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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) April 10, 2015 – Attorney Mark Gilfix will appear on the KTVU FOX Channel 2 show, “Bay Area People” to offer insights on key steps parents should follow to plan for their children’s future. The show will air Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12.   The  show will focus on the challenges that special needs children and their families face, and will discuss the powerful planning options available to them.   Mark Gilfix will appear as special guest to discuss these issues. His Palo Alto law firm, Gilfix & La Poll Associates specializes […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) March 20, 2015 – On April 9, 2015, Gilfix & La Poll Associates will present the 11th Annual Special Needs Trust Seminar, an extraordinary event designed for the family members of special needs individuals. Every year, this two-hour seminar presents the most up-to-date information about special needs trusts. Families learn the ways in which special needs individuals can benefit from a special needs trust, as well as optimal approaches to creating and maintaining such a trust. “A special needs trust can provide lifelong financial security for a special needs individual without disturbing eligibility for […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) March 6, 2015 – Saving for retirement is not an easy task, but many middle-income-earning couples do manage to amass a nice nest egg. However, many of these same middle-income couples face an additional financial challenge when one spouse eventually needs nursing home care.  Substantial bills for this type of care often threaten a couple’s savings. The March issue of Financial Advisor magazine detailed one remedy for this challenge, a nursing home annuity, and it quoted Gilfix & La Poll Associates attorney Mark Gilfix concerning various aspects of this issue.   Because nursing home […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 16, 2015 – A new national study has found that adults age 45 to 65 vastly underestimate the possibility that they will need professional long-term care after the age of 65. The study, conducted by the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs, showed that 60 percent of adults in this age range do not think they will need long term-care in the future. But, according to national statistics, more than 70 percent of those over 65 do use long-term care at some point. Michael Gilfix, a Palo Alto estate planning attorney who assists clients in […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 9, 2015 – On January 1, 2015, a new federal law took effect, authorizing states to establish a new kind of tax-favored savings account for some special needs individuals. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act created an account for special needs individuals that is similar, in some ways, to a 529 college savings account. A 529 ABLE account will allow special needs individuals and their families to save up to $100,000, which can be used for some living expenses, while still allowing the individual to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 30, 2015 – According to estate planning professionals, an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals are limiting how much money they leave to their children. The most famous example of this might be Warren Buffet, who has said publicly that he does not want to leave his children so much money that they do not need to do anything with their lives. Similarly, Bill Gates has said that he plans to donate almost all of his multi-billion dollar fortune to charity, leaving about $10 million to each of his three children. Estate planning attorney […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 16, 2015 – According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, wealthy families are increasingly setting up private trust companies to manage their assets, rather than using traditional trust companies. “Private trust companies offer families more flexibility and more control,” said Michael Gilfix, a Palo Alto estate planning attorney with Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP. “It is easy to see why more and more super-wealthy families are selecting this option, although there are potential downsides.” One reason many families choose to create a private trust company, reports the Wall Street […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 2, 2015 – A recent article in the Wall Street Journal describes a transformation in estate planning for individuals or couples who have significant assets, but who are not subject to the federal estate tax. With a federal estate tax exemption set at more than $5 million per individual — a figure set to rise — tax reporter Laura Saunders says that capital gains taxes are now the driving concern in estate planning for many affluent Americans. “Saunders is absolutely right to point out that, particularly for Californians, capital gains taxes can pose […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) November 24, 2014 – A new study from Allianz Life Insurance shows that fundamental misconceptions about elder financial abuse may be fueling the growing problem. According to the study, most seniors and their family members believed that the greatest risk comes from telemarketing calls and similar contact with strangers. Few realized that the majority of elder financial exploitation is perpetuated by someone the senior already knows. “It is common for people to think that this will not happen to their family,” said elder law attorney Michael Gilfix of Gilfix & La Poll, who works […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) November 18, 2014 – Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States reaffirmed that inherited IRA accounts are not protected in bankruptcy as regular retirement accounts are. According to estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix of Gilfix & La Poll, this is just one of the many reasons that anyone with a significant IRA account should look into the idea of setting up a trust as the beneficiary of an IRA account. “Designating a trust for an IRA account is not for everyone,” Gilfix explained, “but it could be of great benefit to […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 17, 2014 – Michael Gilfix is a featured panelist at an upcoming Bay Area event focused on helping