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by Judd Matsunaga, Esq.



A few months ago, there was a radio commercial in which a father was asking his son about the house the son was buying. After listening to his son’s responses, the father said,

“You’ve got no idea what you’re doing, do you son?” The son immediately responds, “I’ve got no clue. Hugs?”


A person’s home is usually the most valuable asset that they will ever own. Yet, most people take title in their own name or as joint tenants because they are not aware of a better alternative. But this deserves careful consideration since how one holds title could drastically affect things such as taxes, probate, and inheritance rights.

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by Judd Matsunaga, Esq.


My Nisei parents call it “senior moments” and can get away with it. However, my wife and I, both Sansei, are also having trouble remembering names and will occasionally forget where we put something. Since we can’t quite call it “senior moments,” we call it the beginning stages of dementia.


Like our body, our brain also undergoes changes as we age. As a result, there are slight changes that will occur in memory and cognition (thinking) as we age. So how do you tell whether memory lapses are within the scope of normal aging – or represent something more serious, such as dementia?

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by Judd Matsunaga, Esq.

Congratulations! You’ve protected your family from probate by setting-up a revocable living trust. Chances are, you’ve appointed yourself as the trustee of your trust. Thusly, you’ve maintained full control over your assets and eliminated paying any professional fees. But who’s your trustee upon your disability or death?


If you don’t know, look at your trust (it would be a good idea to find it). Find the section that talks about “SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE.” It should say something like, “upon death or disability of original trustee (i.e., you), “so and so”  is to act as successor trustee. There might even be an alternate “successor trustee” named just in case the first one is unable or refuses to act.

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by Judd Matsunaga, Esq.


Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” Although my father might tell you I sure gave it “the old college try,” I have learned over the years that it is far better to try to avoid the mistakes that other people commonly make.


Since it seems inevitable that more and more adult children will be assisting their aging parents with their finances in the not so distant future, I would like to point out the three biggest mistakes that families commonly make that you will want to avoid.



Let’s say your fiercely independent father has a stroke that leaves him bedridden and unable to handle his financial affairs. You, the dutiful son or daughter, go to his bank to access his money to pay his bills. Unfortunately, the account is in his name only and there is no power of attorney on file. The bank informs you that you need a “conservatorship.”

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ELS Annual Christmas Toy Drive

Join us for our Annual Christmas Toy Drive.

This holiday season our team at Elder Law Services of California will be donating toys to the "Sparks of Love Toy Drive" hosted by the Los Angeles and Orange County Fire Departments. Sparks of love has donated toys to children in need over the last 25 years and 2017 is expected to be another successful giveaway. If you are interested in participating in this wonderful event, please purchase a new unwrapped toy online and ship it to:


"Elf Judd Matsunaga"

1609 Cravens Ave,

Torrance, CA 90501


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Serving Our Community Since 1995

Elder Law Services of California, APLC provides the same strategic planning and legal representative of larger firms, yet in a personalized, family-like manner. Our priority is to provide the highest level of legal services and client satisfaction when representing your Medi-Cal Planning, Estate Planning, Trust Administration, or Probate cases. Above all, we understand the importance of you and your family’s financial future and legal security.

Our team of Attorneys and legal support staff have assisted thousands of different families by giving them the freedom to plan for the security of their future, while also providing peace of mind with our experienced legal advice. As our name, Elder Law Services of California, APLC serves all families in California, with convenient locations throughout Los Angeles, as well as locations in Northern California, and San Diego.

Whether you need to qualify for Medi-Cal, pay for long-term care, create an estate plan and powers of attorney, proceed a conservatorship, protect your assets, or deal with the loss of a loved one, our team is there for you every step of the way. Sadly, many families are unprepared for any significant planning for their future, so take the first step today to protect your family’s integrity.

Elder Law Services  of California, APLC.
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