Often, when people do their estate planning, they include their grandchildren only as alternative beneficiaries. That means that they receive an inheritance only if their parent (the grandparent's child) dies before the grandparent. Even if someone dies without a will and has no living children, grandchildren will receive the assets that would have gone to those children.
Virtually every adult, no matter how young and healthy, should have a will and possibly other estate planning documents. An estate plan, even a simple one, can save loved ones time, stress and money if something happens to you.
If there's anything that people dread discussing over family holiday get-togethers more than politics, it's financial issues. However, the holiday season brings family members together who rarely if ever see each other during the rest of the year. Therefore, it is practical time to discuss serious matters like estate plans.
Many Los Angeles area families have a vacation home. It may be a getaway cottage in Big Sur or a place farther north in Napa or Sonoma wine county. Regardless of the location, when people draft their estate plan, they generally leave the property to their children.
When people remarry, they often rewrite their wills to ensure that their new spouses are covered. Unfortunately, their children from previous marriages and relationships may be left without any inheritance, even if that's not what their parents intended.
Many people who draft their estate plan are surprised by the number of assets they have, large and small, that need to be considered. An experienced California estate planning attorney will help you ensure that you've codified how you want those assets disbursed and whom you want to put in charge of various aspects of your estate, including your financial and health care powers of attorney, trustees, executors and agents. The more thought you've given to these questions before you and your attorney start working together, the smoother and less time consuming the process will be.
When Californians apply for Medi-Cal, which is our state's version of Medicaid, they often believe that by listing their home as exemption, they are protecting it from being taken to repay the benefits they've received from Medi-Cal. However, that's not the case. Just because an asset is listed as exempt on the application, that doesn't mean that it's exempt from benefits recovery action.
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.
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.
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.