When a celebrity passes away with chaos in their estate, it can drive home the importance of writing a will and other estate documents. California director John Singleton was broadly celebrated for his unique vision and style. However, he repeatedly delayed writing a will or making a trust, family members say. After he died unexpectedly at 51 in April 2019 due to a stroke, family members found that the only estate document he left behind was an old will written in 1993. He was not married when he passed away, but he is survived by at least five children. The paternity of two minor girls remains in dispute. He had only one child at the time the will was written.
California families in which there are stepchildren, adopted children, cohabiting unmarried adults, single parents and other nontraditional configurations may find that traditional estate planning advice does not cover their situation. Even trusts, which can be used in a number of complex situations, might need some provisions and adjustments.
A survey from Key Private Bank polled 122 financial advisers to see how often future generations are involved with a person's charitable giving. Of those that responded, about 80% said that only some of their clients did so. However, it may be beneficial for parents and grandparents in California to talk to their younger relatives about their philanthropic goals. This is because different generations tend to have different ideas as to what causes are the most worthy to support.
Besides the tax issues, there are various challenges that individuals will face if they are handling estate matters for a loved one in California who has died. First, a lot depends on who the executor is. If the loved one died intestate, the probate court will appoint an administrator. If there was a will, it most likely designates an executor. If there was a trust, it will have designated a trustee.
Parents and grandparents in California may have no problem keeping track of how much cash they have or the value of their stock portfolio. However, it may be more difficult to keep track of how much an art collection is worth or to determine the fair value for other family heirlooms. Determining the value of a painting, sculpture or other tangible asset is important because it may help to determine how to best to insure it.
An estate plan can help a person account for an illness or other event that could leave that individual incapacitated. It can also help a person in California or anywhere else account for what happens to assets after he or she passes. The first thing an individual should do when creating an estate plan is gather an inventory of physical and financial assets. This could include a mortgage statement, bank statement or anything else that helps a person determine his or her net worth.
California estate owners who have a desire to pass along assets to subsequent generations may consider the benefits of creating trusts. It's an appealing option because of tax advantages and the ability to have more control over how assets are distributed. A dynasty trust is simply an estate planning tool meant to last longer than one generation below that of the trust's creator (grantor).
There are over 130 million people throughout the the United States who have a chronic illness. By the time 2020 arrives, there will be almost 157 million people in the country living with a chronic illness. People who have a chronic illness should make sure that their estate plan properly addresses the issues that come with health and aging complications.
When a loved one passes away, emotions can be heightened, and topics relating to their estate can be sensitive. If you are surprised by the contents of your loved one's will, you may react in unexpected ways. It's common to feel anger, sadness and even betrayal. It is important that you take the time to process these emotions before you move forward and decide what action to take.
Individuals who live or own property in California may want to avoid going through probate. Certain assets can avoid the probate process by placing a transfer on death, or TOD, designation on them. Bank accounts, the deed to a house and other assets typically qualify for this designation. It is important to note that once this designation is made, it trumps any language placed in a will. Therefore, it is important to regularly review TOD accounts.