A term that is bandied about in the estate planning community refers to medical directives. They have become a popular component of comprehensive estate plans in California but there are different types of documents that address different issues. Two examples of health care directives are a living will and a DNR, a "do-not-resuscitate" order.
Families in California with considerable assets have multiple options when creating an estate plan. One of these is how Individual Retirement accounts (IRA) allow one to distribute the asset to one's heirs after one's death. The heirs are required to take a minimum distribution from the asset that is based on their life expectancy. A new law being considered, known as the Secure Act, would require that the estate assets held in the retirement account be distributed over 10 years.
People concerned with passing on their assets and belongings after their death, and people who are concerned that the appropriate asset goes to the appropriate heir, tend to be very conscientious when it comes to estate planning in California. In addition to assuring the desired transfer of assets, a plan can also be key in protecting assets to be passed on. A successful strategy for this requires that plans be reviewed once a year or so.
People in California who die without an estate plan in place may not have their final wishes carried out as they intended. Aretha Franklin passed away almost a year ago from complications related to pancreatic cancer. At the time of her death in Detroit, it was believed that she had died without leaving a will. That situation would have made asset distribution of her Michigan estate, estimated at over $80 million, very difficult.
As people age they may realize the need for estate planning and the creation of a will in California. Having a will helps one to transfer assets, establish guardianship for minor children and facilitate the passing of one's belongings on to one's heirs after death. While a will is a help, there are other factors that may need to be considered when establishing one's estate plan.
Families are made up of people. People come in all shapes, sizes and personalities, and this can add to family drama and contribute to challenges when it comes to estate planning in California. Most people understand the importance of having a plan in place in this day and age, but they may be reluctant to engage in planning because of the conflicts that may arise. This can be particularly true when sizeable estates are involved.