Thompson Von Tungeln by Sonia C. Lee, Esq. Partner Valentine's Day is right around the corner and is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate not only love for spouses and significant others, but family and friends in general. Isn't love about relationships and relationships about caring for one...
An estimated 70% of estates result in a loss of hard-earned assets or family disharmony and fallouts. This can easily be avoided most of the time with both a properly built and maintained estate plan.
If you are inheriting an IRA or retirement account from someone who is not your spouse, it is important that you realize that there are special rules that apply to non-spouse beneficiaries, including your children and grandchildren.
Senator Dianne Feinstein passed away in the early morning hours of September 29th. There had been several active lawsuits pertaining to the senator's late husband's estate, which is likely to be paused while her own estate is settled following her passing.
Unlike your own personal IRA or retirement account, inherited IRAs have special rules that apply. Beneficiaries other than the spouse of the IRA owner (also known as non-spouse beneficiaries) have special rules that apply which many people are unaware of.
In honor of both Halloween and National Estate Planning Awareness Week in October, I thought it would be fitting to share a few estate planning horror stories that could have easily been avoided with the right planning. These are mistakes that we see all too often and that happens every day.
By Attorney Kevin Von Tungeln After having administered several thousand estates after someone has passed away, our firm has seen its share of grief-stricken clients come through. No matter how much you may try to emotionally brace yourself for the passing of a loved one, it is often not some...
Did you know that, according to statistics, almost 50% of individuals over the age of 60 are dealing with some kind of disability? An estimated 250 million seniors are experiencing some form of moderate or severe disability. The current cost of care in California can range from $4,000 per month for an assisted facility, up to over $6,000 per month for in-home care and upwards of over $11,500 per month for a skilled nursing facility!
You’ve done everything right. You’ve worked long and hard to support your family and raise the kids. After many years, you’ve paid off your mortgage and your children are grown and raising their own families. Your house has increased significantly in value and you are counting on your home equity for your retirement or to leave something for the next generation.
All too often, people think that estate planning is a “one and done” type of process, where once you have your Living Trust or Will in place, you are set and nothing else is needed.
The worst part of being an estate planning attorney is telling those in need that it is too late to plan an estate. Unfortunately, almost every one of these cases could have been prevented with just a little bit of planning. We recently experienced such a case.
As we recently announced in our latest newsletter, we are pleased to continue expanding our service area to help more people. On April 1st, we are officially opening our new office in Koreatown. Located approximately 70 miles from our main office in Lancaster, this office will allow us to better serve clients for whom our Antelope and Santa Clarita Valleys are not as convenient. Led by our new Of Counsel, Tom Cho, a long-time community leader, attorney and real estate industry executive, we are particularly excited about increasing our outreach to the Korean American community. Clients are requested to contact our main number (661-945-5868) to schedule an appointment.
Blended families can create a number of the most difficult challenges when it comes to estate planning. The tension between a step-parent and step-child can be significant. If you are in a blended family, and have biological children not from your current spouse, you need to be aware of this tension. The challenges are not always apparent now or even apparent until one spouse passes away. Then things can explode if they have not been planned out in advance.
A common misconception by the public is that all Living Trusts and lawyers are the same. That just because you hired a law firm or legal service that offers estate planning services that you are getting the same product. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case and most people do not find out until it’s too late. This is typically revealed after they become disabled or pass away and the Living Trust is now put to the test. This is the reason why a lot of families and loved ones end up fighting in Court and wasting a lot of time and money, not to mention the unnecessary stress and chaos!
We are pleased to see an overwhelming number of people attending our Living Trust Seminars to get their estate planning done. Between new clients to the firm or existing clients coming back for a refresher and to have their estate plan reviewed and/or updated, it has been refreshing to see people taking care of these important legal matters for themselves and their loved ones. All over the news, we have been hearing about tough times ahead for us. Between inflation, job layoffs, and a looming recession, we are certainly in for a bit of a rough ride ahead of us. However, it’s during these times that it’s even more important to make sure that your estate planning matters are in order. Whether you haven’t set up an estate plan yet at all or if you have an estate plan that has not been reviewed in the past 3 years, there is no better time than RIGHT NOW to take care of these things for your family. You don’t want to risk that something could happen and you or your spouse loses capacity and is unable to make the necessary changes or decisions at that point. All too often we see clients coming in when it’s beyond the point where we are able to legally do anything to help them.
One of the best ways to learn is through other peoples’ mistakes, which is why I have decided to put together this short column into our newsletter each month so that I can identify stories (either that we’ve seen first-hand here at Thompson Von Tungeln or that come up in the news with celebrities or other well-known individuals). In this month’s issue, I wanted to spend some time on the importance of the Power of Attorney.
Did you know that February is American Heart Month - - a month dedicated to help bring awareness around heart disease and heart health. The statistics around heart disease are staggering, but the most important fact about heart disease is to remember that it can affect anyone at any age. This was more apparent than ever when 24-year-old NFL player, Damar Hamlin, shocked the world after collapsing from cardiac arrest while on the field following a tackle. The medical staff were able to rush to his side and provide him with medical care before being rushed to the hospital, where he was stabilized and recently discharged.
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new office location in the Santa Clarita / Valencia area, located at 27433 Tourney Road, Suite 150, Valencia, CA 91355. This office is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, so if you wish to schedule a consultation with our firm at our new office, be sure to call us at (661) 945-5868.
Would You Like to Sell Your Real Estate and Increase Your Retirement Income - - Without Paying Any Capital Gains Taxes?
Many people are nearing retirement age or are already retired and want to downsize their home after the kids have left the nest or they no longer need or want commercial property they own. Or they just want to use the equity in their properties to help increase their income, but don’t want to take out a mortgage.
It has come to our attention from a number of members of our community that they have recently been approached and/or marketed by law firms about pre-paying for trust administration services. These clients are healthy and are in no need of such services, but the appeal is that you can perhaps save money by pre-paying for these services now for your family.
We asked around the office for members of the Thompson Von Tungeln team to share some of their favorite holiday traditions this time of year. Below are a few of the team members' favorite traditions and recipes.Kevin Von Tungeln, Managing PartnerOne of my favorite holiday traditions is that my f...
I hesitated writing this piece, but I felt that I owed it to our clients and their loved ones to bring to light a grim and not-so-happy part about the holidays. It came when I saw an article about how the American Heart Association has reported that there are more heart attacks that happen on ...
Continuing from PART 1... Another way that trust mills will try to cleverly get around this issue of the “mystery surgeon” is through hidden disclaimers. When you sign up for one of their trusts, a disclaimer will be innocuously buried in the form stating, “We are not providing legal advice.”...
Many of our clients have had the opportunity to speak with our receptionist, Maggie Covarrubias, over the years. Something that you may not know about Maggie is that her daughter, Savannah is Little Miss Antelope Valley 2022. She is finishing up the end of her reign in the next two months, ha...
You may have noticed certain ads that offer Living Trusts at cut rates. They used to be $399, but now these cheap trusts go for $699 or more. This may sound great, but before you (or someone you love) jump to get that “bargain” trust, be sure you know all the facts - - and pitfalls! First, as...