?
We can represent you in regards to your green cards, citizenship and naturalization, adjustment to status, and waivers.
Beware of immigration scams. If you need legal advice on immigration matters, make sure you are talking to a knowledgeable and skilled attorney. You can be assured the attorney’s at Sharma Kliche are highly experienced, ethical and authorized to answer and help you with your immigration matters. United States Custom and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be a hard organization to deal with if they do not have the necessary information to properly address your issue. Let us work diligently for you, and secure the future for you and your family.
Please call us for a free legal consultation regarding any of our legal services. Your satisfaction is our goal, and number one priority. We will do everything we can to resolve your legal matters.
Civil litigation refers to any court action that takes place in a civil court as opposed to a criminal court. For example, if you say you want to sue someone or some business, your lawsuit will take place in a civil court. The process of suing is called civil litigation. There are a variety of civil litigation actions including breach of contract, property disputes, personal injury cases, property damages, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, landlord/tenant disputes, and many others. We do a variety of civil litigation cases in our office. The benefit of civil action is that many of them settle before going to trial. As a matter of fact more than 90% of cases settle before trial. Before deciding to file a civil suit, please speak with our knowledgeable attorneys who can walk you through the process and come up with a strategic plan that will be most beneficial to you. Having a strategic plan will save both your time and your money. The most complicated of lawsuits fall under the civil realm. This usually means they are also the most expensive. For more information on your civil case or any of our legal services, please call us for a free legal consultation.
I have been practicing for almost a decade here in Calfornia, and prior to that I worked in New York. I am dedicated and passionate about educating my clients and providing the best legal representation possible!