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Blog Posts (9)

  • Protecting Assets From Nursing Home Costs

    Let’s face it; it may be tough to think about your or your parent’s future and the likelihood of needing a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home, one day. Even though forty percent of Americans need long-term care by the age of 65, the costs of nursing homes continue to rise. A few years in a nursing home could easily wipe out a lifetime of savings for the average person. Long-term care facilities can suck the life out of your assets and leave you and your family destitute. Medicaid assistance is available for those who can’t afford to pay out of pocket, but you must plan for your future to protect your assets from nursing home costs. How to Protect Your Assets From Nursing Homes As you prepare for your future, it’s crucial to create an asset protection plan that works for you and your family. If you, your spouse, or your parents choose to receive help from Medicaid, it’s essential to consider the five-year “look-back” period for asset transfers. There are a few ways to get around this “look-back” period and ensure you are eligible for Medicaid and other options to protect your assets from nursing home costs. 1. Long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance covers nursing homes, assisted living, adult daycares, and at-home health care for those with chronic conditions that make it difficult to perform daily activities and need extra assistance. 2. Put assets in an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust is a kind of trust that holds your assets and designates beneficiaries. However, this legal entity does not allow you to make changes or cancel the trust. 3. Consider purchasing a Medicaid-compliant annuity. A Medicaid-compliant annuity is needed when a spouse is not institutionalized or in a nursing home. This helps reduce the income Medicaid considers when determining your eligibility for assistance. 4. Create a life estate plan. It’s critical to get ahead of Medicaid’s five-year look-back period by creating a life estate plan with an estate planning attorney you can trust. This life estate plan allows the homeowner to keep the house until they die and pass their property to their chosen person. 5. Save your statements and receipts. To avoid Medicaid’s look-back period, ensure all your bases are covered by saving your statements and receipts for significant expenses and financial gifts. How to Protect Parent’s Assets From Nursing Home As your parents get older, it can be daunting to think about the costs of a nursing home or assisted living facility and determine how to protect their assets. If your parents don’t have a solid asset protection plan, they could face spending their life savings on a nursing home. It’s critical to get ahead of Medicaid’s five-year “look-back” policy and protect you or your parent’s assets from the high prices of nursing homes and spendy assisted-living costs. Reach out to a trusted attorney to help you and your family develop a strong asset protection plan.

  • Will vs. Trust: Knowing the Difference

    You probably think wills and trusts are only for the rich or retired. We’re here to tell you that not only can anyone have a will and trust, but everyone should. But which document is best for you? Read below to find out! While a will and a trust are two separate documents with many differences depending on your circumstance, they are two of the defining pillars of estate planning. Both are used as instruments to ensure your assets are administered the way you want them, avoiding the dreaded probate court. You may benefit from one more than the other, but when used together you are better prepared to reach your specific estate planning goals. It is paramount to plan and prepare for your future, and making these tough decisions now with a trusted attorney can make things easier for your loved ones when the time comes. What is a Will? A will is a legal document created with your attorney that outlines how your estate and assets will be distributed after your death or in the event you become mentally incapacitated. A will can: Nominate guardians for minors and pets Designate where property and assets go Specify funeral arrangements Having a will on its own is a great first step in the estate planning process, but there are some drawbacks to having a will stand on its own. It does not provide protection during incapacity, is only effective after death, is still prone to be submitted and contested in probate court, and is available to the public, unlike a trust. A trust will also take precedence over a will at the time of asset distribution. What is a Trust? Trust is both a separate legal entity and a fiduciary relationship. The creator of a trust—the grantor—can give control of assets to a third party, the beneficiary. With trusts, the grantor holds all control and grants access to certain assets with specific rules and conditions. The grantor creates contingencies that determine when a beneficiary can receive the assets, such as reaching a certain age or designating help to look over children with special needs. A trust can: Grant significant control over when and how assets are distributed Apply to all assets funding the trust Allow for several tax exemptions Trusts are more complex than wills but guarantee the exemption of probate. The Main Difference Between Wills & Trusts The primary difference between wills and trusts is when each goes into effect. A Will don't go into effect until you pass away, while trusts are effective immediately upon funding. Can You Have Both a Will and a Living Trust? Depending on your situation, you may have one or the other. Each document provides a different solution and strengthens an estate plan when used together. Sit down with a trusted and knowledgeable attorney to determine what would be the best solution for your situation.

