Many California residents were shocked and saddened by the death of Robin Williams. While entertainers may be so involved with their career they fail to ignore estate planning, it appears Williams did not neglect taking steps to protect and direct his wealth after his death.
When it comes to estate planning, some California parents ignore the benefits of the choices available to them. One example is using a trust to make sure that assets pass to intended parties. Using a trust can give parents more control over their estate versus leaving it up to a court or in the hands of an executor. Some parents might be concerned about privacy and do not want their will publicly available in probate court. A living trust could be the answer due to the fact that such a trust is not subject to probate.
California residents who feel they have some assets to protect may be wondering whether a trust is the right choice and what type of trust they may need. Trusts might be a good choice for individuals who are planning their estates and need to protect their assets from potential creditors or who want to make sure the money they leave behind is properly administered when they are unable to do so. Trusts may result in tax advantages for the very wealthy, and they can provide more privacy than a will.
When "Fast & Furious" actor Paul Walker died in November, he left behind an estate with an estimated value of $25 million. The 40-year-old unmarried movie actor created an estate plan in 2001 -- a will and trust shifting assets to his now-15-year-old daughter.
Actor James Gandolfini was worth an estimated $70 million at the time of his death. Reports said the star of the HBO series "The Sopranos" left behind a will that passed the bulk of his fortune to a baby daughter and siblings. Critics felt estate planning mistakes cost the late actor's heirs tens of millions of dollars.