Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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San Diego California Bankruptcy Law Blog

What is a spendthrift trust?

Trusts are important estate planning tools that can allow individuals to place their assets in trust and for the benefit of others. The creator of a trust may place terms and conditions on how the trust beneficiaries may collect their trust income and different types of trusts may achieve different estate planning goals. This post will discuss one specific type of trust - spendthrift trusts - and will describe how some San Diego residents may use them to provide for individuals after the trust creators' deaths.

A spendthrift trust is a trust that prevents what a beneficiary may do with their trust interests. In other types of trusts a beneficiary may be able to sell or pledge their trust interests to others; spendthrift trusts prevent this from occurring and make invalid any attempts of beneficiaries to divest themselves of their trust interests before the time that they take possession of their trust assets.

Creditors cannot claim certain things over the phone

Things are not always as dire as they seem when a person is in debt. In fact, a report from CNBC found that more Americans than ever before manage to dig themselves out of debt and that the number of people who expect to die with debt has decreased. 

For those who remain in debt for a long time, one of the most troubling aspects of it is the looming threat of debt collectors incessantly calling over the phone. There are, in fact, guidelines for what collectors can say or claim over the phone. However, not everyone follows these rules. 

What is a testamentary trust?

Drafting an estate plan has become an important step for individuals in California and elsewhere to take. While it is also a process that many seek to avoid until later in life, it has been proven to be an essential and necessary step to take as soon as possible. While that means taking the time to think about your death and what will happen following your death, failing to take the time to address this uncomfortable topic could prove to be problematic and harmful when it comes to your heirs and beneficiaries dealing with your estate after your passing.

One important estate-planning document to consider is a trust. These can come in a variety of forms, serving various purposes. Thus, those considering this document should understand how they could best supplement your estate plan and serve your best interests.

Helping you through the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process

Dealing with financial problems is never easy. And for California residents currently living with debt that continues to accumulate, it can feel like a never-ending problem with no resolution or end in sight. However, when it comes to debt problems, there are steps individuals and families could take to overcome this major life obstacle. Although many are not ready and willing to jump on the bankruptcy bandwagon, it is certainly a realistic approach that could help you obtain a fresh financial start.

Just because one is living in debt does not mean that it has to be the case for the rest of their life. Whether it is debt associated with medical bills, credit card bills, auto loans or a home mortgage, it is possible to devise a plan of attack to reduce the turmoil caused by growing debt problems. At Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at law, our experienced legal team understands how beneficial the bankruptcy process can be, helping individuals in the San Diego area initiate and navigate the process.

How can Chapter 13 bankruptcy help address debt problems?

Many individuals in California and other states across the nation carry some form of debt with them. While debt because of a home, vehicle or other major purchases is very common, when individuals accumulate consumer debt, this debt has the tendency of getting out of control. Whether you rack up a balance on a credit card for consumer goods or because of medical bills, it is important to understand that there are ways to address these financial troubles.

Although filing for bankruptcy seems like a scary process to go through, it is a process that can offer many solutions and eventually a fresh financial start. Thus, gaining a full perspective of your options and how filing for bankruptcy could impact your life immediately and down the road could help you make a very important decision.

Making an effective estate plan

Even though something is important, it doesn't mean that some won't avoid it. This is the case with estate planning. It is clear that it is an essential step to take; however, many try to delay the process as long as possible. An estate plan is used for more than just protecting one's assets. It is also a way to organize assets, understanding what you own and how your property will be treated in the event of you incapacitation or death.

Because it is never too early to think about your future wellbeing and the future of your children, it is important to think about your situation and how you could ensure the security of your family, heirs and beneficiaries. So now that you are on board with the estate planning process, it is vital to understand the documents that make up an estate plan and how they benefit you.

Debunking common debt and bankruptcy myths

It is no secret many American households struggle with debt and bankruptcy. The number of bankruptcy filings in 2005 hit a record high when an estimated one in every 55 households opted for bankruptcy. 

Despite its prevalence, there is still much that many people do not understand about filing for bankruptcy. These myths can prevent people from doing what is best for their situation. Increase your knowledge to have an easier time getting out of debt. 

The importance of naming a trustee for a living trust

Individuals make important decisions everyday. However, when these decisions impact an estate plan, it is imperative to ensure that the terms and details of these documents meet your needs and are in fact valid. One type of document many consider including in the estate planning process is a trust. A trust can come in a variety of forms and can take on various purposes.

For those including a living trust in their estate plan, a testator must include a trustee. While it might seem like a fairly straightforward task, naming a trustee is an important step to take and can be difficult at times. Typically, a trustee is a child, friend, a family member, professional fiduciaries or a bank. The type of living trust and the purpose it serves often designates who would be a proper fit to act as trustee.

When should you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy over Chapter 13?

Dealing with financial problems is anything but easy. While these times can be minor, other individuals and families in California are dealing with the devastating reality of increasing debt problems. In order to keep their head above water and avoid the risk of losing their home and other assets and property, seeking debt relief is the best option. This can come in various forms, but the two most common ways for a consumer to address their debts is by filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

When should you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy over Chapter 13? To answer this, one must first understand the differences between these two types of bankruptcies. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a mechanism to wipe away all of a consumer's dischargeable debts once the process is finalized. Thus, an individual must be aware what is considered to be dischargeable debts and what is not. For example, student loans are not dischargeable. Additionally, debts due to fraud and other violations are not dischargeable.

Ways to address the foreclosure process

Going through the process of locating a buying a home can be a lengthy and overwhelming process; however, it is has the end result of providing a homebuyer with the house of their dreams. Sadly, some homeowners in San Diego and other cities across the nation experience financial hardships. These hardships can make it difficult to make timely mortgage payments. When this occurs, individuals and families could face the unfortunate fate of losing their home to the foreclosure process.

When the foreclosure process is impending or already initiated, homeowners feel helpless. They are at their lowest low and believe that they have to accept their ill-fate. However, this does not have to occur. Homeowners can regain control and even prevent the foreclosure process from continuing.

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Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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