If a parent dies and you're the executor of the will, one of the first things you have to do is take stock of exactly what is in the house. The will may lay out what possessions go to which heirs, or it may give you more general directions about splitting things up evenly. Either way, protecting those assets after a parent's passing is crucial, even if is means taking the drastic step of changing the locks on the family home.
For California families who own farms or ranches, estate planning is essential to help ensure that the businesses they've worked so hard to build and maintain continue on successfully when they're no longer around. However, as with all types of estate planning, too often it gets neglected.
Too often, people who don't have children don't have a will or other estate planning documents in place. However, in many cases, these are the people who need them the most. Even if you don't have children, you likely would prefer that other family members, favorite charities or even close friends get all of your money rather than have the government take a big chunk out of it, which could happen if you die without a will.
Estate documents are essential to uphold your voice on important matters and your family's future after you have passed on. These documents should stay safe and easily accessible to your family when you can no longer be there to guide them. There is no point in having an estate plan if no one will be able to find it. Here is what you should know.
Most single parents have little time to think about estate planning. If they're relatively young and healthy, many do not. However, things can change in the blink of an eye. That's why it's essential to ensure that you've made arrangements not only to ensure that your children are properly cared for, but that your assets go to the beneficiaries you wish.
While most individuals are familiar with the secular features of an estate, they may not realize that their religious concerns can be addressed during estate planning. Religious practices and beliefs can serve as a guide in choosing fiduciaries, distributing funds and resolving disputes.
Most of us have heard stories of young people who were left a considerable amount of money by their parents, and therefore never felt the drive to succeed on their own merits. Too often, it doesn't end well for them.
It's a reality of life: you watch your parents age, and as they do so, they become less able to do things on their own. If your parent is also dealing with dementia or Alzheimer's, it can be heartbreaking to watch. Not only is their physical ability declining as they age, but their cognitive functioning is becoming less and less strong. You worry about keeping him or her safe, and wonder if a nursing home with 24-hour care would be the best for his or her health.
When you sit down with your estate planning attorney to draft your will and other estate documents, you may go in with the presumption that you will leave each of your children an equal share of your estate. However, equal isn't necessarily fair.