Proposition 60 and 90 – Attorney

Those seeking to avail themselves of the benefits of Proposition 60 or 90 can benefit from an attorney as both the real estate broker and title company contractually disclaim any responsibility for all legal or tax advice. No assistance or guidance will be provided by these transacting intermediaries.

Under Califonria real property tax rules, the longer you hold your real estate, the more valuable your tax base becomes (assuming the fair market value grows faster than the 2% property tax increase cap).

Pursuant to Proposition 60, a homeowner can sell his or her primary residence and purchase a new residence of equal or lesser value, within the same county, and keep the pre-existing lower tax base.

Proposition 90, allows the residential property seller to transpose his or her lower tax base to a newly purchased residence in another county. Only a handful of counties allow for Proposition 90 transfers.

In order to qualify for either Proposition 60 or 90, one has to be age 55 or older. There are additional factors and complications when multiple co-owners are involved.

Proposition 60 an 90 allow seller to have his or her cake an eat it too. Downsize and keep your lower tax base, while monetizing equity, a substantial portion often tax free.

For more information or inquiries you can contact the Law Offices of Hanlen J. Chang.


Key Features of an Asset Protection Trust

In order for a Trust to effectively provide asset protection against potential creditors or claimants, it should contain the following key elements:

  • The Trust is Irrevocable (and not Revocable)
  • Contains a Spendthrift Clause
  • Discretionary Distributions (vs. mandatory and/or period payments)
  • Third Party Beneficiaries (i.e. not self-settled for own benefit)

If the settlor wishes to reserve additioanl oversight and reservation of rights, an impartial Trust Protector or Advisor can be appointed.

Another variation of an Asset Protection Trust is a foreign Trust with friendly and flexible laws for the Trust and Trustee, while possing legal obstacles for the Creditor.


What is a Trust Protector

A Trust Protector is a fourth participant in a trust arrangement. The others include the Settlor (or Grantor), the Trustee, and the Beneficiary.

A Trust Protector advises on limited but fundamental and important trust decisions. The Trust Protector is not a fiduciary like the Trustee.

Common powers entrusted to the Trust Protector include: removing and replacing the Trustee, amending Trust terms for tax purposes, removing and adding Beneficiaries, and amending distribution provisions.

A Trust Protector should not be the settlor, the beneficiary, or the trustee, or an agent thereof, but an impartial fourth party.

A Trust protector can be added to a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust.

A Trust Protector can become important within the context of an irrevocable trust where the Settlor does not wish to totally relinquish all important rights, but instead entrusts the Protector as a check and oversight on the Trustee.

For more questions or inquiries please contact the Law Offices of Hanlen J. Chang


Don’t Put Your Estate in the Hands of a Machine

Recently there has been a lot of discussion and predications about the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on the legal profession.

While technology has made administrative repetitive tasks more efficient, it is still far off from substituting the counsel of an experienced attorney.

In terms of Estate Planning, the use of document providers such as Legal Zoom has gained in popularity. The most touted benefit is the cheaper cost.

However, you get what you pay for. Translation: What is the value, quality, and assurances provided?

Value Factors


Tax Advice

Legal Advice

Court Experience


Trust Funding


Trust Administration












Document Provider




No (Represent Yourself)

No (Own Comprehension)

No (Do it Yourself)


No (Do it Yourself)


Issues Not Likely Addressed by Document Provider

  • How to transfer and effectuate ownership of specific assets (e.g. real estate) into the the Trust.
  • How to relate financial assets to the Trust only held in the name of an individual (e.g. Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts.)
  • Tax planning and management of each specific asset. (Assets have differing tax characteristics, application to beneficiaries, and the method and sequencing of distribution.)
  • Cross-border considerations and International Tax implications.
  • Advice regarding scenarios that are more likely to cause disputes, legal actions or delays.
  • Insights regarding the Trust or Estate administration. When you die what is required of those in charge to effectuate your testamentary wishes? Common tasks include tax valuations and tax returns, legal notices, legal filings, and distributions.

In conclusion, technology is a great thing, but it is still a tool that is only as good as the operator and the person providing the input. Savvy customers should ask themselves if they want to hire someone to delegate responsibility for complex and sophisticated matters, or rely on their own education, skill, and capability.


Revocable Trust – Medi-Cal Protection

The benefits of a Revocable Trust just got better.

As of January 2017 those utilizing Medi-Cal are no longer required to engage in more complex legal strategies to avoid any Medi-Cal claim against the estate upon death.

A regular revocable trust is now sufficient to avoid any Medi-Cal claim.

Thus, transferring your real property into a Revocable Trust not only helps avoid probate, but also prevents your estate from being diminished by any Medi-Cal payback claim.

It is also advisable to transfer or relate to the Revocable Trust any other significant assets, such as life insurance, annuities, or retirement accounts.

For more information please contact the Law Offices of Hanlen J. Chang.