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Estate Planning Archives

Should you close house and change locks when a parent dies?

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.

Estate planning essential for farmers and ranchers

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.

How to keep your estate documents safe and accessible

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.

Why an estate plan is essential for single parents

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.

Secular or religious? Your estate can reflect your beliefs.

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.

How can I put a loved one in a nursing home for their own good?

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.

How can you help ensure that your inheritance is used wisely?

Over the next three decades, Americans will transfer more wealth than ever before — an estimated $6 trillion dollars — as the World War II generation and Baby Boomers reach the end of their lives. Sadly, too many people aren't prepared to deal with a significant inheritance. It's estimated that 70 percent of assets transferred to the next generation are lost. Ninety percent don't make it to the generation beyond that.

What is the difference between guardianship and conservatorship?

Sometimes family members need guidance in their lives from a guardian or conservator. These type of court ordered relationships are set in place to aid a young person or adult with their health and finances. In many states the term guardianship is blanketed over all age groups, but California has a different set of terms.

Estate planning for those nearing the end of life

For many people, estate planning isn't something they want to think about when they're healthy. No one enjoys contemplating death. However, that means that many Californians wait until they're at the end stages of their lives to make wills and other financial preparations.

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