When creating your estate plan, you decide that you do not want to split things into thirds for your three children.
Many different things go through a person's mind when they are trying to devise an estate plan. These things include who is going to get what and how they want to make the transfers.
When you consider how many people with significant estates die each year in California without a will, you may think you are well ahead of the curve just by having a will in place. In the grand scheme of things, this is true. You certainly are better off having a will than no will at all, but it is not enough to make your wishes known in a will if the underlying assets you name require additional documentation.
Imagine working a lifetime to build your wealth. You spend countless hours working the Bay Area in order to create a strong stock portfolio, buy a house and accumulate various other assets. But, what happens to your wealth if something should happen to you or if you pass away? Have you taken the appropriate steps to protect your property and your heirs?
There is more to creating a trust than meets the eye. In addition to adding assets to the trust, there's something else you need to think about: finding the right person to serve as trustee.
You've already taken the step of creating a will, which sets you apart from a surprising number of adults throughout the country. If you only recently created your will and have yet to experience any major life changes, you probably have no great need to review it.
You've taken steps to plan for the needs of family and loved ones when you pass on. Creating an estate plan, last will or trust can help ensure that your assets are divided in the way you see fit. Unfortunately, even the estates of people who took great pains to carefully plan their last will can end up in probate court. All it takes is one unhappy family member or heir to contest your last will, trust or estate. When that happens, there's potential for probate courts to deviate from your wishes.
You and your siblings are involved in a bitter dispute over your parents' wealth. You almost can't believe it's real. You never imagined you'd fight like this, and the passing of wealth from one generation to the next is pushing you apart.
The idea of estate taxes can be troubling. If you have extensive property that has a value of $10 million or more (if you are married), estate taxes can become a very real concern. However, for some people, estate taxes are never an issue.
Most states, including California, have laws in place to protect surviving spouses and other potential heirs to a decedent's property. This means that if one spouse dies, the other still has inheritance rights even if a will was never written or an existing will never updated.