Those in California who follow politics or pop culture may have heard about the recent passing of Lee Radziwill. While many people mourn her death, her estate plan was designed to make it easier to respect her final wishes. She had a will that was probated in New York as well as a revocable trust. Her assets were transferred into the trust when she passed away.
Parents of special needs children in California often turn to trusts to provide funds and security for their kids. Eligibility for government benefits often factors into these decisions because many people want to ensure that their children remain eligible for government programs. Frequently, trusts solve this problem because they can set aside money to help a special needs person while not inflating his or her income and assets.
California hip-hop fans may be aware of some of the trust and estate planning issues that have arisen after the death of some hip-hop artists. For example, XXXTentacion created a trust and a last will and testament in 2017. He was murdered a few months later, in June 2018. He made his brothers and mother his beneficiaries, but there was a rumor that an ex-girlfriend was pregnant by him. In such a case, it might be possible for a child born after a parent's death to challenge an estate plan.
California residents and others have likely heard about the recent passing of actor Luke Perry. He died on March 4 of a stroke, which is incorrectly believed by some to be a condition that only elderly people are afflicted by. However, Perry had taken steps to create an estate plan prior to the stroke occurring. This allowed family members to decide to end care while in the hospital.
People in California can make use of the flexibility of trusts to achieve many of their goals for after they pass away. While many people are aware of how trusts can be used to transfer funds to loved ones, support charitable contributions or establish ongoing support over generations, fewer may know that there are even more options that people can access by creating a relevant trust. For example, many people are interested in the idea of being frozen after death in the hopes that scientific technologies will later allow people to revived.
A revocable trust is not the only kind of estate planning document that California residents need. A will and powers of attorney that appoint people to manage health care decisions and finances if a person is unable to do so are also important. However, a revocable trust is a powerful document that can perform a number of different function as part of an estate plan.
When people in California think about the future, some people think that an estate plan is not necessary. They may think that only extremely wealthy people need to plan to distribute their assets or plan to put it off until an older age. However, people in general can benefit from laying out an estate plan, including young, single and healthy people with relatively small assets. Even though there can be substantial benefits for loved ones and people's own peace of mind, surveys indicate that over 50 percent of adult Americans and 78 percent of millennials do not have basic estate documents like wills or trusts.
California residents can benefit from estate planning even if they don't consider themselves to be wealthy. Not having an estate plan could leave assets in limbo, and it could cost money currently earmarked for beneficiaries to determine how they should be distributed. One of the first steps to creating an estate plan is to make use of beneficiary designations on assets such as bank accounts or retirement plans.
Trusts can support many estate planning goals for people in California. A trust creates a legal entity that can accept ownership of various assets that a person chooses to transfer into it. Significant advantages provided by trusts include the private transfer of wealth and avoidance of the public probate process.
Parents or grandparents in California and throughout the country generally must tell beneficiaries that they are included in a trust. However, there is no clear guideline as to when they must tell their children or grandchildren about their inheritance. As a general rule, a beneficiary must be given an annual statement by the time he or she reaches age 25. These updates are necessary to ensure that beneficiaries can protect their own interests.