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May 2019 Archives

Trusts can help single parents with estate planning

Single parents in California may have particular concerns when it comes to planning for the future. In general, when people think about making wills or trusts and planning their estate, they think about how they can help to ensure their children have a brighter future. The same is true whether the kids in question are already adults or if they are still minors. However, when single parents have minor children, they may be even more concerned with how the process will work to pass their assets on.

Carrie Fisher's estate detailed in probate papers

According to probate papers filed in California on May 20, Carrie Fisher's estate is worth about $6.8 million. The documents, which were filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, state that the administrator of the estate has performed all of the duties required of him and all costs associated with administering the estate have been paid. Under the terms of Fisher's last will and testament, the assets will be added to the Carrie Fisher Living Trust.

Protecting family relationships with estate planning

Many people in California hesitate to engage in the estate planning process because they are concerned about family problems. They may fear that writing wills or trusts can bring tensions and family debates to the surface, leading to damaged relationships or hurt feelings. This is especially true for people with significant wealth, because the consequences of estate planning decisions can be far more significant over the years to come. Families with substantial wealth may face particular challenges when discussing the future of their assets.

What to consider when creating a special needs trust

Setting up a trust can allow individuals with special needs in California to retain government benefits while also receiving assets from family members. Those who have assets of more than $2,000 may not be allowed to participate in programs such as Medicaid. However, money or other items inside of a trust are owned by the trust as opposed to the beneficiary.

Estate administration in California

The legal issues involved in administering an estate generally include making a list of the deceased individual's assets, paying their outstanding debts and then distributing any remaining assets to heirs or beneficiaries. During the probate process, the court appoints an individual to take care of these tasks. If the deceased individual had a last will and testament, this person is known as an executor. If the estate owner dies intestate, the court appoints an administrator.

Why special needs trusts can be beneficial

Special needs trusts may be an effective tool for parents or grandparents who are looking to care for a loved one. The trusts may be structured in a variety of different ways to help meet the needs of the beneficiary. Furthermore, the trust will be overseen by a trustee who will make decisions based on guidance provided by the document itself. This person may be a California resident or any other adult of sound mind.

John Singleton's family fighting over $35 million estate

California readers may have heard that director John Singleton died of a stroke in Los Angeles on April 28. Apparently, he had an outdated will, which means there could be conflict over his estimated $35 million estate.

Special needs trusts explained

California parents of special needs children understandably want to do everything possible to make sure loved ones unable to care for themselves independently will have access to important financial resources. However, setting funds aside presents possible issues with eligibility for government assistance. One way to resolve this problem for parents looking to plan ahead is with an estate planning tool known as a special needs trust (SNT).

A musician's estate remains open after three years

The estate of a famous singer and songwriter demonstrates why those who have accumulated wealth should engage in an estate plan. Those in California and elsewhere can pay heed to the plight of a multi-million-dollar estate.

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