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Law Office of Roy W. Litherland

3425 S. Bascom Ave, Suite 240
Campbell, California 95008

Phone(408) 356-9200
Fax (408) 356-8901

Law Firm Overview

Our law firm serves clients in the Campbell, CA area and provides assistance in estate planning, elder law, Medicaid, trust administration and probate.



Law Office of Roy W. Litherland - Providing services in the following areas of law:

Articles Published by Law Office of Roy W. Litherland

 A Look at Postmortem Planning

Executing estate planning documents that express your wishes in writing is indeed important when you are making preparations for the inevitable. However, this is only part of the process.

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 Be Aware of Possible Nursing Home Expenses

When you are planning for retirement you are invariably going to be looking forward to good times ahead.

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 Social Security Going Electronic

Due to the aging of the baby boomers, there are approximately 10,000 people applying for Social Security benefits every day. This volume of applicants will continue for the next 20 years according to elder law experts. Of course, there are already millions of people collecting Social Security benefits. Can you imagine how much it costs to mail out paper checks to even a small percentage of these individuals?

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 Who Will Care for Your Pet After Your Passing?

Because of the fact that pets live relatively short life spans as compared to humans, you may think that it is not necessary to consider the future of your pet when you are planning your estate. Perhaps this is true for some younger people who essentially co-own their dog, cat, horse or other animal with other immediate family members.

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 Shedding Light on Unified Gift/Estate Tax

The taxes that are imposed on transfers of assets are something to take very seriously when you are interested in wealth preservation. These taxes extend beyond the estate tax alone. There is also a gift tax, and it is unified with the estate tax under Internal Revenue Service regulations.

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 Challenge to Actor's Will Demonstrates Probate Pitfall

People sometimes choose to take steps to enable the future transfer of their assets to their loved ones outside of the probate process. When you use a last will your estate must be probated, and there are certain pitfalls that go along with this course of action.

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 Legal Professors: Do-It Yourself Notions Not a Viable Substitute

Consumer Reports magazine tackled a subject that is near and dear to estate planning attorneys recently and we would like to pass along the results. You may be aware of the fact that there are some websites on the Internet that will provide visitors with do-it yourself estate planning documents.

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 Scratch Below the Surface before Using Joint Accounts

There are times when you may hear someone make the case for a simple solution to a complex problem and find yourself buying into this self-styled notion. When it comes to estate planning, you would do well to scratch below the surface and think long and hard before adopting pseudo-solutions that may be too good to be true.

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 Wartime Veterans May Face Look-Back Period

There are certain benefit programs that senior citizens often rely on such as Medi-Cal that have upper resource limits. You cannot qualify for the program as a way to pay for long-term care if you have countable assets that exceed a certain amount. As a result, Medi-Cal planning can include giving away resources to your children and/or grandchildren as a way to stay within the limits. After all, they would be inheriting these resources anyway after you pass away.

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 Some Observers Decry Estate Tax Rate

Where do you draw the line when it comes to a tax rate? This is an ongoing question that is always being debated among lawmakers. However, even the most zealous pro-tax advocates may have to concede that a tax that consumes the majority of the resources in question is a bit excessive. This will be the case with the federal estate tax in 2013, assuming the laws that are in place as of this writing remain in effect.

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 Keep Bills Low during Retirement

Statistics indicate that a significant percentage of people who are reaching their 60ís are not financially prepared for retirement. Indeed,there are no guarantees, and you have to plan ahead intelligently and pragmatically if you want to be able to retire in relative comfort.

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 Retirement is Expensive - Are You Getting Prepared?

Retirement should be looked at as an expense that you must prepare for well in advance. As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age,statistics are indicating that a very significant percentage of these individuals are never going to be able to retire due to a lack of preparation.

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 Don't Procrastinate When Updates Become Necessary

Procrastination is a big problem when it comes to estate planning, and truth be told making final arrangements is indeed a unique endeavor. Passing away is without question the last thing on your list of things to do. It's easy to put estate planning on the back burner because it can seem like you will always have time to take care of it later.

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 Will Everyone See Eye to Eye After Your Passing?

Sitting down to express your wishes in writing may seem like the only thing to take into account when you are planning your estate. However, your decisions are not going to exist in a vacuum they are going to impact the people that you will be leaving behind.

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 Two People, One Exemption?

The federal estate tax is applicable to everyone as an individual, so each person is afforded an individual exemption. The current amount of the estate tax exclusion is $5.12 million. So, a husband and wife would each have $5.12 million for a total of $10.24 million that could be passed along to their heirs before the estate tax becomes applicable.

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 Committed Couples

Recent Census Bureau statistics are indicating that people who have been divorced are not remarrying with the same frequency that they did in the past. There are a number of different reasons for this and financial considerations would certainly be among them.

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 Do You Really Want your Estate to Be Probated?

You may think that the simplest solution for stating your final wishes is the execution of a last will. In fact, depending on the circumstances your desire for simplicity may not be best served by the utilization of a last will as a vehicle of asset transfer.

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 Medi-Cal Eligibility: Expert Guidance is Essential

Many people are surprised to hear that Medicare will not pay for residence in an assisted living community or a nursing home. This is a pretty bad news because simply writing a check would be painful at best, and impossible at worst.

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 Act in Advance to Preserve Assets

There are individuals who are naturally more exposed to potential legal actions than others, and for these people asset protection should be a priority. You have to act in advance to preserve your assets because your hands are tied once a suit is initiated.

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 Estate Planning: Young Adults are not Exempt

Imagine being a young adult who is transitioning into a new phase of life. You have your first child on the way, and you are envisioning all of the things that you have to take care of as the big day approaches. You will invariably start to buy baby clothes and other necessities while you fix up a room for your firstborn child. The anticipation is indescribable as you face the realities of parenthood.

