Few things in life are certain, with death and taxes noted as exceptions. Most families in California wish to leave a legacy for their heirs but not all of them successfully prepare for it. Estate planning can alleviate many ill feelings and legal ramifications. Sadly, Aretha Franklin was one who appears to not have adequately prepared, and her family is paying the price through a court fight over her estate assets.
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 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.
The sandwich generation is becoming a very popular term in the 21st century in California and elsewhere in the country. It refers to baby-boomers who are attempting to tend to the needs of adult children, aging parents and their own impending retirement years all at the same time. Needless to say, this generation is spread very thin across these three tasks. One area that may require extra attention is protecting the estate assets of their aging parents.
The new year has begun and it is a time that people often take a measure of their lives and make goals for the coming year. Estate planning can figure into some of these goals. Life changes such as getting married, the birth of a child or starting a new job can inspire a person to write a will in California. But is having a will in place enough to protect one's estate assets?
Another year is coming ever closer to its end. As people review the past and anticipate the future, resolutions and plans for the New Year are made. Among those plans may be a plan to protect one's estate assets. A comprehensive estate plan can go a long way towards achieving that goal, but how does one begin in California?
As one year ends and another begins it is a time to review the past and look to and plan for the future in California. Future plans may include setting up an estate plan or revising an existing plan. If a trust is involved, an important decision must be made that will significantly impact estate administration. Who will be the trustee?
People in California are becoming aware of the importance of estate planning due in part to the number of prominent people who have recently passed away without having one. The lack of a plan can cause chaos and tie up an estate in probate for years. Simply having an estate plan may not resolve all of the possible issues that could arise, regarding distribution of estate assets.
Baby boomers are retiring at an astonishing rate in California. Now in their 50s and 60s, many baby boomers are stepping back from careers to enjoy grandchildren, golf and other retirement pursuits. One issue they may need to pay attention to is their estate plans. Many estate plans are created when families are young, and one of the chief concerns is care for children if parents die prematurely. Once the children are grown, wills and other estate plan documents may need to be revised to reflect changes in a family's financial situation and their desires for asset distribution.
Estate planning in California can seem like a large, complicated process that is filled with unfamiliar terms. Words like power of attorney, wills, executors, trusts and probate can sound intimidating if one doesn't understand what they mean. Perhaps one of the less understood terms is probate.