Many of the Los Angeles County residents who come to see us here at the law offices of Alice A. Salvo have worked hard their entire lives to be able to offer some bit of an estate to their children. What many don’t understand is that even if one has a prepared a will and named beneficiaries, it is possible that the expenses of both life and death can end up depleting the assets to one’s estate before they’re ever able to be distributed. In this post, we’ll examine exactly how estate depletion occurs, and what, if anything, can be done to avoid it.
California residents who are concerned about issues with estate beneficiaries may wish to know the results of an estate planning survey of wealthy Americans. Their views on whom to leave their assets to and how much to give may be instructive.
California heirs and trust beneficiaries may be interested in some information about the notification responsibilities that a trustee has in trust administration. These responsibilities can affect a beneficiary's rights to the property contained in the trust, making them important to understand.
When people pass away in California, a probate court often decides what happens to their belongings. A main component of this process is deciding who are the beneficiaries of the estate. Children are usually considered heirs to an estate, even if the children are born after their parent dies. However, California law states certain conditions that must be met for children conceived and born after a parent's death to receive an inheritance.
Anyone holding a policy with a payout upon the death of the policy holder must designate beneficiaries to inherit the funds. In addition to naming beneficiaries for life insurance policies, retirement plans, annuities and IRAs, California residents should carefully consider how they select their heirs. To preserve a legacy, careful estate planning is essential.
Many California readers are familiar with the main documents used in estate planning. They are the will, the living will, the financial power of attorney and the health care power of attorney. Even if a person has what they believe is a legal, indisputable will, his or her heirs may not get assets intended for them. That is because the beneficiaries named in numerous financial documents have precedence over what is stated in the will.
Many California residents who have thought about their loved ones and want to protect their future may have established a will years ago. However, in some situations, individuals may leave unintentional beneficiaries such as ex-spouses because they have neglected to make the necessary changes.
Many Californians make the mistake of thinking that their estate is too small to need a will. But officially naming beneficiaries, regardless of the size of the estate, is a critical step in ensuring your wishes are carried out after your death. If not, the situation can become contentious as the family tries to determine your wishes after you’re gone.
There was a time when deciding who would receive your worldly possessions was a relatively simple task. More often than not, the eldest son would be the heir to the family fortune and the story would end there. Those days have long passed, though and the topic of beneficiaries, especially over the last couple of generations, has become a great debate for Californians.
When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died suddenly on Feb. 2 at age 46, he left behind his life partner Marianne and their three children. His net worth was estimated at $35 million and, in 2004, around the time their first child was born, he executed a will leaving everything to Marianne.