Friday, June 23, 2017

How Probate Works

As principal of Kevin Staker Probate and Trust Mediation, Kevin Staker guides individuals and families in the process of estate distribution. Kevin Staker comes to this role with extensive experience in estate law, having led the StakerLaw Tax and Estate Planning Law Corporation for more than 30 years.

A revocable living trust, also known simply as a living trust, allows an individual to determine ownership of his or her estate throughout the phases of independent living, potential incapacitation, and death. Most trusts allow the trustmaker to control and spend the assets placed in the trust for as long as he or she can do so. This provision includes the right to change the trust by removing assets, adding new assets, or change the identity of beneficiaries.

The trust also designates the identity of a trustee, who assumes responsibility for handling the assets in trust after the trustmaker passes away. Some trusts direct the trustee to distribute assets to beneficiaries, while others ask that the trustmaker continue to manage assets on beneficiaries' behalf. 

A trustmaker may also authorize his or her trustee to manage his or her assets should the trustmaker lose the ability to do so during his or her lifetime. This way, if the trustmaker loses the mental ability ot manage his or her affairs, the trustee can take over finances without needing to go through the court process of becoming a guardian.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Medi-Cal Has Announced 2017 Average Private Pay Rate for Long Term Care in California by Kevin Staker

Medi-Cal Has Announced 2017 Average Private Pay Rate for Long Term Care in California by Kevin Staker

The Average Private Pay Rate ("APPR") for 2017 for Medi-Cal, the California equivalent of Medic-Aid, has been announced.  The amount is $8,515.  The authority/confirmation for this amount can be found at

The APPR is the average amount the California Department of Health Services believes nursing homes charge each month for a patient in long term care in a facility.  The APPR is also very important in planning to qualify for Medi-Cal to pay for long term care for an individual in a nursing home.  If you give $8,515 to an individual, not your spouse or a disabled child, it will result in one month of ineligibility from Medi-Cal.

Hence, any gift causes ineligibility for months based on the amount of the gift divided by the $8,515.  The strange quirk in California law is the period of ineligibility is the number of months rounded down.  Thus, a gift of $8,514.99 or less will result in no period of ineligibility.  This is a tremendous loophole. 

An individual who needs to go into a nursing home can give away under $8,515 per account per day per individual and it will not cause any period of ineligibility. 

For more information go to the Medi-Cal planning page of the website of Kevin Staker at StakerLaw.  This page is found at .

By Kevin Staker

Monday, April 10, 2017

Increasing Your Fitness for Golf

Experienced in probate and trust mediation, Kevin Staker operates a solo legal practice in California. In his spare time, Kevin Staker can often be found on the golf course, perfecting his game.

As a golfer you can take several measures besides practice to improve your game overall. Here are some of them, as mentioned in Golf Digest:

- Drink plenty of water. Doing so curbs your appetite, promoting weight loss. It also promotes a better swing, since it increases power and endurance. Minimum recommendation: 70 ounces per day.

- Walk a minimum of 7,000 steps a day. Lengthy sitting can cause back and hip problems and affect your swing. If you can’t get in this much walking on the course, try the mall or your neighborhood.

- Boost your heart rate. Regular cardio and interval training will improve your ability to concentrate on crucial plays during matches.

- Include glute exercises in your workout. Well-exercised butt muscles can contribute to a powerful swing. When sitting, contract them, both together at once and alternating left and right. Take the stairs when you can.

- Exercise in all three planes. Commonly, people exercise only forward and backward. However, the golf swing also involves lateral (side to side) and rotational (twisting) motions. Such activities as medicine ball practice, torso lunges, and lateral and rotational jumps build flexibility.

- Use self-massage. Foam rollers and other tools such as foam sticks and balls increase muscle pliability, which improves your swing. Work the back, hips, and calves for 15 minutes two or three times a week.

- Finally, keep track of calories. Smartphone apps can track the caloric value of your food intake. Restricting what you eat using this technology will improve your mobility, give you more energy, and reduce stress on your bones.