Over the years, California residents may need to revise financial decisions they made earlier in life. This might be true for estate plans as well; what sufficed at one time of life may be inappropriate in another.
California couples often make big plans for the future during the initial year of their marriage but do not think in terms of estate planning. Without realizing it, they may be costing themselves vital opportunities to secure a stable future for their incipient family and accumulating property should something happen to them individually or as a couple.
Father’s Day is this coming Sunday (June 15). It is a day to celebrate the sacrifices and contributions that fathers and father figures have made on their families, especially children. On Father’s Day, much of the focus is on giving dad gifts or giving him a rest from most of his duties. The gifts typically focus on power tools, fishing tackle, baseball tickets or even ties. However, it may be difficult to shop for the dad who has everything.
In a number of our posts we have noted that estate planning is helpful for people at just about any age. You don’t need to have millions in liquid assets, multiple real estate holdings or tax shelters in order to have a basic estate plan. In fact, just having an idea about how you would want to be treated medically if you are unable to speak, or who you would want to make decisions on your behalf is enough. With this in mind, we offer this post to introduce the basic things you should have in your estate plan.
To those who are retired, have plenty of money and are entering their golden years, the importance of an estate plan may be an afterthought. After all, they probably have managed their money and assets well up to this point, and may feel that creating an estate plan invites morbid thoughts of their own mortality.
Aging California parents frequently choose a loved one, often an adult child, to handle personal finances when they no longer desire or feel competent to make wise money decisions. You might start out informally by using a parent's PIN code to make an automatic teller transaction or step in to reconcile a bank statement.
Independence is a precious possession that seniors often guard carefully as long as they feel sound in body and mind. Even when age or illness interferes with that independence, older people can be hard-pressed to give up activities like driving or balancing a bank statement.
Many California legal documents, like some trusts, cover asset transfer wishes for individuals in robust health. Other estate planning documents, like wills, have no effect until a person dies. However, neither of these documents will do much good if you become incapacitated and unable to manage your finances and health care decisions.
You don't have to be a television, movie or music legend in Los Angeles to want control over inheritances you leave for heirs. If you think your estate plan is fine without a trust, you might be right. Then again, you might be missing something.