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.
In California and across the United States, women need to know how to access data regarding their financial accounts. This knowledge is especially important if a husband passes away. A woman should have access to her husband's online passwords, usernames and answers to secret security questions. If a spouse dies without leaving his wife these types of vital keys, the situation may turn into a financial dilemma. For example, the wife may not have the ability to find out information about cellphone payments or online shopping accounts.
For many successful people in California, passing on a legacy to their family members and loved ones is an important goal. However, there are many pieces to a complete estate plan, especially when significant assets are involved. By planning for the future, people can help to avoid family conflicts and work to ensure that their assets are used in the way they envision. While many people want to avoid discussions about death, these conversations can provide an important framework that improve peace of mind for everyone involved.
Raising children and dealing with family drama can be hard for anyone in California. However, it can be even more complicated in families that have a significant amount of wealth. Parents or grandparents typically have to contend with the fact that each heir has different needs or desires. Therefore, it isn't uncommon for siblings to get into squabbles or for family members to snipe at each other on occasion over the terms of an estate plan.
California is one of the states that has adopted the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. Under this law, if a website has a digital tool that allows a person to specify what happens to the account in case of the person's death, this is the course the courts will follow. However, if there are no tools and nothing in a will or a trust regarding digital assets, the state may distribute them like any other assets.
Some California parents may assume that a will is sufficient for passing assets to their children, but there may be some good reasons to consider a trust. A trust is a very different instrument. While a will only takes effect on a person's death, a person may set up and control a revocable trust while still alive. An irrevocable trust is also a possibility although it offers its creator, or grantor, less control.