Our California readers may have read about what initially appeared to be an imminent and vicious court battle between the wife of deceased painter Thomas Kinkade and the woman who was his live-in girlfriend at the time of his death. Kinkade, whose paintings and licensing netted him millions of dollars, had not divorced his estranged wife, but also allegedly left most of his estate to his girlfriend in the form of two hand-scrawled wills of controversial origin.
Earlier this month a Nevada judge certified that a substitute teacher from California is the sole heir to an unexpected fortune. The fortune was left behind by a family member who was a reclusive retiree from Carson City. As the only traceable living heir, the woman will receive the entire proceeds of her deceased first cousin's estate.
Californians may have seen a recent financial news article about the new taxes from the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare, that are scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of 2013. In particular, people need to pay attention to a new 3.8% investment income tax increase, which may change the estate planning needs of people looking to avoid unnecessary taxation.
Californians may have seen a recent article that discussed the financial implications of divorce, especially for women. Whether male or female, divorce usually constitutes a major life shift, and though there are plenty of considerations one has to take into account during this time, there may be no more important objective than maintaining financial well being.
California has been no stranger to the controversy surrounding same-sex marriage and the courts continue to struggle to make sense of the situation. Some much-needed guidance on legal issues related to same-sex marriage may be on the horizon, as the United States Supreme Court convenes this month to decide which of five cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act it will hear in the coming year.