Heirs & Beneficiaries Archives
It is important for Californians to consider how they want to handle their estates and then to make certain that they have the proper tools in place. If you are thinking about your own estate plan, it is important that you understand the different types of documents that may best protect your interests and those of your family.
In the last month, we have written a number of blog posts about wills and how heirs and beneficiaries can be impacted when estate planning isn't done properly. To be clear: no matter your situation, you should be thinking about your estate plan and preparing a will. Dying without a will, which is called dying "intestate," could leave your estate very vulnerable and it could rob your heirs and beneficiaries of the assets they may deserve.
If you thought the end to iconic singer Whitney Houston’s life was sad, the fact that her only child passed away in the same manner is equally, if not more disturbing. Bobbi Kristina had been in a coma for months after she was found submerged in a bathtub, in the same fashion that her mother was found on the eve of the Grammy awards in 2012.
Indeed, the difficulties of dealing with a death in the family can be exacerbated by disputes over how to distribute one’s personal property after a loved one’s death. These problems are ostensibly resolved through probate, which is the legal process of transferring ownership of personal property from the deceased to another person.
In a prior post, we highlighted the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last summer that inherited IRAs could not be considered exempt assets; therefore making them fair game to creditors in the event a beneficiary sought bankruptcy protection. While the decision marked a clear departure in policy in the realm of bankruptcy (and estate planning), it also may have created an opportunity for savvy and creative estate planning.
An important aspect of estate planning is making sure that loved ones are cared for after you pass away. This is especially important if you have beneficiaries who are disabled or need additional guidance because of mental health issues. Whether they are children or are young adults over the age of 18, there are a number of ways to protect their interests. This post will briefly highlight guardianships and conservatorships.
If you ever wanted to know what was in your parents’ wills, or how involved you will eventually be (if you are involved at all) in administering their estate, you are certainly not alone. With more adult children being tasked with looking after their elderly parents, there is more of a chance that you as an adult child will have to be an executor (as well as a beneficiary).