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.
If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home, you may be concerned about his or her mental wellness. Many seniors suffer from depression and emotional issues, which can have many serious health effects if left unaddressed. WebMD explains how depression impacts older people and what to look for if you’re concerned for someone you love.
The loss of a parent or another close relative can be an emotional time. If you or another family member is the executor of the will, there may be beneficiaries who dispute their portion of the estate. In other situations, a recent change to an existing will gifting a large part of the estate to a caregiver or charity may result in a challenge to the will's validity. At The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu, we have courtroom experience and often assist clients in trust litigation.
Dealing with drug addiction in your family is often complex. This is especially true when it comes to estate planning. Many parents are wary of providing an inheritance to a child with an addiction, which can be a great source of conflict between family members when it comes to creating an estate plan. WealthManagement.com offers the following insight in this case, which can help you create a solid estate plan that doesn’t harm those you love who are struggling.