June 14, 2023

Fake Credentials

I frequently attend events at Senior Living Communities near my home. Lately, I have seen people with “Credentials”. I see “financial planners” claiming  to be Estate Planning specialists. While they may have taken a class and received a certificate, they usually know very little about estate planning and probate. The classes they take just put together a bunch of information that is easily found online. Unfortunately, they often have bad information.  

I just heard an “Estate Planning Specialist” tell someone that they should GIVE THEIR HOUSE TO THEIR CHILD to avoid probate and taxes!!! BAD ADVICE!!! Giving your house away can cause the property taxes to increase, and your child will pay more taxes when they sell the home. Worst part is, if you give away your house, your kids can KICK YOU OUT.  

Just because someone takes a class, that does not make them an expert.

I hold two specializations:

  • Nationally Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, which means I must certify 45 hours of education every 3 years specifically related to Elder Law. To get the Certification, an Attorney must prove they have at least 5 years experience covering 40 areas of law related to the elderly and disabled, pass a test and provide references from clients and other attorneys. 
  • California State Bar Certified Specialist in Trusts Probate and Estates requires 36 hours of specialized education every 3 years, passing a one-day exam, plus certifying experience and references from clients and attorneys. 

Truly having these Certifications proves expertise!! Proof that these are hard to get is how few attorneys have these certifications (33 CELAs and less than 1500 State Bar Certified Specialists).

If you want expert advice, give me a call.

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