People in California know that a will is probably the single most important estate planning document that every person should have. That being said, there are certain kinds of property that a will simply cannot cover for various reasons. For that reason it's important to know the limitations of a will, and what other supplemental estate documents a person may need to work with their attorney to draw up or amend.
People in California may have questions about how the legal process of transferring assets and property after a person's death occurs. This legal process in general is referred to as probate, although the process can vary greatly, depending on the circumstances. In general, a well-written and valid will can help a person avoid a lengthy and involved probate process, but in some circumstances, probate is a necessary and unavoidable step.
People in California probably know Casey Kasem as the voice of Top 40 radio and one of the most memorable personalities on the airwaves. Kasem died on June 15 at the age of 82, and according to reports, was the subject of a moving tribute marked by heartfelt speeches from family, friends and loved ones. However, things were not always so pleasant in the days and months leading up to Kasem's death, as a bitter family feud over his medical care erupted between his spouse and his children.
People in California know how important it is to have a will. Not only does a person's will provide him or her with the ability to express final earthy sentiments and provide comfort and closure to loved ones, it has powerful legal and financial implications that will impact the world long after the person is gone. But on the other hand, dying or becoming incapacitated without a will can be a legal and practical nightmare, as the disposition of a person's personal property and assets is essentially left to up to the court system, which will blindly and systematically dictate who receives what without any consideration for what the deceased would have wanted.
People in California may have seen a recent editorial in Forbes about the common and potentially costly mistake many people make when it comes to estate planning and preparing a will. Many people relax after they have prepared and executed their will, but whether they know it or not, a simple change of circumstance could potentially render the best-laid plans null, or even direct that the assets go to the wrong person.
People in California may have seen a recent news article about the man who was responsible for some of the most iconic fashion photography of the 1960's, and the fate of the fortune he allegedly left to his children. Bert Stern, the man who snapped some of the raciest photos of Marilyn Monroe only weeks before her death, left two competing wills, and a potential court battle between his three children and his wife at the time of his death. He died approximately three months ago, leaving quite a bit of uncertainty as to who will eventually inherit.
People in California who have lost a loved one know that the emotional toll of grief and sadness can be overwhelming. The loss of a close friend, relative or spouse can make functioning normally difficult, if not impossible. Often though, before a person can properly grieve, they first have to deal with the practicality of winding down their loved one's affairs and settling their estate after death. Having a practical plan in place for one's own affairs after death can be very useful, especially when it comes to naming a capable person to perform the essential tasks that must be done.