Available for Interviews: Martha Jo Patterson
Martha Jo Patterson is a Certified Elder Law Attorney and is passionate about helping the elderly, disabled, as well as families who have special challenges both in taking care of their loved ones and managing legal matters.
Protecting Your Assets in Your Golden Years:
Here’s an answer you need to know: “Why are Living Trusts called “Living Trusts”? This is a really good question especially since Living Trusts focus on planning for what happens to your estate when you die, avoiding probate and taxes.
The term Living Trust has been used to refer to a Trust which could be revoked for years. It is called a “Living Trust” because it is created during your lifetime, and controls your property both when you are alive and when you are dead.
It avoids probate, because the Trustee (the manager of the property) can be changed when one Trustee becomes incapacitated or dies.
3 Reasons Why You Should
Have a Living Trust
1. Avoid Probate
Probate is the process of handling an estate when someone dies. If you die with a significant Estate and have only a Will you will go through Probate. A Living Trust which is properly funded, will not go to court. Funding a Trust is making sure that all your assets are properly titled in your Trust.
2. Avoid Taxes
A Living Trust can be designed to avoid Estate Taxes (not much of a worry today as the Estate Tax exemption is well over 11 Million Dollars), but there are other taxes to avoid, Capital gains taxes, and the increase in property taxes that can occur when a property transfers. A Living Trust prepared by an Attorney who knows how to avoid all the taxes can make sure that your family saves on every possible tax.
3. Take care of You and Your Family
A Living Trust can make sure you or your loved ones are cared for even if you become sick or incapacitated, but you have to make sure to plan for what happen if you don’t die. Unfortunately, most people forget about this and only worry about what happens when they die, and their Trust reflects that. If you have an Elder Law Attorney prepare your living Trust he or she will make sure that your Living Trust is truly living and not a death plan.
Interview: Martha Jo Patterson
Martha Jo Patterson, is a Certified Elder Law Attorney and specializes in estate planning, trust and probate law, wills, trusts, probate, long term care, Medi-Cal, asset protection, and veteran’s benefits. Patterson is a member of NAELA and past president of Southern California NAELA, and is the author of The Nursing Home Dilemma: A Consumer’s Guide to Protecting Your Loved Ones While Preserving Your Assets.
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