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Questions Answered by Sally Bergman
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Finance has inheritance in Spain. Parent pass. Worth 950, 000 Euros. But needs her to sent 1900.00 Euros. Money is tight

Lawyes need for travel expensive to retreat from Security deposit. Can just take money from inheritance instead ask upfront $.

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on May 18, 2018

This sounds very unusual and I would not consider sending that kind of money without consulting first with a U.S. Attorney familiar with International estate planning or transactional matters. Also, once that money is transferred into the United States, there are very specific IRS documents that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on
Q: can A spouse be charged with elder abuse/or face legal issues if other spouse has Alzheimer’s and refuses to eat/drink?

Spouse is cared for at home, has living will with specifications about no medical interventions

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on May 9, 2018

If your wife's living will is very clear about refusing feeding tubes and being force-fed, then, no, you should not. This is, however, a delicate and complicated area. If there are family members or friends who disagree with your wife's wishes, they could call Adult Protective Services, which... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Rights, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: Can a will be written stating that a house is to be sold and proceeds distributed equally among the beneficiaries?

In order to prevent a petition to the court for partition if one of the beneficiaries refuses to sell wouldn't it be better to have the will state the house is to be sold and proceeds divided equally among the beneficiaries? That way the house is never actually in the beneficiaries names.

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Apr 30, 2018

Anything left by way of a will has to go through a probate process which is expensive and time consuming. The parent(s) should have a revocable living trust which avoids probate and can specify exactly what your parent wants to happen to all of the assets, including the house. Because one child... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: If I create a revocable living trust, how do I put my car into the trust?

Id like to put my car into the trust but can i name the trustee using initials to protect my privacy? Like "a.b. lastname, trustee for lastname family trust?"

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Apr 30, 2018

There typically is no need to place a vehicle into a living trust. The only times that might be done is if the settlor had a vehicle that had some collector value.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on
Q: Can a medical recipient transfer their house to their estranged spouse and still receive their medical and ssi

if the spouse sells the house?

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Apr 29, 2018

Under California Medi-Cal rules, a home is an exempt asset, so you typically would have no need to transfer it to someone else, much less an estranged spouse. There are a couple of different ways you can transfer a home to someone else and still keep your Medi-Cal benefits, but you should consult... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for California on
Q: I have questions regarding the power of attorney. I have a family member in need of one.

My 90 year old father lives in the Los Angeles area and is in need of a power of attorney, My name is Steve Jones and I live in St. Louis, MO I will be in Los Angeles next week to start the process of finding out what can be done. My father wants to remain in Los Angeles he does not want to live in... Read more »

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Apr 27, 2018

Hi Steve, The rules here prohibit any professional from contacting you directly. I do, however, recognize your concerns for your father. If you would check www.naela.org (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys), you can search by zip code as Los Angeles is a geographically very large area in CA.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on
Q: Are assisted living communities subject to nondiscrimination laws?
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Apr 27, 2018

Yes. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) applies to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities, because each of these facilities is considered a "dwelling" under the FHA.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Can I change MYSELF beneficiaries on my trust?
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Apr 22, 2018

Depending how you want to change your beneficiaries can have differing consequences. It is advisable that you have the lawyer who prepared the trust make the desired changes, particularly if you are intending to disinherit any children.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My father recently passed away in Arkansas. Me and my siblings are in California. His wife will not show us his will.

My father owned several homes in Arkansas, one in which his wife's son has lived in for free. My Dad also had automobiles and motorcycles of some value. I believe her refusal is a sign that my father left most of his assets to us and she does not want us to know that, otherwise why not release... Read more »

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Apr 12, 2018

My condolences for the loss of your father. Unfortunately, how this can or will be handled will be dependent upon what the law is in Arkansas, so you will need to consult an Arkansas attorney, preferably near the city where your father resided when he passed away.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: Inheritance, on Medi-cal in California.