families ensure supported housing for their adult children with autism. The event, hosted by the Autism Society of the San Francisco Bay Area, is titled “A Place for Us: Supported Housing Solutions for Adults with Developmental Disabilities.” The day-long event will take place at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits in Redwood City on October 24. Gilfix will take part in a panel discussion on “retention of family property and collaborative purchase of homes for grown […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2014 – Prospective parents using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) should use estate planning as a tool to legally protect both the future of their unborn children and their own genetic material. “Although it may seem like an uncomfortable discussion, it can actually be a simple one,” remarked Michael Gilfix, an estate planning attorney. “A good estate planning attorney can lay out the legal questions surrounding ART, and he or she can help draft solid legal protections for all involved.” The use and disposition of stored genetic material will need to be considered […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 15, 2014 – Mark Gilfix will be a featured speaker at the Morgan Center 13th Annual Autism Conference in Campbell, California on September 20, 2014. Gilfix, a special needs planning attorney, will present a session entitled “Creating a Life Estate in Your Home for Your Grown Disabled Child, and Other Estate Planning Techniques to Consider.” He is also a featured speaker on a panel addressing housing issues faced by people with autism and their families. The Morgan Center 13th Annual Autism Conference is a day-long event for families and caregivers of people on […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 9, 2014 – Estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix addressed growing concerns about Medi-Cal asset recovery in a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News. Last week, a bill designed to scale down Medi-Cal’s asset recovery programs was passed unanimously by the California State Assembly. Nonetheless, many in the state — including Sacramento insiders — fear that Governor Jerry Brown may veto the bill, according to the Mercury News. But Gilfix pointed out that there are still practical solutions for those who wish to access Medi-Cal benefits while preserving their estates, even if […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 2, 2014 – Michael Gilfix was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding unexpected estate claims by Medi-Cal and the ways families can protect themselves. On August 24, 2014, the Chronicle published an exposé on the recent expansion of Medi-Cal’s little-known estate recovery program. According to reporter Kathleen Pender, the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded the number of Medi-Cal recipients subject to estate recovery. Medi-Cal has long conducted a limited program that allows it to claim and recover assets from the estates of some deceased Medi-Cal recipients. However, as Pender pointed […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – A major report from the American Association of Retired People (AARP) has named California a strong performer in long-term care systems for older adults and the disabled. The report, called a “scorecard,” evaluated states on 26 different criteria and then aggregates the findings into an overall ranking. California finished ninth overall and drew top scores in several areas. The state earned a first-place rating on the availability of Medicaid benefits (Medi-Cal) to cover the costs of long-term care. The report also gave California a second-place rating for the diversity of […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 22, 2014 – The federal government has introduced a major new initiative to combat rising abuse and exploitation of the elderly — the “Elder Justice Roadmap,” a comprehensive framework for neutralizing financial, psychological and physical risks to older Americans. The Roadmap outlines newly launched educational programs and policy steps designed to increase reporting and prosecution, but it mainly focuses on encouraging individuals, families and institutions to identify risks and take steps toward prevention. Elder law attorney Michael Gilfix recently authored an article entitled “Addressing Financial Elder Abuse: Should the Bar be Lower?” that […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) July 23, 2014 – With more 8.6 million aging baby boomers in California alone, end-of-life discussions are becoming increasingly important. Families need to make it a priority to speak with loved ones before, not after, a crisis strikes. A 2012 California Healthcare Foundation (CHFC) survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of respondents felt that having an end-of-life discussion with their family was “extremely important” — yet 56 percent of those respondents had not yet communicated those wishes with the person they would want making that decision on their behalf. Only 23 percent had their […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) March 14, 2014 – Families with a disabled child, parent or other relative face incredibly difficult challenges. They struggle to ensure that their disabled loved one lives a happy and comfortable life. As such, parents especially worry about how their disabled child’s needs will be met after they are gone. A special needs trust is a powerful estate planning tool that may provide peace of mind to any family struggling with these issues. On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, Gilfix and La Poll Associates presents the 10th Annual Community Special Needs Trust Seminar. Nationally recognized […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 10, 2014 – Michael Gilfix, a prominent Palo Alto estate planning attorney, is offering an estate-planning seminar in San Jose, CA. The 2013 tax return filing season has begun in earnest, and many taxpayers will rush to meet the April 15 deadline for filing returns. That often pell-mell pre-deadline dash may seem the norm, but taxpayers will need to employ a more methodical, long-term approach to dealing with their estate-related tax issues. And there are few ways better to inform oneself about estate planning than to attend a seminar hosted by a seasoned […]


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