Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Articles written by Diana Wade


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  • Who are Legal Document Assistants?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Jul 20, 2024

    Legal Document Assistants were once commonly known as Independent Paralegals. However, as of Jan. 1, 2000, only those Paralegals working directly for attorneys may now be referred to as Paralegals. Those formerly known as Independent Paralegals are now officially known as Legal Document Assistants (LDA). LDA often have the same educational background as a paralegal and are REQUIRED by law to be registered and bonded in the county in which they have their principal place of business. Please...

  • Types of business enterprises

    Diana Wade, LDA|Jul 6, 2024

    There are many different ways in which business is conducted in California. Selecting the most appropriate form of business enterprise for an individual or a group of individuals involves careful consideration of a variety of factors. These factors must be balanced against each other to ensure that the most appropriate form of business is selected. Businesses often act through designated individuals called agents who conduct their operations, and the law of agency governs many legal...

  • What is step-up basis and why should I know about it?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Jun 22, 2024

    I know I'm a nag. I nag because it's so important to plan now for your family when you die. It's not that we plan to fail, we fail to plan. So what happens to your children when they inherit the family home that is in a trust? A step-up in basis resets the cost basis of an inherited asset to its market value on the decedent's date of death. Example: Dad dies and has a house that is owned by a revocable trust. He bought the house for $100,000 in 1970 and transferred it to his trust. Dad died in 2...

  • Social Security Administration rule changes

    Diana Wade, LDA|Jun 8, 2024

    Soon a new rule will take effect that will dramatically change the way the Social Security Administration (the "Administration") looks at disability for certain individuals. These changes will reduce the burden on individuals applying for disability by allowing them to focus on the most current and relevant information about their past work. What does this mean exactly? Well, the Administration has long held that if an individual is capable of their past work, they are not disabled for work...

  • Common estate planning documents (part 1)

    Diana Wade, LDA|May 28, 2024

    Will Preparing a will has long been a fundamental building block of any estate plan. With a properly drafted will you can arrange for your estate to be distributed and administered according to your wishes. In your will you can: • Appoint an executor to manage your estate through the probate process. • Appoint a guardian for your minor children or disabled beneficiaries. • Make specific bequests of property or assets to specific beneficiaries. • Designate assets to be placed in trust for fam...

  • What is better, a will, or a trust?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Apr 27, 2024

    A trust will streamline the process of transferring an estate after you die while avoiding a lengthy and potentially costly period of probate (in California if you have assets like a house, and it is worth more than $166,000, there will be a probate in most circumstances). However, if you have minor children, creating a will that names a guardian is critical to protecting both the minors and any inheritance. Deciding between a will or a trust is a personal choice, and some experts recommend...

  • Who benefits from a trust?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Apr 13, 2024

    If you are reading this article, I am assuming you are at least thinking about an estate plan. So, let’s continue! What are the benefits of a living trust? A trust does not get filed with the court. A will does. Transferring your biggest assets into a trust makes it a whole lot easier for your heirs – I should say kids – to manage your assets upon your death. The person you name as the successor trustee can manage your assets if you become incapacitated. It can also be highly customized to fit y...

  • What about those strawberries?

    Diana Wade, contributing writer|Mar 30, 2024

    Did you know that California produces over 91% of the strawberries in the U.S.? Florida is second with a domestic winter crop. Here in California you might see strawberries year round due to our temperate climate, however, the biggest strawberry production occurs in the Santa Maria region that includes the coastal region of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo, Northern Santa Barbara and Monterey County. Oxnard is considered by many to be the Strawberry Capital of the World. Nice that it is...

  • It's marmalade season at A Taste of Tehachapi

    Diana Wade, contributing writer|Mar 16, 2024

    Did you know that California is the largest producer of citrus in the country? California supplies more than 80% of the fresh citrus fruits consumed in the United States and exports citrus to 16 countries around the world. In January, you will find navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges and Minneola Tangelo. The beginning of California citrus varieties starts in late summer and will continue into the spring. With all that citrus, let's talk about marmalade! Did you see Paddington Bear...

  • What is Trust Administration?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Mar 2, 2024

    Example: My mother just passed away. She had a living trust. I need to distribute the assets. After the grantor of a living trust dies, there are several things that must be done, either by the successor trustee or the surviving trustee (usually the spouse). The process is called Trust Administration. 1. Obtain several copies of the death certificate. 2. Prepare and record documents that establish the authority of the current trustee. In California, typically you would file an Affidavit Death...

  • Why would my attorney recommend a payable on death account?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Feb 17, 2024

    With a payable on death account or paid on death account, you name a beneficiary who gets the account when you die – no probate, no hassle. The person you name has no rights to the money until you die, so you can spend it all or change the beneficiary whenever you want. A payable on death account is created when you make an agreement with your financial institution – usually your bank. The bank has a formal, legal agreement that lets you tell the bank who they should hand your money over to afte...

  • Add a child to your home

    Diana Wade, LDA|Feb 3, 2024

    I get calls all the time from a parent that wants to add their child to their home. Typically this is done to avoid probate. I looked a several articles on the internet and this is what I saw. Adding an adult child to your house deed, or giving them the home outright, might seem like a smart thing to do. It usually isn't. Transferring your house to your kids while you're alive may avoid probate, the court process that otherwise follows death. But gifting a home also can result in a big,...

  • MediCal charge back (part 2)

    Diana Wade, LDA|Jan 20, 2024

    Read part one in the Jan. 6 issue of The Loop newspaper. After the effective date of the law, its implementation requires the following list of governmental restrictions: A. It limits estate recovery to long-term care services for costs, such as nursing homes. B. California will no longer recover for basic health care services. C. It limits recovery to probate estates, meaning living trusts will not be subject to recovery. It also means that if you are using a Last Will and Testament as the...

