The way that movies and television shows portray the reading of a deceased person's will, it often seems as though it is one of the first things that occurs when that person breathes their last breath. In reality, the reading of a will is often not done until some time after its creator passes away, sometimes for a week or more.
At some point, most of us will need someone to look after our finances, whether due to some serious life event like long-term illness or incapacitation, or merely old age. While this is a practical concern for nearly everyone sooner or later, many people resist making this transition, often out of a desire to maintain independence.
When many people think about establishing a charitable trust, it seems like the kind of thing that only the super-rich do, and even then, mostly for the tax advantages. It is true that charitable trusts offer significant tax advantages. However, they are not only a tool for those with a considerable amount of money. In fact, even moderately sized estates may benefit considerably from using a charitable trust as part of an estate plan.
When it comes to handling significant resources in estate planning, it can certainly feel as though the popular saying "more money, more problems" is true. Because California has many more regulations than most other states, understanding how to navigate through the maze of laws and guidelines is a full time job. Many people find this so daunting that they simply put off dealing with it.
Recently, news broke that music legend Aretha Franklin —one of the most influential and widely loved artists of her generation — passed away without any sort of estate planning in place. Not only did she die without a trust to hold her assets, she did not have a will in place either.