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November 2016 Archives

Caution with complicated estate plans

Although many California residents ignore the need to plan for the management of their affairs at life's end, others go to the opposite extreme by creating estate plans that are more complex than necessary. In some cases, there can be substantial losses because of the failure to consider tax benefits in certain estate planning tools. Sound planning should be at the center of any formal documentation of one's wishes.

Writing a will is important at any age

Many people in California understand that it is important to have a will. Despite this, however, many people do not. According to a poll from 2011, around 60 percent of people in the U.S. do not have a will. Many people who haven't written a will yet are relatively young and don't believe that a will is important for them.

Estate planning for business owners

California business owners would do well to plan for the eventual disposition of their estate after they pass away. It may require special preparation to ensure the healthy function of the business and the smooth transition of authority after the death of an owner.

How a will might be challenged

People in California who are creating an estate plan might wonder under what circumstances they would be able to successfully challenge a will. In reality, wills are rarely challenged, and when a challenge is successful, it is usually one that is brought by a spouse on the grounds that a person was either incapacitated or influenced in some way.

Updating beneficiaries is a crucial part of estate planning

When California residents decide to develop an estate plan, it is important that they understand the difference between bequests and beneficiary designations. After a will holder passes away, their assets will generally be distributed according to their wishes following the probate process. Clauses in a will that state how assets will be distributed to heirs are called bequests. However, assets like retirement accounts that have beneficiary designations are handled differently.

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