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Luke Perry's death shows importance of estate plan upkeep

Actor Luke Perry, best known for his work on "Beverly Hills 90210," recently passed away at the young age of 52. Nobody expects to suddenly pass away so young, which makes Perry's death all the more tragic. It is usually in these circumstances that families find themselves struggling to figure out what to do with their lost loved one's estate. In the absence of an estate plan, matters can get messy, the distribution of assets can be costly and time-consuming and family members may vie over wanted property.

Fashion icon may have utilized pet trust for beloved cat

Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld recently passed away, leaving many wondering what will become of his estate. Lagerfeld, who was 85 at the time of his passing, had a pet cat, Choupette. The feline has even become famous in his own right, with an Instagram account and followers, table book and career modeling. Because this pet was so well cared for during Lagerfeld's life, many think that he may have left his estate in a way that ensures that Choupette is taken care of for a long time to come.

Do you need an estate plan if you don't have kids?

The vast majority of people who find estate planning imperative are those who have children. These individuals often want to make sure that their assets are left to their kids and their spouse in a way that protects their financial future and maintains the estate's financial viability. While these individuals certainly should consider how best to plan for the distribution of their estate upon death, even those without children should consider engaging in estate planning to ensure asset distribution that fits their desires.

Unique situations that require adept estate planning

No two families are the same. Some families may appear "traditional," with two spouses remaining married for the long-term and raising children, while others are "untraditional." These latter families can involve step-parents and step-children, unmarried couples, families with adopted children and even children conceived through artificial means. Regardless of the dynamics of a family, estate planning is crucial.

No mental incapacitation found in mogul's estate plan case

Estate plans can address significant wealth. When familial tensions run high, these plans can run into conflict, with multiple parties claiming that they should have their fair share of an estate's assets. Those who are not prepared to head off these disputes can have their estates distributed in a way that is in opposition to their wishes.

Remarriage can affect estate planning and distribution

It's no secret that divorce is a common occurrence in California and throughout the country. So, too, is remarriage after divorce. While statistics show that less than one out of every five divorced individuals remarry, the rate is significantly higher for those 55 and older. For this population, remarriage occurs 57 percent of the time.

Transfer on death accounts can help avoid probate

Most, if not all, Californians want to avoid the probate process. After all, having an estate subjected to probate can make the matter public, and it is usually lengthy and costly. For these reasons, many people who engage in estate planning do so, at least in part, to avoid probate. In order to do this successfully, though, Californians need to understand the estate planning options available to them, choose those legal avenues that are right for them, and create legally valid documents that will withstand any challenges.

Estate planning and the qualified disclaimer

The recent passing of former President, George H. W. Bush, has left many Californians heartbroken. One reason is because he appeared to suffer from what some call the "broken heart syndrome." This is because former President Bush passed away just a mere eight months after his wife Barbara Bush. As sad as these types of events can be, it can also be informative, especially when looking at estate planning. After all, many families find themselves in a position where a couple, or two parents, pass away in relatively quick succession.

Stan Lee's estate planning issues

By engaging in California estate planning, individuals can ensure that they retain control over their assets for a significant period of time after their passing. This requires the utilization of many legal documents, but failing to do so can result in unwanted consequences. Although many believe that estate planning is only for the rich and famous, this is not the case. In fact, just about anyone can benefit from competent estate planning. Yet, looking at estate planning issues that affect celebrities can be illustrative for even common folk.

California firm can assist with comprehensive estate planning

Last week on this blog, we talked about estate planning as it relates to hard assets, such as family heirlooms. Finding a satisfactory way to deal with this issue can be challenging, especially when multiple family members are hoping to inherit a specific piece of property. Yet, dealing with hard assets is just a small piece of the estate planning puzzle.

My Sacramento law practice, Michael A. Sawamura, Attorney at Law, focuses on wills, trusts and estate planning law in addition to business law and corporate defense services. My clients include professionals, government employees, small businesses, blue-collar workers and national corporations.

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