  • MediCal chargeback (part 1)

    Diana Wade, LDA|Jan 6, 2024

    A Trust can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars by avoiding MediCal benefit "chargeback" or recovery against your home for benefits paid to skilled nursing homes. If you have an elderly person in your life and they live in a nursing home, it's not uncommon to pay $5,000/month. If they don't have much cash, even if they have a house, MediCal (public benefit program) will pay that rent for them as long as they live. Before 2017, law offices used to prepare documents they called "House...

  • What is step-up basis and why should I know about it?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Dec 23, 2023

    I know I'm a nag. I nag because it's so important to plan now for your family when you die. It's not that we plan to fail, we fail to plan. So what happens to your children when they inherit the family home that is in a trust? A step-up in basis resets the cost basis of an inherited asset to its market value on the decedent's date of death. Example with a trust: Dad dies and has a house that is owned by a revocable trust. He bought the house for $100,000 in 1970 and transferred it to his trust....

  • Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Order

    Diana Wade, LDA|Dec 9, 2023

    My wife died recently and I need to transfer the property into my name. How do I do that if my name is not on the deed? I thought since I am the surviving spouse I can just transfer the property into my name. Remember, this information is not legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you need direction on what procedure to use in your case. Fortunately there is a simple solution. But it does require a court order. According to "How To Probate and Estate in California" by NOLO, any property...

  • What is better, a will or a trust?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Nov 25, 2023

    It's hard to believe the Holidays are upon us again! Sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table, often children will ask their parents the "what if?" question. We all know what that is. "How do you want your estate handled?" Follow along with me as we discuss common questions. What is better, a will or a trust? A trust will streamline the process of transferring an estate after you die while avoiding a lengthy and potentially costly period of probate (in California if you have assets like a...

  • A Taste of Tehachapi

    Diana Wade, contributing writer|Nov 11, 2023

    Fall is officially here! The leaves are turning colors and floating (or maybe whipping is a better word these days) through the air with all the Santa Ana wind we have been experiencing. What better way to celebrate fall but to bake an Apple Pie Cake and drink a warm Mulled Cider? Well, A Taste of Tehachapi has just the thing. The Apple Pie Cake mix is loaded with organically grown gala apples, organic Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cardamon. All you add is eggs, oil and a couple...

  • A Taste of Tehachapi

    Diana Wade, contributing writer|Oct 28, 2023

    A Taste of Tehachapi has a number of jams, both with and without sugar. Here are just a few ideas to use jam other than on toast! Experiment with strawberry, blueberry, elderberry, apple pie, apple butter, plum and peach to name a few. Stay tuned for our famous Christmas Jam! You can email me to pre-order at [email protected] or text (661) 557-2589. Stay tuned for more surprises and seasonal items from both of us! We are located at 121 E. F St., right next door to ThaiHachapi. Beyond bread:...

  • A Taste of Tehachapi

    Diana Wade, contributing writer|Oct 14, 2023

    Fall is in the air. The days are getting shorter and I noticed some frost the other day on my roof. It will be very nice to have some cooler weather. This time of year also starts all the holidays. Halloween is a big deal here in Tehachapi. There are all sorts of decorations, some specially spooky. Lots of Fall themed items are filling the local stores. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and so is Christmas! So, it’s really time to think about all the goodies and presents that we will e...

  • What is better, a will, or a trust?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Sep 30, 2023

    It is hard to believe it is fall again in Tehachapi. Soon it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas! Have you been thinking about Estate Planning? I know it can be a difficult topic...but your children will be happy you have thought ahead to make it easier to take care of your estate without a probate. What is better, a will, or a trust? A trust will streamline the process of transferring an estate after you die while avoiding a lengthy and potentially costly period of probate (in California...

  • What is step-up basis and why should I know about it?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Sep 2, 2023

    I know I'm a nag. I nag because it's so important to plan now for your family when you die. It's not that we plan to fail, we fail to plan. So what happens to your children when they inherit the family home that is in a trust? A step-up in basis resets the cost basis of an inherited asset to its market value on the decedent's date of death. Example: Dad dies and has a house that is owned by a revocable trust. He bought the house for $100,000 in 1970 and transferred it to his trust. Dad has died...

  • Why should probate be avoided? (part 2)

    Diana Wade, LDA|Aug 19, 2023

    In the simplest cases, those in which there are no difficult creditor claims, disputes over ownership of assets or arguments against a will, probate often goes smoothly. It occurs in seven phases, and if there are no complications that require additional phases, the system proceeds as follows. 1. Locate the will. 2. Obtain certified copies of the death certificate. Banks and other institutions will want copies. 3. Probate administration requires filing a petition for probate, which usually...

  • Why should probate be avoided?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Aug 5, 2023

    The cost is the worst part of a probate. When property passes through full probate, the estate will incur attorney's fees, court costs and potentially other expenses, all of which can be quite substantial depending on the size and nature of your estate. Attorney fees are generally set by state law and are usually based on the market value of the assets in the estate being probated, exclusive of any debts or loans associated with the asset. If you own real estate in California or your estate...

  • What is estate planning?

    Diana Wade, LDA|Jul 22, 2023

    In a fundamental sense, estate planning is about control. With an appropriate estate plan in place, you, not the courts (or anyone else you would not choose), decide who will have control of the distribution of your assets and make financial decisions on your behalf in the event of your death or disability. You can also arrange who will make decisions about your medical care and end-of-life issues, or about who will have legal custody of your minor or disabled children. Properly structured, an...

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