Residents in California may understand the importance of a will, but many may for get to keep the documents updated. There are specific events in life that should trigger a review of their last will and testament to ensure it still reflects their final wishes. If it needs to be updated, making changes soon after a change can prevent confusion in the event of an unexpected death.
Some Los Angeles residents may have experience in dealing with various complications related to estate planning. Although estate planning can be one of the most important subjects for families to discuss, it is often neglected. Moreover, even in cases where families act to secure their respective estates, the process can still be derailed by various complications.
California law recognizes the validity of holographic wills for any residents of the state. A holographic will is a handwritten document in which the testator describes their preferred disposition of the estate after their passing. So long as the will follows the specific previsions of the law, the court will consider it to be valid. However, it may sometimes be easier to invalidate a holographic will than a regular will.
California residents are likely familiar with several high profile legal battles in recent years involving the termination of life-sustaining treatment for terminally ill individuals. This kind of conflict can place families under a great deal of stress, and it may often be prevented if the individual concerned has drafted a living will. This document outlines what form of treatment an individual will receive if they become incapacitated, and it outlines the circumstances when treatment should be discontinued.
A trust may be a worthwhile estate planning tool for many people who live in California. As a general rule of thumb, anyone with a net worth of $100,000 or more may benefit the most from a trust. They may be even more effective for those who also own a business, want to care for a disabled family member or want to delay distribution of assets to children or other heirs.
When someone wants to become a guardian of a child in California, they typically do so by filing a petition with the court. Other relatives of the child must be given notice in addition to the parents if they are living. If either one of the parents object, the court will hold a contested hearing at which the intended guardian will need to show that it is in the best interests of the child to appoint him or her as the child's guardian.
People in California who save for their dependents' college tuition in a Section 529 college savings account are able to accumulate tax-free accounts. This is a major factor for why people choose this type of account, but what many people might not realize is that these accounts are also beneficial during estate planning.
A California resident may wonder about the preparation of a living will, which is a written expression that indicates how someone wants to be treated in given medical situations. An individual may detail wishes for or against life-sustaining measures. Similarly, preferences for tube feeding and other means of providing hydration and nourishment may be expressed.
Probate is a process of distributing assets to beneficiaries upon the death a person. The process is started and organized by the executor named in the deceased person's will or possibly by another family member if there is no will. The probate court will work to resolve disputes between family members, and the final disbursement of assets must have court approval. The probate process in California comes with many statutory fees and can become very expensive if the decedent's estate is complex.
Married California residents who are looking for a way to preserve their estates after they pass away have sometimes turned to the bypass trust. However, with recent revisions to estate tax law and portability of exemption rules, a bypass trust may not necessarily be the most efficient method of estate protection.