Financial elder abuse can be prevented by a carefully-crafted estate plan, provided the documents are in place while an individual is relatively young and healthy. Wills drafted in advanced age can invite legal contests among heirs and beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries do not have to be named in a will to receive assets from an estate. A life insurance policy is an example. The proceeds from the policy go to the assigned beneficiary, whether or not that person is also named in a Los Angeles will, trust or other estate planning document.
Grief and duty mix following a family member's death. Relatives nearest to the deceased are often assigned the roles of executors and trustees with time-sensitive duties to perform. Fiduciary responsibility begins the moment someone dies and continues until estate assets are distributed, as directed by the decedent or a court.
You don't have to be a television, movie or music legend in Los Angeles to want control over inheritances you leave for heirs. If you think your estate plan is fine without a trust, you might be right. Then again, you might be missing something.
California parents who keep contents of their estate plans confidential aren't doing heirs any favors. Children can be disappointed, and sometimes angered to the point of litigation, by making assumptions about inheritances or roles as fiduciaries.
Last year at this time, Los Angeles estate planning attorneys were concerned about protecting clients' assets from potentially high taxes. Fears that the IRS tax-free part of an estate would drop from above $5 million to $1 million were unfounded. Federal estate taxes did rise to 40 percent but not to 55 percent as was predicted.
This question can only be answered by you as a testator, the will creator. The decision to designate a spouse or other relative as the executor of your estate depends on the qualities, abilities and willingness of the family member.
The word "executor" sounds like a title that could enhance a resume. In fact, a person who can handle the responsibilities of a California executor is probably well qualified for many jobs. Estate administrators known as fiduciaries have immense responsibility to a decedent, beneficiaries and probate court.
Family power struggles at the time of a loved one's death are not so common that they disrupt the settlement of every estate, but conflicts happen. Legal issues among Los Angeles heirs and beneficiaries often occur when no estate plan exists or a critical legal document is indistinct.
One of the primary duties of an estate planning attorney is to translate a persons wishes into legal language that casts no doubts in court. Heirs, beneficiaries and probate judges cannot quiz a decedent. Estate choices a person makes while alive must be absolutely clear to avoid misinterpretation.