I'm over 58years old have cancer and on medi-cal. Medi-cal is paying for all my medical needs. A friend died and left me $23,000. If I accept this money will I be dropped from medi-cal? I can't afford to be dropped because I will die if I don't get treatment, there is no cure for the cancer I have... Read more »

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Apr 5, 2018

It would depend upon your age, exactly what type of benefits you are receiving and how much money your friend left you. It is a large amount, you can often set up a supplemental needs trust to protect your benefits. Some times, you simply need to appropriately spend down the money before the end... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My mother has passed

She has a Savings account set up for me and my niece is this part of her will since my niece is not included in her will

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Mar 24, 2018

My condolences for the loss of your mother. Any bank or savings account that designates one or more individuals as the beneficiaries upon the death of the account holder, will pass to the named beneficiary. This means that if you and your niece were named by your mother as death beneficiaries on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for California on
Q: My brother had a Traditional IRA account without naming a beneficiary. He passed away without a will. The bank said the

lump-sum must be paid to the estate, which would be subject to higher tax on the distribution. How can we roll it to an Inherited IRA in my father's name instead (father is the sole beneficiary in probate)?

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Mar 24, 2018

Unfortunately, this happens all too often when IRA owners do not designate a beneficiary on their beneficiary statement. The IRA institution will pay the proceeds only to the estate, which, depending upon the State, may further complicate the process and cause greater expense. Because there was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: WHEN A FAMILY TRUST IS DISSOLVED, WHAT ASSETS IN FACT WILL BE RECEIVED FROM THE TRUST .

TRUST IN CALIFORNIA. OWNS MINORITY INTERESTS IN LLC ENTITIES THAT IN TURN OWN REAL ESTATE. ON DISSOLUTION OF THE TRUST, WILL THE TRUST BENEFICIARIES RECEIVE TENANTS IN COMMON INTERESTS IN THE UNDERLYING REAL ESTATE, OR AUTOMATICALLY BECOME MEMBERS OF THE LLC ENTITIES EVEN WITHOUT SIGNING THE... Read more »

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Mar 11, 2018

I don't believe it's possible to answer this question without reviewing both the terms of the trust and the LLC agreement.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on
Q: My mom has the beg of dementia and she is going to have to go to a nursing home that handles that and its going to cost

alot of money. How do we protect my moms money if we didn't hide it 5 years ago.?

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Mar 6, 2018

There may be ways at least some of her money can be protected, but you will need the assistance of a qualified elder law attorney. Sometimes you have to spend money to save money.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on
Q: How difficult is it to change someone else's advanced healthcare directive?
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Mar 3, 2018

It's not only difficult, it's impossible. Only the individual can change their own healthcare directive. I can't think of any situation where it would be appropriate to change another person's health care directive.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My sister passed away. She had no beneficiary on her bank accounts. What are my legal rights to claim her assets?
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Feb 28, 2018

If the total in her bank accounts was under $150,000, there are various summary procedures available. It would also depend upon whether your sister had a spouse, children or living parent. Unfortunately, though, some of the bigger banks like Wells Fargo, B of A, Citibank and Chase like to bully... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: If my brother is on my mother's living trust and is past on .Who receives his share of the trust.thxs much
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Feb 24, 2018

The trust document will specify where your brother's share goes. Typically, it would go to his children and, if he had none, his share would likely go to the other surviving beneficiaries. You would have to review the trust language to be certain.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Is it legal for the step-son of my 95 yr old elderly dad whom recently had a stroke to secretly set up a living trust?

San Diego CA, the step son of my 94yr old father, whom recently suffered a stroke a year earlier, secretly set up a living trust with his mother (90+yrs with mental illness and dementia) naming himself successor trustee. They’re home with husband & wife joint tenancy ownership, is the sole asset... Read more »

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Feb 7, 2018

If your father and step-mother did not have mental capacity at the time the trust was established, it would not only be invalid, although it could require a court proceeding to prove that, it could also be elder financial abuse. You need to contact an elder law attorney who can evaluate the entire... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My mom passed away and I need to put the house in my name can you tell me what forms I need to fill out

Its located in california and I have her living trust and I am the only child and I am the trustee

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Feb 7, 2018

If the property in California was in your mother's individual name, unfortunately, you will have to go through a probate proceeding in the county where your mother resided when she died.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Does a living trust have to be filed in court.

My mom has a living trust. My brother is to come inherit the house and all monies in my moms bank accounts. My brother provided me with a living trust and it is notorized. My question is does this document have to be filed in the county court system

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Feb 5, 2018

Living trusts typically are not filed with the court system. Occasionally, a shorter document called a Certificate of Trust, may be filed with the County Recorder's office, in order to sell the home.

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