Increasingly, more of our financial and social activity is carried out online. This can create a dilemma for surviving family members when someone dies. While people can and should designate an executor for their estate in their will, that designation doesn't give them access to accounts that are strictly online, such as some bank accounts and e-mail accounts.
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.
Generally, when people think about estate planning and administration, it's in relation to how a person's property, money and other assets are divided up and bequeathed to heirs and other beneficiaries. However, what happens to a person's debts when they die? That generally depends on the type of debt, what state the person lived in and whether or not there is a surviving spouse.
Any person who has administered an estate knows that, even in this digital age, the amount of paperwork can be overwhelming. Once the estate is settled, it can be tempting to shred all of the documents that have been taking up room in your filing cabinets, drawers or wherever you've stashed them. Not so fast.
Most Californians have some familiarity with the Medi-Cal program. It's basically our state's version of Medicaid, and it helps cover low-income Californians' medical care.
Your loved one has passed away. Whether the passing took you by surprise or was expected after a long-term illness, it isn't easy to deal with their loss. When the only thing you want to do is mourn their death and look to the future, you have to think about their estate. You have to think about probate, something that can be very frustrating and confusing, particularly if this is the first time you have had to deal with the issue.
As shocking as the death of music icon Prince last month at 57 years old was to millions of fans around the world, the reports that he seems to have left no will or other estate planning documents are also shocking to many people. Why would a multimillionaire with vast amounts of music that will earn money for years to come not have an estate plan to detail who gets his assets and the rights to his music?
Saying good-bye to a loved one is never easy, but it is far more difficult when left with an unorganized estate plan, complicated assets and no direction. One daunting task involves closing their accounts. The methods of closing accounts are not uniform and in some cases, it can become a frustrating or even drawn-out nightmare.
Being named the executor of someone's estate is a bit of a mixed blessing. You may wonder if you should feel honored to be chosen, but there still may be some part of you that wonders why you were the one "lucky" enough to get the job.
It isn't uncommon for a parent to name one of their children or another responsible party as the executor of their estate. In cases such as these, this individual is the representative of their assets and heirs.