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 Veterans Benefits Can Provide Financial Security

As you are thinking about the quality of life that you will lead as a senior citizen, you must be pragmatic about your present-day actions. Social Security alone is probably not going to be enough to provide you with a truly comfortable retirement, and Medicare does not pay for everything. So, to be able to realize your ideal retirement vision, you are going to have to engage in some intelligent long-term planning.

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 Living Trusts: Three Basic Components

Once you start to get serious about exploring your options regarding vehicles of asset transfer, you may recognize the value of revocable living trusts. As the name suggests, these vehicles are revocable so you can change things or even dissolve the trust should you choose to do so.

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 Action Required in Light of Widespread Dementia

It can be challenging to wrap your head around the possibility that a time may come when you may be in a much different mental and physical state than you are at present. Different stages of life bring certain eventualities along with them, and it is far easier to face them if you are properly prepared.

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 Expiration of Tax Relief Package Approaching

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 is scheduled to expire, or sunset, at the end of the year. If you do not take the necessary steps to gain tax efficiency, you could be missing out on a window of opportunity and lose a great deal of money in the process.

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 The Rewards of Legacy Planning

As you are inventorying your assets in order to execute your estate plan, you may find that you have the ability to make an impact well after your passing. This may be true within your family, but your legacy may also extend beyond those that you know personally.

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 Don't Expect too Much from Social Security

Statistics indicate that a high percentage of people who are approaching retirement age are simply not ready, and many seniors will never be able to retire. If you ask each individual who is unprepared how he or she got into this predicament, you will get a variety of different answers. But without question, a lot of people find themselves lacking because they expected too much from Social Security and Medicare.

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 Founders Preserving Facebook Riches

Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz are two young men who are in possession of some extraordinary wealth. The Facebook founders are in a position where they have to look for ways to preserve considerable financial resources beyond their own lives. There can be significant tax consequences that go along with gift giving and asset transfers after death, so careful planning is key.

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 Addressing the Realities of Probate

Far too many people go through life without executing the appropriate estate planning documents. The reasons why they procrastinate vary but one reason is the misconception that it is a very simple matter that can be handled at any given time. You simply jot down your final wishes, call it a last will, and the matter is closed.

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 Payable on Death Accounts are Not a Comprehensive Solution

You don't want to take some type of surface action and go forward with the idea that you have all of your ducks in a row. This is something to carefully consider if you have opened a payable on death or transfer on death account.

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 Financial Abuse: Elders Must Be On Guard

It is good to go through life staying positive, but at the same time you have to be aware of certain dangers that exist and take precautions to protect yourself. This can become even more important as you consider the eventualities of aging.

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 Assisted Living Community Alternative

One thing to consider when contemplating the contingencies of reaching an advanced age, is the possibility of being unable to handle your day-to-day needs on your own. The likelihood of a stay in a nursing home or assisted living community may be the first thing that comes to mind. These options exist, but there are some pitfalls that go along with these types of facilities.

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 High Percentage of Boomers Unprepared for Retirement

In 2011, there was a poll conducted by the Associated Press and LifeGoesStrong.com. The purpose of the probe was to get an idea about how prepared baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) are for retirement. The baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age and massive numbers of people are involved.

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 Tax Savings Can be Realized With a QPRT

Home ownership has long been the foundation of wealth building in the United States. If you are like most Americans, your home is your single most valuable possession. As a result, if you were to reduce the taxable value of your home you could go a long way toward mitigating your estate tax exposure.

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 Generation Skipping Trusts to Slow Asset Erosion

San Jose estate planning attorneys invariably speak to many clients who feel as though the estate tax is fundamentally unfair. Their clients register multiple complaints, but the primary reason that they cite is the fact that the estate tax is an instance of double taxation.

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 You Have Choices

You have choices when planning your estate. You are not required to utilize a last will to direct the distribution of your assets after your death. Instruments such as revocable living trusts are viable options and they are not exclusively for the wealthy.

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 You Can Increase Your Full Social Security Benefit

The unfortunate truth is that a significant percentage of Americans do not plan ahead diligently with retirement in mind and they wind up being overly dependent on Social Security. The Social Security Administration states that in excess of 60% of Social Security recipients rely on their benefits as their primary income source. This can be a problem because the average monthly benefit is less than $1,100.

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 Lending a Helping Hand Can Reduce the Taxable Value of Your Estate

You gain a sense of satisfaction from acts of generosity that really cannot be adequately described in words. Being in a position to help others can be extremely rewarding, and even if you are giving in a totally selfless manner, there could be tax advantages realized through acts of giving.

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 A Look at the Future of the Estate Tax

Back in 2010, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the estate tax. The tax was repealed for that year due to provisions contained within the Bush era tax cuts. However, as the laws stood throughout most of 2010, the estate tax was scheduled to reappear in 2011. At that time the exclusion was scheduled to be $1 million, and the maximum rate was set at 55%.

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 Budgeting for Future Life Expenses

If you expect to retire when you are in your mid-60s, you are going to have to save enough money to provide for your needs for perhaps 20 years or more. Most people will require a thoughtful and practical plan to be able to accumulate the resources that they need to comfortably enjoy their retirement years.

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 Veterans Aid

Serving your country in the military is a supreme sacrifice, but there are some rewards that go along with it. Most people are aware of the fact that veterans who have served at least 20 years are eligible to receive a retirement pension.

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 Giving Gifts Can Provide Tax Savings

The federal estate tax looms as a significant source of asset erosion and taking steps to mitigate your estate tax exposure is a big part of what estate planning is all about.

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 The Pitfalls of Probate

A lot of people equate the process of estate planning to the execution of a last will. While it is true that you can choose to use a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer and a lot of people do, it is not always the best choice.

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