Responsible estate planning takes into account the likelihood of outliving a partner, but often even those who intentionally plan for this eventuality forget key details that make the reality of losing a loved one an unnecessary nightmare. While your estate plan may cover the broad strokes of how the life you have built with a partner will change when one of you passes away, the safety and security of such a plan is often in the details.
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.
California estate planners just received a major win in the area of estate recovery for Medi-Cal recipients. SB-833, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown just a month ago, has removed the state's ability to recover assets from a surviving spouse's estate for those who received Medi-Cal benefits and pass away on or after Jan. 1, 2017.
Creating an effective estate plan utilizing a trust is an excellent tool for those considering how to protect and distribute wealth, but sometimes an appealing option can have undesirable consequences. Traditionally, many individuals have chosen specific assets to leave to their adult children, but developments in taxation and estate penalties have made this a less viable option for those seeking to maximize their resources through a well-crafted estate plan.
Everyone, regardless of their station in life, would be wise to have a will. However, often certain life changes may lead an individual to want to revoke a will they have previously established. How does one revoke a will in the state of California?
The Baby Boomer generation has proved to be a force to be reckoned with. Resilient and living longer than the generation before them, it seems that retirement is now a second phase in life and certainly not the last phase. However, with the pro of living longer comes the con of even more planning for the future. More specifically? Estate planning concerns.
Distributing your assets once you pass away is a difficult topic to address. California parents are often afraid their kids will think it is a sign of favoritism if they leave more to one child than to another. Worse, parents worry the children who receive less may think they are less loved. The worry is for good cause as this is often the case with children who do not receive an equal share of their parent's property.
Dying with debt is a topic that makes most people feel uncomfortable. Residents of California and elsewhere typically work hard to keep a firm handle on their debt so that it does not become overwhelming. However, as you might imagine, people do die with unpaid debt. The Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances reveals that households headed by senior citizens hold about $40,000 of debt. Further, the survey revealed that the number of seniors with debt is increasing.
As the cost of educational expenses continues to soar for California residents, it is clearer than ever how important a college fund can be. The 529 college savings plan is one way to address this issue. Parents or grandparents (or anyone) can create a 529 plan to help a loved one pay for education. As the nation's current economy proves, it is never too soon to start a college fund. While the 529 plan is effective, it can also be problematic if not setup correctly.
As far as anyone knows, Prince left no will when he died on April 21, 2016. This means that no instructions regarding the distribution of his significant estate exists. Experts say it could take years to sort out the value of Prince's assets, which are estimated to exceed $100 million. Tyka Nelson, Prince's only full sibling, filed an emergency motion requesting the appointment of a special administrator to gather and protect the musician's assets.