  • How to Become an Estate Planning Attorney

    Being an estate planning attorney is a great career if you have the patience to see it through. It can take time to break into the field, but once you’re in, it’s a rewarding job. People trust you with their estate's planning process, and you get to help them make sure their loved ones are cared for after they’re gone. This career can help individuals, families, and friends find peace and ease when their loved one passes away, knowing that you helped get their assets in order before their passing. What is an Estate Planner? Estate planning attorneys offer guidance on preparing one's affairs and assets before mental incapacitation or in case of death – because, let's face it, we're all going to kick the bucket someday. Estate planning attorneys have years of experience in education, mentoring, and legal practice. Without a trusted attorney, decisions about assets and properties would be left to the next of kin, which can be messy and dramatic for some families. Reasons Why You Should Become an Estate Planning Attorney 1. You are able to think long-term and plan for the future. As an estate planner, you work closely with families over a long period of time, helping them even through generations. If one client passes away, it’s common for their other family members to enlist you as their estate planning attorney for themselves or other loved ones. 2. You love to help people. Assisting clients towards the end of their life is a delicate job and one that requires empathy and care. If helping people is among your greatest joys, becoming an estate-planning lawyer might be the ideal career for you. If your client dies, you will likely have to speak to their family members and loved ones. This requires that you be able to help others in difficult times. 3. You enjoy working in financial and taxation situations. Clients trust their estate planners with their money and assets, so it’s important that you have a good understanding of managing funds. As an estate planning attorney, you will manage their property, assets, trust funds, investments, insurance, and savings and checking accounts. What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do? Construct a living will, last will, and testament Set up and manage trust accounts Naming an executor and power of attorneys Identifying all beneficiaries Naming a guardian for minor children Managing debts and minimizing taxes and legal fees Creating a blueprint or a set of instructions for passing your valuables Ensuring preferences for funeral arrangements are taken into consideration Finalizing instructions for care if you become ill and are unable to make decisions Obtaining life insurance, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance How to Become an Estate Planning Attorney If you’re interested in becoming an estate planning attorney, it’s crucial to get a strong education and as much experience as possible. Specializing in finance, tax, and accounting can be a strong starting point, but ultimately having a degree from an accredited law school is essential. You also need to take and pass the state bar exam in order to receive your law degree. If you’re considering becoming an estate planning attorney, it’s good to recognize the skills that are important to have as well as the duties and responsibilities of being a good attorney. Reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorney for some first-hand insight.

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  • K. Kelso Law Firm | Tustin, CA

    Specializing in estate planning, business formation, marital agreements, special needs trusts, and mediation Schedule a Free Consultation K. Kelso Law is a client-centered legal practice specializing in estate planning, general contract law, business formation, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, special needs trusts and mediation services throughout Southern California. Estate planning is for anyone and everyone, no matter the size and value of your assets, or whether you’re just starting a family or planning for retirement. Empower yourself and protect your future today. K. Kelso Law delivers the highest quality legal services combined with cost-effective and affordable pricing and payment options. At K. Kelso Law, we recognize that our clients are people, not contracts. Our goal is to reduce the legal jargon and make each client’s legal needs and options as understandable as possible. Whether you need a prenup before tying the knot, a will, trust, power of attorney, or help with a divorce, we’ve got you covered. ​ K. Kelso Law is a woman-owned law firm with a commitment to mentoring other women who share the dream of practicing law. TRANSPARENCY Put your trust in a firm that is dedicated to transparency: From our fees to our strategy and plan of action, there are no surprises and no hidden agendas. COMPASSION FOR CLIENTS Our mission is to connect with clients from all walks of life and to prioritize community outreach and a passion for philanthropy. LICENSED MEDIATOR Our services include mediation performed by trained and licensed mediators, helping you avoid the emotional and legal costs of going to court. Practice Areas PRACTICE AREAS BOUTIQUE LAW FIRM ASSET PROTECTION PLANNING Start your asset protection planning process today and prevent your hard-earned assets from being unfairly taken by creditors or judgment. ESTATE PLANNING Start early – estate planning is for everyone, regardless of age or circumstance. Creating a good plan to prevent heartaches and headaches down the line is essential. SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING Start a plan for your loved ones with special needs to protect them and their benefits. Create a blueprint for their future with a compassionate, experienced, and certified attorney you can trust, ensuring long-term protection and care for your loved one. BUSINESS LAW Every business can benefit from having a business attorney by their side to assist with everything from formation to operations and management. DIVORCE LAW Prepare for all possible outcomes with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. We can also help resolve the dissolution of a marriage with a settlement agreement. MEDIATION Avoid wasting your precious time and money on court fees and legal services. Stay out of court drama and come to a solution with the help of unbiased guidance from a licensed mediator. TAX LAW Don’t let the legalities and complexities of tax law cut into your income – let’s jump through loopholes together. We’ll listen to any questions you may have and provide all the solutions you’ll need. Schedule a Free Consultation TESTIMONIALS Brett M. Newport Beach, CA Kate is one of the smartest people I know. She learns quickly, thinks before she speaks or acts, and cares deeply about the people around her. Janelle I. Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA Kate Kelso is professional and thorough. She took the time to walk us through everything and was very responsive. Diana H. Kate was very helpful and helped explain everything to us. She was very patient with us. And very organized. I would highly recommend her to friends and family. View Testimonals

