Many parents see their children through rose-colored glasses. They only see the best in them. When it comes to how the children relate to each other, they assume that they'll always get along.
You have not always lived in California. When your own parents passed away, you remember that they had to pay estate taxes in their state, and it really cost them. As you start doing your own estate planning decades later, you wonder if you will need to pay these taxes to California.
When you decide to get divorced, it means that much of the estate plan you created with your former spouse no longer applies. Some things may still work -- leaving assets to your children, for instance -- but it is time to take a look at all of the documents and make sure they have been properly updated to reflect the fact that you are now single.
If you are an art collector, odds are that your collection is one of the most valuable things that you own. Not only does it have a lot of sentimental value, but you have invested time and money into it. It could be worth more than your home. You absolutely need to make sure that you work it into your estate plan, along with your other assets.
The unfortunate reality is that Alzheimer's is a serious issue for many elderly people who have to do their estate planning. Even years before they pass away, the disease can really take hold and cause their mental state to deteriorate. This matters for estate planning purposes because a person needs to have the mental capacity to make an estate plan to guarantee it will hold up in court.
Do you think that being cryonically frozen sounds like something out of a science fiction movie? While it does feature prominently in such forms, it is also a very real procedure. You can have your body frozen when you pass away, with the idea that you can then be reincarnated at some later date.
Have you heard of the term "undue influence" in estate planning? It essentially means that a person who is crafting an estate plan does so in a way that benefits another person because of that person's influence on them.
As you do your estate planning, you draft a will that leaves your assets to your heirs. Most of the money gets split up evenly, but you do set aside specific sentimental assets for certain individuals. You know how important it is for them to know exactly what you wanted them to have.
It's understandable that you would want to prevent your heirs from needing to go through probate. Probate proceedings can be expensive and lengthy. They're also public, so anyone can find out information about you and your family.However, with the strategic use of a trust, you can avoid the need for costly and time-consuming probate proceedings. A trust -- for example, a living trust -- offers both confidentiality and the ability to give your assets directly to heirs. You can also structure and plan the way your assets are given -- either over time at specific intervals or immediately upon your death.
A revocable trust is an important estate planning tool. These trusts are set up while the trust maker, a.k.a., the grantor, is still alive. After formalizing the trust within a legal document, the grantor will transfer assets to the ownership of the trust and becomes the initial "trustee" who administers and manages the trust.