It seems like we were just talking about the passing of pop icon Prince. This music legend left behind millions in assets, some of which were very hard to value, spurring a contentious fight as his estate passed through probate court.
Most Californians think of estate planning as something that is done as they grow older and prepare for the distribution of assets upon their own death. While this is true in many instances, estate planning should actually occur at a much younger age and be modified over time as assets are obtained and relationships change. This is especially true for those with children.
A few weeks ago on the blog we discussed the importance of Medicaid planning when it comes to planning for the potential need for long-term care. Many Californians neglect to address this issue because they simply don't think that they will need long-term care. However, many individuals find themselves inflicted with serious medical conditions that disallow them from taking care of themselves. Although some individuals are able to rely on family and friends for their care, this can prove to either be impossible or overly burdensome. This is where long-term care can come into play.
When deciding how you want to distribute your assets upon your passing, you can make the process as simple or as complex as you wish. The key is to utilizing whatever tools and processes make your vision of the future come true. For many Californians, this means creating a simple will to leave assets to those identified loved ones.
Estate planning is often viewed as the process through which a plan is devised to address property distribution upon one's death. While this certainly makes up a large portion of estate planning, dealing with assets is not the only matter that needs to be addressed. As part of their estate plan, California residents should also think about what they need to do in order to ensure that they can afford long-term care costs, should the need arise.