This time of year, many people resolve to get financial affairs in order so they are better prepared for the future. The reasons for a plan to protect the estate assets are many. Recently, a news article covered some of the most common reasons for estate planning, and also gave some insight into the types of estate planning tools, which may be of interest to California residents.
Starting planning early can ensure heirs have an easier time upon one's passing. Estate administration comes with work and responsibility, and the more time and planning that one invests in the process now, the less confusion and suffering will result for the ones left behind. In California, there are benefits to early estate planning.
Those in California who take the time to plan their estates often have to make difficult decisions. Among those delicate choices may be the naming of an executor. This is not a decision to be made lightly or hastily, for example, simply naming the oldest child to the position. Because an executor is responsible for completing many vital tasks to carry an estate through probate, it is important that the testator chose a person with certain qualities.
In the wake of the fires ripping across the state, many individuals have lost everything. Not least among the items lost are important documents vital to estate administration. By keeping the documents in a safe place in California, an individual may reduce the likelihood that the estate process will be delayed.
Sitting down for a serious family talk can be pretty intimidating. It's likely that nobody knows a person better than their family, but having frank conversations can be hard. Some families also like to smooth over the rough edges of life and prefer to talk about nice things. Avoidance isn't always a good answer. Some California residents may benefit from a practical strategy for talking to one's family about an estate plan for the division of estate assets and other end-of-life concerns.
Many people hold to the philosophy that it is easier to manage a task when it is broken down into manageable chunks. An estate administration checklist can serve the task of helping a person break down the larger task of estate planning into tasks that are more readily achieved. A person can choose not to be overwhelmed by estate planning once he or she is familiar with all the parts, and additionally may choose to reach out for help. Persons in California who are considering how to manage their estate may benefit from the following information.
The California courts often are called upon to administer the estates of deceased celebrities and entertainers. Sometimes the probate of such matters is simple, and other times it is complicated. Possibly none can compare in complexity and chaos to the estate of Prince, which has been litigated in another jurisdiction for over a year.
Family conflict is unfortunately a fact of life that exists in California and everywhere else. It can be a bitter dynamic when it erupts in the context of probate of a deceased parent's estate. Probate contests not only may drain the estate of funds, but they also contribute to bad feelings among family members that can last for a long time.
Many people who go through estate planning in California express the desire to avoid the probate process. What does that mean? Probate is the legal process of distributing one's assets after death, either pursuant to the instructions in one's will or without a will. Avoiding probate is not currently done to lessen the tax burden because most people are exempt from federal estate taxes under the current laws.
Many people in California avoid the topic of their own mortality. Others view death as an inevitable part of life, and therefore want to be as prepared as possible. Especially if someone plans to pass on a family business, or wishes certain items of sentimental value to be given to a particular loved one or friend, it may be wise to consider estate planning as a valuable tool for documenting one's wishes regarding future asset distribution.