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Estate Planning Archives

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.

Don't forget your intellectual property in your estate plan

For people who are in lines of work that involve intellectual property, taking steps to protect that property from being used by others without their permission is essential. This can include artistic works like music, art and fashion designs, as well as computer programs and inventions. If you're a famous person, it can even include the use of your photo or other likeness. Intellectual property is generally trademarked, patented or copyrighted.

Don't forget to update your estate plan when you remarry

Remarriage is one of those life events that will likely necessitate some changes to your estate plan. You'll probably want to include your new spouse in your plan while ensuring that any children from your previous marriage still receive at least some of the assets that you originally designated to them. Further, you may want to designate your new spouse as your health care and/or financial power of attorney.

What estate planning documents should all young adults have?

Most young people don't consider developing an estate plan unless they have a considerable amount of money or assets, either from earnings, an inheritance, a legal settlement or some other source. They're busy building their careers, working towards paying off student loans and perhaps starting families.

How to avoid common pitfalls with a special needs trust

California parents who have special needs children have unique challenges when they're doing their estate planning. That's why it's essential to have an experienced California estate planning attorney guide you through the process and help you avoid some common mistakes.

Divorce with a special needs child: consider estate advice too

Family issues and legal issues often intersect. When you have children with special needs, there are even more circumstances to consider than the average family. Most families can discuss how they should deal with unexpected incapacity or the administration of an estate.

What do you need to know about designating beneficiaries?

When you're drawing up your estate planning documents, your California estate planning attorney will remind you that you need to ensure that you've designated the beneficiaries whom you want to receive the assets from your 401(k), other retirement accounts, life insurance policies and annuities with the company or institution where they're housed. Many people think that just listing the beneficiaries for those assets in their will is sufficient. However, it's not. The beneficiary designations on those accounts and policies supersede what's in the will if there's a discrepancy.

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