Author Archives: Paul D. Hunt

About Paul D. Hunt

If you're a resident of California, and a homeowner, then you should clearly put your home into a living trust. A living trust makes probate unnecessary. (We don't like to say "avoiding probate," because that's misleading!) Probate is very expensive – an average home in Alameda will require a probate fee of about $37,000. Also, probate is very slow, and it's done in public. Our law office is dedicated to getting rid of all of the estate planning myths out there, like the "avoiding probate" myth. We want every family in Alameda to enjoy the many benefits of a trouble-free estate. Come to one of our seminars, or call for a free initial appointment at (510) 523- 2100.

Our Blog

Fiduciaries Beware! Personally Liable for Taxes!

Most of my new clients come to me with the idea that they should nominate a spouse or a child to serve as the executor/successor trustee of their estate. Except for small estates, which also have no “family politics,” or … Continue reading

Posted in Successor Trustee | Leave a comment

Prepare Your Legacy Statement

All of our clients, and people who’ve attended my public lectures, know that I am a great believer in ‘Legacy Planning.’ As a lawyer, I know that good Legacy Planning avoids serious (and often predictable) legal disputes, and the ugly … Continue reading

Posted in Living Trusts | Leave a comment

The Medicare Tax is Coming!

The Supreme Court recently held that the Affordable Care Act (the new health care law) is constitutional. One of the more controversial provisions of the law, but which is not well known, is that a new 3.8% investment income surtax … Continue reading

Posted in Taxes | Leave a comment

Medi-Cal, Spending-Down, and the “Half-a-Loaf” Strategy

Medi-Cal eligibility workers routinely tell Medi-Cal applicants that they must spend-down all of their savings on paying for nursing home care, until they only have $2,000 left, at which point they will finally qualify for Medi-Cal. This is Medi-Cal’s “preferred … Continue reading

Posted in Medi-Cal, Retirement | Leave a comment

Annuities and Medi-Cal Planning

When the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) goes into effect in California, it will become even more difficult for a Medi-Cal applicant to use annuities as an effective piece in an overall Medi-Cal planning strategy. (However, they can still work well … Continue reading

Posted in Incapacity Planning, Inheritance Trusts, Medi-Cal | Leave a comment

How to Fix the Home Transfer Tax Trap!

In my last blog, I talked about the Home Transfer Tax Trap. Sometimes, when people try to save their homes from Medi-Cal estate recovery claims, they just make matters worse, because they do not think through the estate tax and … Continue reading

Posted in Medi-Cal, Real Estate, Retirement, Taxes | Leave a comment

Don’t Fall Into the Home Transfer Tax Trap!

I like to tell my clients that Medi-Cal planning is lot like playing chess. It’s easy to understand how all the little pieces are supposed to move, but there are literally billions of ways to play the first few moves … Continue reading

Posted in Medi-Cal, Retirement, Taxes | Leave a comment

Use Personal Service Contracts to Qualify for Medi-Cal Quickly, and to Enjoy a Higher Level of Care

Harry’s dementia has been getting worse and he will need nursing home care soon. His loving daughter, Grace, has already been spending 20 hours per week helping Harry – without charge – with dressing, eating, and other “activities of daily … Continue reading

Posted in Medi-Cal | Leave a comment

CUTMA is a Simple and Powerful Estate Planning Technique

The California Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (CUTMA) can be found in sections 3900 to 3925 of the California Probate Code. It provides a means for parents (and grandparents) to make gifts to their children, without the need for setting … Continue reading

Posted in Guardianship, Inheritance Trusts | Leave a comment

Saving Your Home from Medi-Cal Liens

The concern that our clients have about Medi-Cal liens is a bit of a misnomer. Actually, Medi-cal will rarely place a repayment lien on your home, even if you need to accept Medi-Cal benefits in order to pay for some … Continue reading

Posted in Medi-Cal | Leave a comment