The basic purpose of a living trust is to allow someone, often a loved one such as a surviving spouse or adult children to maintain control of their property while making sure the property is managed according to their wishes upon death or incapacity. Revocable living trusts are used by thousands of people in California to avoid having their estates go through the probate process.
In California, estates with a market value over $150,000 may be subject to the full probate process, and a simplified process is available for estates worth less than $150,000.
A last will and testament is a legal document that communicates a person's final wishes pertaining to assets and dependents. A person's last will and testament outlines what to do with possessions, whether the deceased will leave them to another person, a group or donate them to charity, and what happens to other things he or she is responsible for, such as custody of dependents, and management of accounts and interests.
Guardianship is when a court orders someone other than the child’s parent to:
A Conservatorship is a court proceeding in which a Judge appoints a family member, friend or other responsible person (conservator) to care for another adult (conservatee) who cannot care for themselves and/or their finances.
Allows an individual to act in the place of someone else for financial needs only. The principal grants these powers to a trusted friend or relative called an agent.
Advance care planning involves learning about the types of decisions that might need to be made, considering those decisions ahead of time, and then letting others know—both your family and your healthcare providers—about your preferences. These preferences are often put into an advance directive, a legal document that goes into effect only if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. This could be the result of disease or severe injury—no matter how old you are. It helps others know what type of medical care you want.
An advance directive also allows you to express your values and desires related to end-of-life care. You might think of it as a living document—one that you can adjust as your situation changes because of new information or a change in your health.
A legal document that allows an individual's health information to be used or disclosed to a third party. The waiver is part of a series of patient-privacy measures set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.
Trust administration is the process by which a decedent's trust assets are collected, debts are paid off and the remaining assets are distributed to the named trust beneficiaries. Depending on the type of trust that was created, assets may be distributed outright to the named beneficiaries or they may continue to be held in trust for the benefit of the named beneficiaries.
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