  • Our Team | K. Kelso Law RLLP

    MEET THE TEAM AT K. KELSO LAW At K. Kelso Law, we’re more than just a team, we’re a family. When you choose K. Kelso Law, you become part of the family. Our woman-founded, woman-operated, and woman-owned law firm is dedicated to listening to you and guiding you through any legal situation, no matter how difficult. Each one of our talented women is mentored by the lead attorney, Kate Kelso, as they pursue their dreams of practicing law professionally. Our team has been brought together by a passion for helping others, especially those in marginalized communities with less access to resources and fewer opportunities. That’s why we make it our goal to provide affordable and attainable legal guidance for everyone. We’re excited to get to know you and help you through your legal journey at K. Kelso Law. KATE KELSO, ESQ. CHIEF LEGAL COUNSEL BIOGRAPHY Kate is a California bar-certified attorney with more than seven years experience currently operating an eponymous law practice: The Law Offices of K. Kelso. ​ Since graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., Kate, an ocean-minded South Florida native, consciously endeavors to hone her talents as a communicator, connecting with clients from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles. Through targeted community outreach and dedication to volunteerism, Kate developed the philosophy on which K. Kelso Law is based: To provide comprehensive custom estate plans that are individualized and compassionate, to empower every client through wills, trusts, and estate planning as they contemplate and arrange their future. EDUCATION Georgetown Law Center | Washington, D.C. | 2012 B.S, Arts, Communication and Romance Languages | University of North Carolina | Chapel Hill, NC | 2007 NANCI MASADA-OKAWA BOOKKEEPING AND BUSINESS STRATEGY BIOGRAPHY Nanci Masada-Okawa received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from California State University, Los Angeles. She obtained a M.B.A. with a focus in Finance from the Claremont Graduate University, graduating with Beta Gamma Sigma honors. Ms. Masada-Okawa started her career at Scudder, Stevens & Clark, Inc., where she was a Senior Associate in the Reserve Asset Management Group. She then became a business valuation consultant at Deloitte & Touché LLP. In 1998, Ms. Masada-Okawa joined Taco Bell Corporation in Irvine, CA as a Senior Business Planner in the Strategy and Business Analysis Group. She then joined OptumHealth Behavioral Solutions, and served as a Senior Financial Analyst in the Management Reporting and Analysis Group. After working for OptumHealth for seven years, Ms. Masada-Okawa left the corporate world. In 2014, she started Masada Financial Consulting to assist small businesses with bookkeeping, financial advice and business strategy. Ms. Okawa is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. MEET THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF OUR TEAM Mallory Renteria Director of Operations Nansi Serrano Office Administrator Medver Marmolejo Director of Media & PR Join Our Team! Looking for experience in the legal field? Submit the form below and get notified when we are hiring. Be a part of K. Kelso Law Link to Your Resume * Email Last Name * Phone * First Name * Upload File Upload supported file (Max 15MB) Submit Thanks for submitting! Whenever you call The Law Offices of K. Kelso Law, RLLP, our friendly team of future attorneys, under the mentorship of Kate Kelso, Esq., will be more than happy to assist you with every legal need.

  • 404 | K. Kelso Law RLLP

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