When a California woman died last year at age 91, her caretaker was left in control of her assets. The caretaker, now 63, met the woman in 2002 when she was recovering from surgery in an Orange County care center. When she left the facility and went home in 2003, the caretaker continued to visit and provide care for her.
The living trust has become a popular estate planning vehicle for many California residents. A trust is a legal arrangement in which property is transferred to a trustee, who manages the property for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries in the trust document.
Throughout their lives, many Americans may acquire assets and wealth such as a house, recreational toys, and investments. Unfortunately, no one can live forever, and tomorrows are never guaranteed. With that in mind, it is important to draft a will to insure that all assets acquired get passed along to the right people.
Many people have put estate planning into the category of things they will get around to someday in the future. They may be under the impression that estate planning is a complicated process that takes a lot of work. However, for most California residents, preparing an estate plan can be fairly straightforward.
Most people in California probably assume that rock stars' financial lives are handled by legions of lawyers and accountants who make sure their clients' wealth is safely invested and their posterity provided for. This is not always the case, however. As a recent news story illustrates, even those with substantial wealth sometimes fail to take the basic steps to make sure their families are protected from an untimely death.