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Estate Planning Archives

The beginning of the legal guardian process in California

Those who wish to become the guardian of a child in California must go through a process that includes many steps. When ready to apply for guardianship, one must read the Guardianship Pamphlet and fill out a number of forms first. These forms might include the Petition for Appointment of Guardian of the Person, Letters of Guardianship, Notice of Hearing Guardianship or Conservatorship and local forms. These forms should be filed in the county the child lives, but one has to file the forms in the county a custody order exists if there is already a custody order.

Planning an after-death digital presence

When planning for the handling of their estate, many people do not consider their social media and other accounts. This means that after they leave this world, their digital accounts might remain active. One example of this was Joan Rivers Facebook. A first-person post endorsing the new iPhone 6 showed up on her page several weeks after her death. Taking steps to plan a digital estate might help avoid such issues for others.

Choosing a will or a trust in estate planning

California residents might be interested in a recent article about whether a will or a revocable trust is the better choice in estate planning. The article says that before deciding what process to use, an individual should consider the people and entities that will receive those assets.

Common mistake planning mistakes made in California

According to a recent study, 64 percent of Americans do not have a basic will. While it can be hard to predict what will happen after a person dies, there are several common estate planning mistakes that people make. A common misconception that many people have is that estate plans are only for the wealthy.

Bypass trusts in estate planning

California couples who are planning their will may be wondering if a bypass trust might benefit their situation. Bypass trust works as a tool to limit the amount that a married couple's estate is taxed after the death of one party. Furthermore, property in the form of a bypass trust may not subject to estate taxes.

Relocation may necessitate revisiting estate plans

As many California residents know, moving -- whether for a job, school or retirement -- has become a way of life for many Americans. While moving may herald an opportunity or the realization of a lifelong dream, it may affect one's estate plans in unexpected ways.

When to revise estate plans

California residents may be interested to learn that only approximately half of senior citizens have created a will to distribute their assets. The number of adults with a comprehensive estate plan is even lower. Some people are not aware of the importance of creating a living will, health care directive or powers of attorney in addition to a basic will or trust document. Every bit as important as creating an estate plan is knowing when to modify it. Experts recommend reviewing estate plans every few years, as tax laws and life situations change, to ensure that it continues to meet ongoing needs.

Single individuals face challenges in estate planning

Many single and childless individuals in California will face the complex and open-ended question of how to settle their estate after they die. There are approximately 17 million Americans over the age of 65 who are unmarried. In addition, financial advisers and charitable organizations are reporting that an increasing number of young people are starting to think about estate planning before they get married or have children.

Including digital assets in an estate plan

An estate plan is typically focused on the distribution of physical assets after one's death, but online activities and assets are increasingly important to consider in end-of-life planning. According to research, more than 50 percent of adults in California and around the country conduct their banking activities online. Nearly one-third use their mobile devices for banking. Online activities may also result in both financially and sentimentally valuable assets.

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