Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
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April 2015 Archives

Planning for possible incapacity in California

People who are planning their estates often fail to plan for the possibility that they may become incapacitated due to an accident or illness. If a person does not include incapacity planning as a part of the overall estate plan, other family members may have difficulty with being able to take care of the person's financial needs.

Preparing a will as part of estate planning

California residents who are over the age of 18 may want to consider writing a will. A will is a part of most estate plans, and without one, the state often decides how an individual's assets are distributed after their death. A will appoints beneficiaries who will receive those assets, and those beneficiaries might be friends, family or organizations, such as charities.

The importance of estate planning

California members of the Baby Boomer generation have traditionally been more concerned with maximizing income and planning for retirement than they have been with estate planning. However, as the boomers enter their sixth decade, it becomes more important to have a plan. This may help to protect their worldly possessions for the next generation and save them from certain difficulties as the details of the estate are worked out.

Cash-value life insurance as part of an estate plan

Some California residents may benefit by choosing to purchase cash-value life insurance insurance policies as a part of their overall estate plan. Those most likely to do so are people who already have enough assets for their own retirements, are older and who are risk-averse.

Options for estate plans vary widely

As part of their estate planning, California residents may want to leave portions of their assets to family and charity, but they may also want to go beyond those two categories. Estate tax exemptions are higher than they used to be, so individuals concerned about taxes have more flexibility as to where they might direct their money.