Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Los Angeles CA Probate Attorney Blog - The Cost of Probate

Probate is the process to transfer title of property from the person who died to his or her beneficiaries.
If the person died with a will, the probate court determines if the will is valid, listens to any objections to the will, orders that creditors are notified and paid ans assures that property remaining is distributed in accordance with the terms will. If the will nominates an executor, the court appoints that person assuming there are no objections.If a person dies and does not have a will the probate court selects an administrator to handle claims against the estate, pay creditors and distribute all remaining property.
The difference between dying with and without a will is that without a will (intestate) the estate is distributed to beneficiaries according to the distribution plan established by state law; having a will (testate) the estate (after debts, taxes and costs of administration) is distributed according to the instructions in the will.
In California, the cost of probate is based on a formula determined by the value of the estate.  Compensation for serving as personal representative and attorney’s compensation for serving as probate attorney is set by the court near the end of the administration of the estate. The California Probate Code has a statutory compensation schedule for computing compensation payable to estate representatives and to attorneys in connection with “ordinary services” performed during estate administration. The compensation schedule, based on the size of the estate is:

4%  on the first  $100,000
3%  on the next  $100,000
2%  on the next  $800,000
1%  on the next  $9,000,000
1/2%  on the next  $15,000,000
“reasonable” compensation on the excess over $25,000,000
 The probate process
can tie up a property and all other estate assets for months and sometimes even more than a year.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Probate is Suffering in This Difficult Economy - Does a Trust Help?

Our goal in estate planning is to avoid probate. Main reasons for avoiding probate administration are: A) Eliminate the tremendous family expenses involved for probate administration, and B) Eliminate the long delay associated with the process that can tie up all the family funds ending up with a financial burden. The process of probate administration is controlled by the LA Superior Court system.
In this tough economic climate problems exist for both government agencies and private business. California, has suffered massive budget operating deficits in recent years causing severe cutbacks in government services. The impact on the Los Angeles Superior Court system includes increasing Court fees charged for filing petitions and pleadings including probate filings. Beginning July 2009, the Superior Court started a monthly program where the courts were closed the third Wednesday of every month. Court personnel work time is reduced causing delays and  in processing the legal matters.
California budgetary problems are getting worse.  There was an announcement that will slow down the probate administration process. On 3-17-10 it was announced that the LA Superior Court will lay off 329 staff members and closing 17 courtrooms county-wide. Court officials mentioned posibly 500 more people could be laid off and 50 more courtrooms closed by September 2010. Presiding Judge Charles "Tim" McCoy warned of delays and longer lines.

Now is a very important time to create an estate plan that avoids the cost and delay regarding probate administration. A living trust is a private agreement that permints your chosen fiduciaries to administer your estate privately, outside of the Superior Court. This trust, along with powers of attorney, allow your loved ones to privately manage your affairs in the event of your sudden incapacity. The documents, allow your family to avoid having to file a probate administration proceeding, or seek a conservatorship, through the LA Courts. A well constructed estate plan is significantly more economical than relying on the default probate systems administered by the Los Angeles Superior Court. If you have been reluctant do not wait any longer! Create an estate plan today—your loved ones will be grateful for this intelligent decision.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spouse Spends Entire Pay Check on Nursing Home Care - Will I Have To?

Alice Salvo gave me peace of mind which I am can not thank her enough.
My 86 year old mother entered a nursing home in 2005, my dad spent almost everything he earned to pay mom's medical expenses. His entire pay check each month provided for her care, and my sister and I had to help support my dad. With the slowing economy, he had investment losses and could not afford the nursing home costs so my sister and I started paying for mother's care.

Just what would happen if one day dad should also require nursing home care.  After doing an internet search I noticed other people had to face the same dilemma. I called attorney Alice Salvo and found out she helps families in this difficult situation. I was impressed with her knowledge friendly disposition and relieved to discover she had a solution that would benefit me.

Alice Salvo helped my father by preserving the remaining assets and made sure he will always have a home to live in. Attorney Salvo qualified my mother for Medi-Cal, carefully explaining the process, preparing the applications and working with the Medi-Cal offices. We were pleased with the impressive level of professionalism. Everything was handled so well and all her work was in compliance with agency regulations. All was accomplished in only about a month.

