Legal Representation In San Mateo, California

Posts tagged "Estate Planning"

Spouses need to access usernames and passwords

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.

The importance of revisiting an estate plan

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.

Accounting for family dynamics while estate planning

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.

Making arrangements for digital assets

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.

Why a trust may be a better choice than a will

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.

Fixing gaps in an existing estate plan

It's a good first step for someone in California wishing to protect assets or provide for future generations to have an estate plan in place. However, if an existing plan is not updated or being regularly reviewed, there may be gaps or instances where current wishes are not reflected. For this reason, individuals with an estate plan are often advised to be proactive about making appropriate adjustments.

Preparing for taxes after death

When people in California pass away, they will often name an executor in their will. In other cases, the probate court may appoint the representative. However, death does not put an end to tax obligations. Instead, it leads to the need for a new tax assessment of the deceased's gross estate. The estate includes all the property that a person owned at the time of his or her death. There are several different types of property involved in assessing a total gross estate, including bank accounts, investments and real estate. The estate also includes lifetime gifts, overseas property, joint property with a right of survivorship and some types of community property. It can even include certain types of life insurance proceeds.

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