The Trump Administration has made many changes since taking over the Oval Office. One of those major changes has been the introduction of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. According to CNBC, this tax reform may affect your estate plans and you should adjust them accordingly to avoid any issues.
Many in Los Angeles may subscribe to the idea that there are only two inevitabilities in life: death and taxes. Yet few may view those as being associated in any way. However, when you die, your estate could indeed be subject to a federal estate tax. This may come as extremely disheartening news given the effort you put into building your estate for the express purpose of it benefitting your heirs when you die. However, you may not need to worry; with the proper planning, you may be able to avoid the estate tax altogether.
In a time that is likely already laden with mixed emotions, an inheritance dispute can only add to the stress. Despite these sensitive times, siblings in California and across the nation find themselves knee-deep in a battle over the will of a deceased loved one. Are there ways to go about this process in a healthy manner, or even avoid the dispute altogether?
During the probate process, a number of challenges may appear. In some instances, disagreements can lead to hostility between family members and complicate matters further. Moreover, disputes between beneficiaries and the executor may also arise, which can be particularly contentious if loved ones are involved. Whether you are a beneficiary, an executor, or the member of a family that is involved in a bitter dispute related to probate, it is essentail to identify any ways to minimize conflict and secure an outcome that is most favorable.
Many in Los Angeles will often joke that a person's mind is the first thing to go. However, mental illness and incapacity is no laughing matter, as they can render countless people incapable of caring for themselves. One of the major issues encountered in estate planning is the capacity of one to make decisions regarding the management of his or her property and assets. A common claim heard in estate disputes is that a person's lack of capacity may open him or herself to undue influence.
If you are like many other California parents, you worry about not being around for your children when they really need you. As they grow into adulthood and begin taking on their own parenting worries, you may be able to slowly part with most of that worry as you watch them become more and more mature. If you have a special-needs child, however, that feeling probably increases over time as you get older and wonder who will care for your child when you no longer can. A special needs trust is one way you can help provide a more stable future for your child.
How your estate would pass on if you happen to die without a will in Los Angeles has been documented in previous posts on this blog. Yet if you do die intestate (without a will), that process does still not happen automatically. Rather, a personal representative would need to be appointed to manage your estate's administration (even if the details of that administration are being determined by state law). However, how can such a role be filled if you leave no instructions as to who should be appointed to it?
A common refrain that you hear from estate planning experts in Los Angeles is that you need to start preparing your will. We here at The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu say the same thing to our clients. We encourage this is because we understand how hard you work throughout your life to accumulate assets in order to pass them on to your loved ones. Should you die without a will, then you lose control over who gets what.
Making a living will is a difficult decision, even more so when you take into account the people who may be affected by the distribution of your estate. While you wish to be fair to everyone you love, unless you leave estate distribution in the hands of the state of California it is entirely likely some bias will occur in choosing how to allocate funds, possessions and property. That bias is entirely of your choosing and your right, particularly if you allocate based on the needs of your loved ones - but what happens when, as you create your will, certain people attempt to influence your decisions in their favor?
When people are faced with the task of writing and finalizing their will, they often see this process as the most important step to planning their estate. While this is somewhat true, equally as important is choosing an administrator or executor who is committed to overseeing their will following their death. People in California who fail to select someone who is trustworthy and understands how to execute a will can create tension, stress and even confusion following death.