With a Republican president in the White House next year and a Republican-controlled Congress, some people who have considerable assets to leave to their heirs are hoping that the estate tax (sometimes referred to by those opposed to it as the "death tax") will be repealed.
A person who dies without having a will is said to die intestate, which opens up a battle for the belongings of the decedent. California laws cover what is to happen to the person's estate when this situation occurs. Understanding how the succession laws impact the estate is something that can help anyone who has a loved one who passed away without a will.
When people remarry, they often rewrite their wills to ensure that their new spouses are covered. Unfortunately, their children from previous marriages and relationships may be left without any inheritance, even if that's not what their parents intended.
Many people who draft their estate plan are surprised by the number of assets they have, large and small, that need to be considered. An experienced California estate planning attorney will help you ensure that you've codified how you want those assets disbursed and whom you want to put in charge of various aspects of your estate, including your financial and health care powers of attorney, trustees, executors and agents. The more thought you've given to these questions before you and your attorney start working together, the smoother and less time consuming the process will be.
When you're developing your estate plan, you need to determine what will happen not just to your primary residence but to your vacation home(s). Whether it's a centuries-old house by the ocean that's been in your family for generations or a mountain cabin where you spend Christmas vacations every year, these properties can have not just significant monetary value, but great sentimental value.
Being named as the executor of someone's estate, or the trustee of a trust, can seem like an overwhelming responsibility. In order to avoid being overwhelmed, it is important to understand your duties as executor or trustee. While below are some of the basics concerning your new duties, the advice of legal counsel while managing an estate or a trust can be very beneficial.
When Californians apply for Medi-Cal, which is our state's version of Medicaid, they often believe that by listing their home as exemption, they are protecting it from being taken to repay the benefits they've received from Medi-Cal. However, that's not the case. Just because an asset is listed as exempt on the application, that doesn't mean that it's exempt from benefits recovery action.