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We Get You Results, Not Excuses Over 25 Years of Legal Experience Former Police Officer & Former Insurance Claims Manager
« Why Hire Attorney Travis Black

Most Americans know the importance of forming a legal document to distribute their assets upon their death, but one of the questions we at Travis G Black & Associates get asked often is whether or not a living trust is the right option for them. Below our Folsom estate planning attorney has listed some information to consider when deciding what is best for you.

Consider Your Age

Creating a living trust can be the best option for those over the 55 or 60 years old. As a living trust will not provide anything for you during your life, for most healthy middle-income individuals, creating a living trust is not necessary. For most individuals under 45, a will can suffice in the event you unexpectedly died.

When you decide to set up a living trust you must choose a trustee. A trustee is the person or persons who manage the trust. A trustee may manage the trust as if the property was their own but the title of the property remains in the name of the grantor. There are several strategies for choosing who you would like to appoint as trustee. Choosing the right trustee to act on your behalf is very important as the trustee of your living trust can have a considerable amount of authority and responsibility and will not be under court supervision. You may be the trustee of your living trust, or you may choose a spouse, adult child, domestic partner, family friend, business associate or professional fiduciary to be your trustee.

Successor Trustees

One way you can choose to manage your trust is to manage the trust yourself while you are living and name a successor trustee to take over the management should you become incapacitate or die. This would allow for all financial and asset-related decisions to remain in your control while you are alive.

Call a motorcycle attorney that rides! A true motorcycle enthusiast all his life, Travis Black has ridden a motorcycle most of his life. He started off with a 1970 Honda 350 and has owned over a dozen motorcycles since this first one. One of his passions is touring the U.S. on a motorcycle.

He has ridden for years with the Blue Knights, an international organization of active and retired police officers that share the passion of riding motorcycles. He has ridden through most of the U.S. with the Blue Knights. His lifelong passion for riding naturally led him to help fellow bikers who were being taken advantage of in personal injury cases by greedy insurance companies.

Over the years I have found that once other motorcycle riders learned that I was a retired police officer and an attorney that specialized in motorcycle accident cases they would often ask me the same questions about the different aspects of motorcycle insurance, accident claims, dealing with injuries and getting their motorcycle repaired. That is why I have supported motorcycle riders for over 25 years.

Brain InjuryIf you or a family member or friend has sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of an automobile accident or a slip and fall, trying to understand your legal options can be a very difficult task. Simply understanding the challenges they may face while trying to live with this new condition is in itself incredibly difficult.

Over half of all reported traumatic brain injuries are the result of an automobile accident. In 2006, a study was done at the Atlanta National Center for Injury Prevention and Control regarding the correlation between auto accident and traumatic brain injuries. This study showed that out of the roughly 1.4 million people involved in auto accidents annually, 280,000 people in the U.S. suffer from a motor vehicle induced traumatic brain injury each and every year. In fact 20% of all brain injuries result from motor vehicle accidents!

So what causes a brain injury? We know that the human brain does not fit tightly inside our skulls. When a person’s head hits a solid object like the steering wheel, headrest or window, or is violently thrown forward and backwards, trauma to the brain can occur. The sheer force of the crash can cause the brain to collide against the interior of the skull, which can cause the brain to bleed causing added pressure on the brain.

Auto AccidentIn the United States there are over six million car accidents each year. For the most part, these accidents primarily involve property damage claims. Unfortunately, roughly one in every three auto accidents do involve a personal injury, sustained by either the driver or the passengers involved. According to the California Highway Patrol  there were 223,128 people injured as a result of an auto accident in the state of California in 2013.

Now most people are under the assumption that auto insurance carriers will help you if you are involved in an auto accident, however that is only true in some cases. The truth is there are many factors involved here, such as which insurance companies are involved, and the corresponding coverage that may or may not apply. The most important thing you can do after an auto accident, is protect yourself and there are several ways you can do that.

If you are involved in an automobile accident, there are some very important things you can do to protect yourself and your interests. First and foremost, after the accident, you want to make sure that you pull over safely to the side of the roadway. If your vehicle is able to be moved from danger, you should do so, this is important for the safety of everyone involved including those additional drivers approaching the accident scene. Once you and your vehicle is safely secured you can now begin the initial steps in this process. Of course you want to exchange your insurance information with all parties involved and you will most certainly want to notify the police department of the accident, however there are additional steps you can take to protect yourself.

Getting arrested for Driving under the Influence can be a scary time. After you are arrested the Police Officer generally confiscates your license and provides you with an order of suspension. This can be a very big concern for someone in this position. How will I get to work? How will I take my kids to school? How will I get my daily activities done? How will this affect my license and my insurance?  A DUI lawyer can help you navigate this process. First, you must understand that when you are arrested for DUI in California, the arrest initiates two separate cases. You will have a criminal proceeding, and a DMV proceeding, also known as an Administrative Per Se hearing. These are two totally separate issues. The DMV hearing deals only with your driving privileges and is what will be discussed below.

If you are arrested for DUI, you need to contact DMV within 10 days to request a hearing be set. These 10 days include weekends and holidays, so you must do this right away.  If you have an attorney they will do this for you. A hearing will be set, and you/or your attorney will request “Discovery” and a “Stay” on your license until the outcome of the hearing. The stay allows you to continue to drive pending the hearing.

The hearing is in front of a DMV hearing officer, who is hired by the Department of Motor Vehicles thus, the DMV hearing officer act as the prosecutor and the judge, which is highly detrimental to any person arrested for DUI. Most of these hearing officers have little to no legal training.

We are often asked why it is important to have an estate plan – What happens if you don’t have one? The answer is simple and it can be brutal. Without a well thought out plan of our own, the government will decide how your estate will be distributed. We hear stories of people that have very specific wishes of where they want their estate to go, including to loved ones and people who they want to benefit from your life’s work; but without a plan, your wishes may be ignored.

If you become sick or incapacitated, someone may petition the Court and ask to be appointed to make decisions that you may not want. You have the absolute right in how your life should be if you become ill or unable to care for yourself, as well as the right to appoint someone of your choosing to make the decisions that you would want to be made. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a plan, the government will make those decisions for you.

It takes time and a lot of questions to learn what is the best for your unique situation. Once our office learns your story, we prepare a unique, customized plan that fits your needs and requirements. These plans may include a revocable living trust and financial powers of attorney. We will prepare health care directives which include HIPPA authorizations so medical providers can give you the care that you need and desire.

No. Certainly not during your lifetime. Generally, trusts and estates are taxed like individuals. In turn, tax principals that apply to individuals will also apply to living trusts. The individual responsible for taxes on income earned by the trusts is the individual who benefits from or receives the income. The liable person for taxes on income received by an estate also depends on how the income is classified. For example, was the income earned by the decedent, the estate or income distributed to the beneficiaries? Any income retained by the trust is taxed to the trust and any distributed income is taxed to the beneficiary.

Find answers to all your living trust questions here:

How Could a Living Trust be Helpful at My Death?

Most people are familiar with the necessity of drafting a Will in the event of their death. But depending on your estate, creating and managing a living trust could be the most beneficial option for your beneficiaries after your death. A living trust is a trust you create while you are still living. A Grantor (you) will place property into the trust and that property is then held by the trustee in the name of the trust and managed by the Trustee. With a living trust, the Grantor can also be the trustee, meaning you can retain control over your own property while you are alive.

In the event of your death, the management of your trust will then be managed by your appointed trustee. Unlike a Will, the distribution of your property