There are times when having a will truly help parents and heirs alike. One such instance occurred in California after a husband and wife passed, leaving their estate to their son. It had been their wishes that the family home be sold and the proceeds be placed into the L&A Kessler Family Foundation as a means of supporting the foundation. In cases such as this where married couples want to provide for an entity that they support, having a will is essential.
Estate planning for a California blended family can be a challenging to try to create something that is fair to both spouses and their children. A revocable living trust is one means of accomplishing that goal. This type of revocable trust becomes irrevocable upon the death of one of the spouses. The trust can be altered or revoked during a lifetime, depending on the grantor. After death of one of the spouses, the property is transferred pursuant to the terms of the trust.
Even those California residents who are young and healthy may benefit from estate planning. A good estate plan will maximize the size of the estate while minimizing the potential tax consequences for one's heirs. Moreover, proper estate planning will reduce the need for litigation and help the estate to escape the probate process as much as possible.
One aspect of estate planning may be that an individual or couple is "house rich" but strapped for cash. In some California communities, real property taxes have risen to the point that seniors are in danger of losing their homes solely for not being able to come up with the money for the property tax. Asset protection planning is often necessary to both save the home for the duration of the owner's remaining years and to preserve it as part of the estate to pass on to heirs. A law to help seniors with just that problem is being proposed again, having been initially axed when California faced its budget crisis.