Newman Law Group

Wills Archives

Evolving technology can change how wills are honored

A recent court case shows that attitudes about technology and legal documents are shifting. Not every jurisdiction will share the same interpretation of the law, and in fact, this particular court case did not happen within the United States it serves as an important reminder of how technological updates can affect estate planning. Before individuals start text messaging their wills, though, they should consider the benefits of formal estate planning in California.

Pets can be included in wills

Pets are an important part of many families. Some individuals shudder to think that a pet would be abandoned or separated from everything it knows. That's why, in California, people may choose to include pets in their wills

Updating wills can be vital for correct distribution of estate

Many people tend to neglect the little details of life, until all of a sudden, life springs upon them and they are caught unaware. Updating wills, trusts and other estate planning documents can sometimes fall in the procrastination category. But there are reasons for California residents to pay attention to updates on their estate planning documents. 

Are electronic wills coming to California?

As people reach the end of their lives, they often start to think about how to pass along their legacies and how they want to leave their mark on the world. For hundreds of years, the last chance for a person to make their mark on humanity has been through their last will and testament. Traditionally, wills have been recorded in writing, but with new technology comes new options. Currently, one startup company is trying to bring wills into the electronic age. Will people in California soon be making e-wills? 

What are the tax issues re the inheritance of a 401(k) plan?

In California as well as nationwide, it is not unusual for an heir to be the named beneficiary of a 401(k)-retirement plan. One positive factor of inheriting a retirement plan is that the beneficiary usually does not have to wait for the decedent's estate to be probated to receive the retirement funds. If one's inheritance includes a significant 401(k), complex rules and regulations may require a consultation with one's estate planning attorney and, in some cases, with a tax expert.

Asset protection in long-term care planning requires foresight

Many people residing in California will prepare for the possibility of future long-term care assistance by directing that the expenses of that assistance be paid by federal Medicaid. However, the desire for that method of asset protection is easier said than done. That is because Medicaid has a myriad of qualifying rules that must be met to be qualified for coverage.

Appointment of a strong executor protects the heirs and assets

There are several options that an individual or married couple residing in California may choose when deciding who to appoint in the will as a personal representative of the after-death estate. The first thing that people generally try to do is to appoint a trusted friend or family member to manage the estate and make the ultimate distributions to the heirs. In the case of a husband and wife with mutual wills, they will generally appoint each other as personal representatives, with an alternative who will act if both spouses die within a short time of each other.

Estate planning provides asset protection for one's heirs

In California and elsewhere, the process of estate planning serves several useful purposes. One of the most important is the protection of assets on behalf of one's selected heirs. Having everything in order at one's death will prevent unnecessary family squabbles and monetary expenses and will assure that the maximum value of assets will go to the family members and friends that the maker chooses.

Wills and pet trusts allow owners to provide for beloved pets

For many people throughout the country, including here in California, there is nothing more important than the well-being of their beloved pets. The thought of one's pets being dropped off at a public shelter upon the owner's death is anathema to the great majority of pet owners. That is why providing for pets in wills and other estate planning documents can deliver precious peace of mind to the individuals and couples who own pets.

Asset protection looms as a major goal of estate planning

In California and throughout the country, estate planning is a process of preparing for future eventualities in a way that protects one's family and dearest friends from inconvenience and even loss of one's assets. The use of various trusts, a will, power of attorney and health care directives form the core of asset protection. By being able to designate the preferred family and friends for asset inheritance and those best qualified to manage the necessary procedures on one's behalf, the individual is able also to assure that his/her wishes will be followed.