The passing of your family member or friend in Los Angeles may represent the end of their lives, yet it might also signal the beginning of a long and complex process for you if you have been tasked to oversee the administration of their estates. As a personal representative or executor, you have a number of different roles to fulfill, including notifying beneficiaries, making an accounting of the estate's assets and filing estate tax returns. Yet before any of that can happen, you need to determine which probate court has jurisdiction over the estate case. Several in your position have come to us here at The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu concerned that this can be a very complex process. Fortunately, it does not have to be.
If you are a charitable person who likes to give to the unfortunate or to causes you believe in, then the chances are pretty good you would like one of your final acts on this earth to be giving to charity. You do have the ability to include a donation in your estate plan in California. However, you want to plan any charitable giving carefully to avoid any issues for your heirs or in the execution of the donation.
When you create an estate plan in California, you set things up for when you die. The plan outlines your wishes and creates a legally binding guideline for your executor to follow when dispersing assets. However, there are a few ways that an estate plan could end up doing harm or causing issues. This is especially true when inheritance theft occurs.
People who live in California and must manage the estate of a loved one or who are making their own estate plans should have a good understanding of what exactly happens to a person's debt after they die. After a person dies, most people tend to put energy focusing on the distribution of assets to heirs. However, while most debts do not get passed down to one's children or other surviving heirs, they must be addressed.
The main purpose estate planning experts have in recommending that you create a will early on in your life is to ensure that whatever assets and properties constitute your estate are dispersed in the manner that you want them to. You, then, will no doubt put a good deal of time and effort into deciding which of your beneficiaries will receive what. Yet even the best-laid plans cannot always guarantee that things work out as you anticipate, and certain intended transfers of property stipulated in your estate planning documents will fail. What happens then?
If you have a life insurance policy or retirement account, you’ll need to include them in the estate planning process. This requires filling in the beneficiary designations, which allow you to name heirs to receive the proceeds of these accounts. The Balance explains a few key points regarding beneficiary designations so you can rest assured your final wishes are met.
Like most in Los Angeles, you likely assume that the disposition of a loved one's assets following their death has to be done through the probate process. Many come to us here at The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu with the same assumption, only to learn that nonprobate transfers are indeed allowed (under certain circumstances). The key to understanding if such a transfer of assets is permissible in an estate case that you are party to is understanding what those unique circumstances are.
Assertions of one having killed their loved one in order to inherit their estate may seem to many in Los Angeles to be an overused cliche. However, enough incidents of this actually happening have occurred to compel legislators to create laws that automatically disinherit would-be heirs who are implicated in the deaths of those they are set to benefit from. The question then becomes how broadly can the term "implicated in" be applied?
Despite the encouragement coming from estate planning experts both in Los Angeles and throughout the rest of the U.S., many still refuse to address the important issues of estate planning. Indeed, according to information collected by Gallup, only 44 percent of American adults have a will. The reasons behind this collective reticence may vary, yet some might fear the possibility of contention arising amongst their beneficiaries over the decision they make regarding the dispersal of their estate. In many cases, even in those situations where one has created a will, disagreements can arise as to its interpretation.
There are enough horror stories out there related to the probate process to make it understandable that most in Los Angeles would prefer to never have to be involved in it. While many of the claims made in such tales may be baseless, there is some wisdom in the advice to try and avoid probate, if possible. It's expenses are paid for out of an estate's assets, thus lowering its overall value. Most think that one has to plan ahead of time in order to avoid probate, yet the question of whether an estate will even need to be probated should also be considered.