Estate Planning FAQs
What is probate?
Probate is a court process. Generally, there are several steps to this process. The court appoints a person to be in charge of the decedent’s estate. This person is called the personal representative. This individual gathers, sells, and distributes the decedent’s assets to the appropriate persons or entities, pays the decedent’s appropriate bills, and files tax returns. All of this is done under the court’s supervision.
Why do people want to avoid probate?
It can be a time consuming and costly process. Proper estate planning can avoid Probate. If you do need to go through the Probate process, I can help you through every step of the process.
What happens if I die without a Will?
In California, if you die without a Will the State of California and the Superior Court will decide who will be in charge of your estate and who will inherit your estate.
What do I do if I do not wish to be kept alive on life support machines?
A document called a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care will protect you from this situation.
Does a Living Trust protect my estate from nursing home costs?
No. If your assets are in a Living Trust and you need to go into a nursing home, then all of the assets contained in the Living Trust will be counted to determine whether or not you qualify for Medi-Cal.
What is a Special Needs Trust?
A Special Needs Trust shelters income and resources that might otherwise interfere with eligibility for government programs such as Social Security and Medi-Cal. A Special Needs Trust can enhance the quality of life over and above what the basic benefits programs can do. Simply speaking, it maximizes financial resources.
When should I begin planning for Medi-Cal?
Immediately! Early planning provides you with more options, such as creating estate planning documents with Medi-Cal planning language making sure your appointed agent(s) can carry out further Medi-Cal planning if you eventually become incapacitated. Please realize it is never too late for Medi-Cal planning and effective strategies can still be implemented in emergency situations. However, usually, the longer you wait for the fewer options available.
If I am already receiving Medi-Cal benefits, can I still benefit from Medi-Cal planning?
Yes. Medi-Cal planning is potentially able to reduce or eliminate your “share of cost” co-payment and protect your assets from Medi-Cal recovery.
Can I make a large gift to immediately qualify for Medi-Cal?
Medi-Cal has strict regulations concerning asset transfers. Improper transfers may result in a significant “period of ineligibility” during which an individual cannot receive Medi-Cal benefits. Transfers can also have negative estate and capital gains tax ramifications. Legal advice should be obtained before making any transfers.
What is the amount Medi-Cal can claim against my estate?
The lesser of the total amount of benefits a Medi-Cal beneficiary received during his or her life, or the value of the Medi-Cal beneficiary’s estate at the time of their passing. Medi-Cal recovery could wipe out a person estate (home value and cash) leaving the family very little or no inheritance. Legal costs are minimal when compared to losing all the equity in your home from recovery. If you are currently in a nursing home or will be entering a nursing home in the future, it is important to contact a qualified attorney. Only proper legal planning sets up children/spouse/family to inherit your assets and eliminate asset loss due to recovery (lien on home or cash). I can prepare documents that protect your assets and have the nursing home cost paid for by the State of California, i.e. Medi-Cal, instead of you using your hard earned money to pay for a nursing home. Without professional legal guidance, you could incur expensive Medi-Cal transfer penalties.
Why choose S. Sharon Yoon for Estate Planning?
- Sharon Yoon is a licensed attorney and Certified Specialist by the California State Bar, in estate planning, trust, and probate law. She has licensed attorney for over 10 years.
- She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Juris Doctor from Ventura College of Law, where she graduated #1 in her class.
- Sharon Yoon is bilingual in English and Korean, allowing me to serve a broad constituency of individuals and have helped countless families and individuals in all areas of estate planning for the residence of [city] Ca.
- Her experience and areas of expertise are estate and business planning, probate, estate and trust administration, asset protection, special needs planning, and Medi-Cal. She is also accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Sharon Yoon gives back to the community! She volunteers her time and resources with Ventura County Grey Law and Ventura County Military and Veterans Legal Clinic, where I assist the elderly and veterans with their estate planning needs.
Estate Planning Testimonial – [city] Ca
Sharon Yoon is trusted and relied upon by many. See what others say about her and the estate planning services she provides.
CHRIS P. – FACEBOOK
“Sharon takes something that could be stressful and emotional and turns it into an easy process that gives me peace of mind. She is very organized, friendly and approachable. She is very knowledgeable in helping out how to protect family’s assets.”
ALEEM K. – YELP
“Sharon was great! Very thorough, very on top of things. She made the process very easy. I would highly recommend her for trust formation.”