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Bay Area Estates and Tax Law Blog

A scenario where business and estate planning clearly intersect

A financial writer notes in a recent article the business dimensions closely attached to any request made by an adult child for money from parents to fuel a commercial venture.

That’s just obvious, right? If funds are being solicited to help fuel an entrepreneurial scheme, a great deal needs to be known in advance of start up concerning things like projected entity formation, expected profit sources and other matters.

Estate planning misconceptions: there are more than a few

We noted what is a virtual truism in our immediately preceding blog post of July 10. We stated therein that, “Estate planners have always dealt with planning-related misconceptions, which abound in the general public.”

Here’s one, spotlighted by a writer in a recent U.S. News & World Report that points to a number of “myths” that are prevalent in the estate administration realm: A will covers all assets.

Why do misconceptions abound with estate planning?

Some California individuals and families that contact experienced estate administration attorneys do so forearmed with a fair bit of relevant knowledge and an attendant appreciation concerning a need to timely act.

Estate planners obviously appreciate that. It makes their job easier, of course, but it also conveys that the clients consulting with them appreciate what is at stake across a broad spectrum of family-centric concerns.

Avoiding family feuds is possible with a good estate plan

When you have several heirs and people who could potentially question your will, the best thing you can do is to create a strong estate plan and to discuss it with those who are to benefit from it. You may already understand that estate plans are there to provide guidance following your death, but you probably also realize that someone could question your ability to make sound decisions.

To avoid family feuds over what you leave behind, it's a good idea to start your estate planning early and to make sure you have witnesses to verify your actions. For instance, you may wish to also include a medical document stating your health, at that point, with the estate plan to guarantee that no one challenges it in the future.

Cautionary planning tale involving famed American moon walker

Global pop superstar Michael Jackson commanded legendary status for myriad reasons, including his ability to do the iconic and unforgettable “moonwalk” dance move.

News flash: He wasn’t the first.

3 difficult scenarios that may arise when inheriting property

Real estate is an unusual asset for a variety of reasons. Properties can take up a significant portion of a decedent’s wealth while also being complex to liquidate or divide. A family home or vacation spot often carries an emotional component for heirs as well.

For these reasons, property is a frequent topic of contention between family members. While every situation is bound to have its unique details, there are certain obstacles that estate litigation attorneys tend to see repeatedly.

Famed superhero creator’s estate battle offers instructive lessons

It’s unlikely that the Black Panther or Spider Man would need any help with this. And a character like the Hulk would certainly confront the challenge in resolute head-on fashion, spending scant little time pounding all obstacles into submission.

It is a bit of a different matter, though, for Stan Lee, the legendary comic genius who created those fictional icons and other top-tier Marvel crime fighters.

A few thoughts, considerations regarding the “elder orphan”

Estate administration is a legal realm marked by a prominent irony, namely this: high numbers of people insisting that they cannot be benefited by a tailored estate plan who actually have a dire need to think about and execute relevant planning documents.

Take the so-called “elder orphan,” for example, a euphemism for a relatively older American who lacks both a spouse and children. It is certainly no rarity for a person within that demographic to argue that he or she cannot possibly benefit from estate planning. After all, there’s no one to worry about, right?

What truly motivates individuals to take estate planning action?

Lots of things contribute to would-be estate planners becoming actual doers, of course. Procrastination is often ultimately defeated by a replaced sense of urgency that increases as time goes by. Children grow up, with parents naturally thinking of ways to help them in future years. Select loved ones might have special needs, which mandates recognition of that fact and the employment of a legal plan to address it. Family legacy concerns might loom large.

Often, a combination of such factors and other considerations collectively inspire an individual or couple to sit down with a proven planning professional to identify core goals and take the necessary legal steps to promote them.

Why don't some adult siblings get along?

One of your biggest concerns, as you do your estate planning, is fighting among your children. You know that sibling disputes over a will and inheritance can drag on for months and get very expensive, and you also know that they often push people apart emotionally. In some cases, siblings never resolve their differences and never speak again.

What you find yourself wondering, then, is why adult siblings cannot get along. You understood it when they were children, but their disagreements continued into adulthood. It's hard for you to imagine all of your children accepting an estate plan graciously and moving forward with their lives. Why do these issues never seem to end?

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