At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo in California, we know that ALL estate planning is proactive. After all, your estate cannot plan itself. It is your wishes and goals that your estate plan implements, so the first thing you must do is determine what your wishes and goals are. In other words, what is important to you? Tax savings? Retirement planning? Asset protection? Long-term care options? Charitable giving? Taking care of your special needs child throughout his or her life? Probate avoidance? Making sure your heirs receive exactly the property you wish?
Just when you thought you were pretty savvy about California powers of attorney, one of your friends mentioned his or her springing power of attorney at your latest dinner party. That may be a new one on you and of course you are curious.
You probably believe that you have the right to inherit from your spouse, domestic partner or parents when they die. While this is generally true, what you may not realize is that if a Californian dies without having made a will, (s)he dies intestate.
Well-to-do California residents may have heard about self-settled trusts and become intrigued with the idea of establishing one to protect their assets. Before rushing ahead, however, they need to be aware that while California does not prohibit this kind of trust, neither is it one of the 14 states that specifically allow one. Consequently, the very benefits a Californian seeks to receive from a self-settled trust may not actually be available in this state.
California readers understand the importance of having a strong estate plan in place. Making the effort to have a will and other documents can ensure you have a say over what will happen to your estate and your medical care in the future, but there are certain common mistakes that could actually derail your carefully laid plans.
You may have heard your California friends and neighbors talking enthusiastically about their living trusts and wondered what a living trust is, whether you might want to set one up, too, and what benefits you will receive if you do. As RBC Wealth Management explains, a living trust is one you establish during your lifetime and over which you have complete control.