Newman Law Group

November 2019 Archives

Estate planning and California real estate

Much has been written about how people can learn from the mistakes made by celebrities who passed away without having created an estate plan. Something that is less prevalent is being able to learn from celebrities who have planned well. Estate planning is not something that should be left until one's later years in California. Luke Perry, the actor, was only 52 years old when he died but had apparently already put into place a very comprehensive and well-thought-out plan.

Digital assets should be included with estate assets

Most people in California have some awareness  of the importance of having an estate plan, in part due to the recent passing of notable people who did not have one and the chaos that resulted around the resolution of their estates. What people may not be aware of is the necessity to include one's digital life in estate assets when creating a comprehensive plan. Digital footprints have grown considerably and failure to incorporate it can cause one's heirs unnecessary angst, inconvenience and possible financial cost.

Protecting assets is key reason for an estate plan

Once upon a  time a person could go to school, grow up, work for a company and then retire with a pension. Pensions have, for the most part, given way to 401(k) programs that rely in part on the investment knowledge of the individual. This can make the question of growing and protecting assets a daunting and confusing question for some people in California.

Procrastination and estate planning do not go together

There is one word that frequently comes up in conjunction with creating an estate plan: procrastination. That procrastination can prove to be a fatal mistake. There was another well-known personality in California whose recent death drove that fact home. John Singleton, a well-known filmmaker, passed away at the age of 51 from apparent complications due to a stroke. He had procrastinated estate planning, and this has caused public family disagreements over the filmmaker's estate.

A person's inheritance may include bequests to benefit pets

When putting together an estate plan in California people take into account family members and others to whom they wish to leave bequests. Also frequently considered are funds to care for children with special needs or other family members who may warrant special consideration. Additionally, people may include, as part of an inheritance, financial provisions to provide continued care for their pets. This used to be seen as being particular to the wealthy. Many people will recall that Leona Helmsley's dog, Trouble, was the beneficiary of a sizable bequest for his continued care.