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Estate Planning Archives

Protecting your children's inheritances if they divorce

If you're drafting your estate plan with the intention of leaving some or all of your assets to your adult children, it's essential to talk to them about their inheritances once you've determined what you are going to leave them. For many families, this may be the first time that parents and kids have discussed just how much there is in the estate. Many kids are surprised to find that their parents, whom they've always seen as tight with a buck while growing up, have actually amassed a good deal of money.

Why should you have an advanced health care directive?

If you're a Californian doing your estate planning, it's essential to understand that it can, and maybe should, involve more than a will and other documents that detail how you want your assets disbursed after your death. For example, you can designate your wishes for your health care ahead of time in case you are unable to speak for yourself later.

Detailing your wishes for ending your life

One of the areas covered in many Californians' estate plans is what actions they want and don't want taken to extend their lives if they are unable to speak for themselves. These can be spelled out in detail in an Advance Health Care Directive and overseen by a health care power of attorney. In California, the Natural Death Act allows people to be removed from devices and not undergo procedures that would keep them alive if they choose.

Should you have a 'life estate?'

Most people think of estate planning as designating how assets will be handled after they die or if they are no longer able to speak for themselves. However, certain aspects of estate planning, like living trusts, are important for protecting your assets while you're still alive and well.

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