During a divorce, your attention is on things like alimony, custody, child support and property division. You're wondering what will happen to your marital home and vacation property, where the kids will live, and other challenges that come with the dissolution of a high asset marriage.
A recent blog post highlighted the need for estate planning, and used the untimely death of music legend Prince as a cautionary tale. Because Prince apparently did not plan for the distribution or management of his estate, it is likely to be tied up in probate court proceedings, ultimately costing the estate time and money.
Typical life expectancy is growing. According to the Social Security Administration, if you are a 65 year old man today, you can expect to live until the age of 84.3. Today's 65 year old woman can hope to see 86.6 years. These are averages. About 25 percent of you will live past 90, and ten percent past 95. With Americans living much longer, estate planning is taking on a new and more important role in the lives of our aging population. The growing need for financial support over a longer time frame, requires careful and more innovative financial planning. Today's estate plan must embrace this need.
The death of music legend Prince on April 21 remains mysterious and baffling in many ways, among these the fact that he left no will. This has caused much confusion over who is responsible for overseeing Prince's estate. It also created uncertainty over his heirs, as several people have stepped forward to make inheritance claims.
Catherine Falk, the daughter of Peter Falk, is advocating for a new law that would grant children the ability to visit their incapacitated or elderly parents. Catherine experienced difficulty visiting her father while he was incapacitated with Alzheimer's disease. Her stepmother was preventing her from seeing him.
Making an estate plan in California requires understanding of both federal and state laws regarding gifts and taxes. It is very important that those who create an estate plan have a full understanding of the implications of any particular decision to save, move or bequeath funds. Estate planning is best handled with the help of a professional who understands the numerous laws at the federal and state level that can impact how estate funds are handled.
Estate representatives in California may want to learn about the availability of using probate referees during the administration of estates. Unique to the state, the probate referee system provides licensed professionals who are able to appraise property and assets at an affordable cost. These individuals have to pass a state test in order to be qualified to work as probate referees.
California baby boomers may be thinking about retirement planning but failing to make estate plans alongside that. According to experts, adults of all ages tend to procrastinate about estate planning. However, the lack of a comprehensive plan could make a person's death even more difficult for loved ones.
Many California residents believe that when a loved one dies, the debts that he or she still owed will be taken care of by the decedent's estate. In some cases, however, family members may be held to be responsible for paying certain obligations that were left behind. People who are contemplating the creation of an estate plan may thus want to have a discussion of these matters in order to help prevent surprises to their intended beneficiaries.
In the past, California estate planning attorneys typically focused on taxes, charity and family when they helped clients document their wishes for their assets after death. While passing down assets to family and leaving gifts for charity are still important elements of estate plans, taxes are less of an issue now than ever before.