Whether young or old, planning for the future or an untimely death is an important matter. Although it is often something one does not like to think about, it is something that should not be put off. Drafting documents for an estate plan can take place at any age or any point in a person's life.
People in California may have seen a recent article about a 60-year-old man who was found dead in Wyoming under a railway overpass. His body was discovered by children who were sledding; coroners believe the man died of exposure to the elements. The man, who may have been living as a transient, wasn't your average homeless person, however; he was the adopted great-grandson of former U.S. Senator and copper tycoon William Andrews Clark and heir to a vast sum of the family fortune.
People in California know what a menace wildfires can be on the west coast. Many people probably recall the tragedy that occurred in Yarnell, Arizona, when 19 firefighters on the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew perished while fighting a blazing wildfire earlier this summer. The story became national news as firefighters and citizens mourned the brave crew, but now the victims' families have a fight of their own.
Residents in California know that estate planning can be very complicated. This is especially true due to increasing taxes and a number of changes to state and federal law that make shielding your hard-earned money from unnecessary taxation extremely difficult. Estate planning isn't a one-time deal. It's something that people with substantial estates need to take seriously and revisit frequently, especially as their personal and family situation evolves. The changes in California and federal law leave the unaware vulnerable to massive tax increases.
Problems can arise when a child or other family member in California is excluded from the will of a deceased loved one. This situation is becoming more and more commonplace in recent years, as more and more people in the "baby boomer" generation inherit money from their dying loved ones. A study has shown that baby boomers could inherit an estimated $8.4 trillion. With so much money changing hands, it's no wonder that some people are feeling deeply slighted when their loved one forgets them or intentionally excludes them from their will.