Say that you have a loved one living in the San Fernando Valley while you and other family members live in other states. If that family member dies, and you and others are not immediately available to help handle his or her affairs, what happens? The scenario just described has happened to many of those that we here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo have worked with. There are pressing matters that must be addressed upon your loved one's death that, if not dealt with promptly, could complicate the handling of his or her remains and even impact the value of his or her estate.
California residents may at some point end up having to deal with either writing a will of their own, or handling someone else's will. In these situations, it's good to know the difference between the different types of wills. In this segment, we take a look at living wills and last wills.
Determining what is going to happen to your family after you pass on can be a difficult thought, one that may be even more complicated if you have a child who will likely require lifelong assistance. If you are unsure about whether or not you will require a special needs trust, there are a few things you need to know. We at the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo can help you determine which types of planning are right for you and how to best care for your loved ones in California.
You may hear stories of people coming forth after a wealthy individual has died claiming to have helped the decedent and in return being promised his or her entire fortune. Often, the only evidence that such people can produce is a handwritten will. Such stories may be easy for you and others in Woodland Hills to dismiss, yet they prompt the question of whether or not a handwritten will is actually valid.
Many in Woodland Hills may wonder what sort of assets make up their estates, and how far those properties can go in generating income and other benefits for their beneficiaries. Any tangible (and in some cases, intangible) property can qualify as estate assets. That means that one’s cash accounts, securities, real estate holdings, investment accounts, and precious items may all be made to benefit one’s family, friends, or other parties once he or she is gone.
Many in Woodland Hills may joke about dying penniless and poor, yet in the case of many local residents, their financial circumstances may actually be worse than that. Recently, statistics seem to show that more and more people are dying in debt. Information shared by Fox Business shows that as many as 73 percent of Americans carry debt at the time of their deaths. The average amounts carried by those who do die in debt is just under $62,000.
For many in the San Fernando Valley, the issue of estate planning may engender absolutely no sense of urgency, as most believe that they will have ample time to address it later on in life. Others may believe that they simply do not need a will. These attitudes no doubt contribute to the fact that, according to information shared by USA Today, as many as 64 percent of Americans currently do not have a will.
When preparing estate planning documents, it may be vital that Woodland Hills residents keep all of those that may be interested parties to their estates involved in the process. That may help to eliminate the chance for disputes between heirs and beneficiaries once those people are gone. Yet even with apparently open channels of communication, disagreements may arise if and when those impacted by amendments to documents such as wills or trusts are informed of those changes.
Many in Woodland Hills may believe that the process of handling one’s estate is a relatively short-term task involving the simple transfer of assets and/or property to designated beneficiaries. While it may be that simple in some cases, others may involve a much more long-term commitment on the part of the parties involved to ensure that an estate’s property is not infringed upon in the future. Whenever copyrighted works or intellectual property are linked an estate, any use of such materials may need to first be given the approval of those with an interest in it. Such parties may even end up having to fight to ensure that their rights of ownership of such properties are respected.
Among the primary reasons as to why Woodland Hills residents are encouraged to begin the process of estate planning early on in their lives is to avoid the potential for future disputes arising amongst their beneficiaries. However, having one’s wishes stipulated in estate planning documents may not provide an iron-clad guarantee that disagreements will not occur. One may be surprised to see how bitter estate disputes can become, and how quickly the beneficiaries involved can expand their alleged grievances to target other parties.