I found out that there is no financial security when you have someone in a nursing home and you must be proactive. In general facilities do not give you options other than private payment, and they really do not care that you have another elderly parent to care for. May I suggest to anyone having a similar situation to mine that they immediately get in touch with Alice Salvo and see what solutions she can offer you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Special Needs Trust Blog - Los Angeles

Improve your government benefits with  A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST.
A Special Needs Trust (SNT) document is prepared to benefit an individual having a disability. The disability may be mental or physical. A SNT allows the disabled person to have unlimited assets held in trust. These assets would not be considered countable for qualification of Medi-Cal benefits and therefore the disabled person could qualify for Medical benefits and receive supplemental support.
When Medi-Cal will not pay for certain medical care or treatments, the SNT can pay for those. If your son or daughter has a disability they could not inherit more than $2000 because it will interfere with the SSI and Medi-Cal benefits. Setting up the SNT allows the son or daughter to inherit funds over $2000 without losing the SSI and Medi-Cal benefits.
To set up a Los Angeles Special Needs Trust or understand further benefits for disabled individuals and those with special needs call attorney Alice Salvo for a free consultattion.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

California Medi-Cal Eligibility Planning & Qualification

State of California Medi Cal Eligibility Planning & Qualification

Our firm specializes in Elder Law with particular emphasis in California Medi-Cal Eligibility Planning, Medi Cal Estate Recovery Minimization, Legal Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration.  Our goal is to ensure that your assets are protected and preserved according to your wishes and goals.

MEDI CAL ELIGIBILITY PLANNING TO QUALIFY FOR MEDI CAL BENEFITS - We have answers for a comprehensive Medi-Cal plan:

Eligibility Planning - to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits

Income Planning - to reduce or eliminate a Medi-Cal beneficiary’s monthly share of cost co-payment

Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Planning - to reduce or completely eliminate Medi-Cal estate recovery against the beneficiary’s estate.

Free consultation, 818-887-3333 - Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo - Visit us on the web -  Attorney Alice Salvo will review your assets, income and estate planning documents to develop a Medi-Cal plan that meets your specific needs. We offer each client choices so that they can make an informed decision that truly benefits them.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Can Medi-Cal Take The Family Home?

The stories floating around that people lose their family home when a person on Medi-Cal dies are true. That is - if the owner of the home received Medi-Cal, then the family’s home can be lost. You are actually required to report the death of the person who was a Medi-Cal recipient so that Medi-Cal can decide if they are going to go after the home and assets. Currently, Medi-Cal does not take the home as long a the spouse is living, however do not chance losing the home once the spouse dies. One of the best strategies to implement, so that Medi-Cal cannot take the home, is to properly transfer it into a House Trust. Doing this lets the home/equity go to the surviving children. Our office can further explain the process and prepare all supporting documents. Free consultation, call 818-887-3333,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alice Salvo - Medi-Cal - What Should I do? Nursing Home Care

Is this your situation?
■    Dealing with Illness from  Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, or a stroke?
■    Soon to be discharged from the hospital to a nursing home for rehabilitation?
■    Currently in a nursing home and running out of Medicare / HMO benefit days and were told to take your  family member home?
■    Have assets, a home, savings, CD’s, a pension and have been told by other professionals you have too many assets and will not qualify for Medi-Cal paid nursing home care.
■    Fearful of losing your home and savings from the huge cost of continuous skilled nursing home care.

We have Answers! Alice A. Salvo - attorney - 818-887-3333, if you are in the Los Angeles area call for a free consultation!
➤Protect your home, savings and CD’s
➤Get great, Medi-Cal paid, nursing home care that you are entitled to
➤ We fill out all the forms and handle all communication with the Social Services Department

How to Protect Your Estate from Nursing Home Costs?
If you or your spouse enters a nursing home, the cost of the nursing home may wipe out your life's savings. With proper planning you may be eligible for Medi-Cal (California's version of Medicaid). If you or your spouse qualifies for this public benefit, Medi-Cal will pay for the high cost of nursing home care. Currently, nursing home fees average between four to six thousand dollars per month.

If you do not meet the eligibility requirements, there are certain planning strategies that our office can assist you with in order to qualify for Medi-Cal. Planning strategies include but are not limited to: permissible spending of money, converting non-exempt assets to exempt assets, repairing or improving exempt assets, paying off debts, court order, etc.

In order to qualify for Medi-Cal you will need to go through an involved application process. Please call us 818-887-3333  and for free we will assess your situation. We can do the complicated application, and proceed to get you qualified for Medi-cal benefits while protecting your home and savings.