Residents in California who are planning for the well-being of their future generations and heirs probably have a lot of common goals. For one, they want their heirs to be able to enjoy their inherited assets, whether it be a taste of the good life or a little extra something to help them make their ends meet or send their kids to college. Moreover, they probably want to avoid punitive taxes on the assets and property they plan to leave for their heirs and beneficiaries.
As Californians get older and plan for the next phase of their lives, they have lots of things to consider. Not the least of these worries is planning and providing for spouses, children and even grandchildren. Not surprisingly, this gives rise to a whole other list of concerns, including retirement planning, assisted living planning, end of life decisions, asset protection and a host of other financial decisions that must be addressed.
People in California who want to be able to leave a lasting legacy after their death need to have an estate plan. Whether a person has a substantial estate or only a few financial resources, having an estate plan, including a will, trusts, and other necessary legal documents, is the only way that people can ensure their assets are distributed, and their wishes are honored, after their passing. Whether it's setting up an education trust fund for a grandchild or leaving a piece of real estate to a favorite charity, everyone needs an estate plan.
People in California probably remember revered actor Philip Seymour Hoffman for his roles in many of the most acclaimed Hollywood movies of the last decade. Hoffman, who died unexpectedly of a drug overdose in February, 2014, left behind a substantial estate, but the lack of direction for the distribution of this fortune was a matter of concern for friends, family members and other professionals in the field who couldn't fathom how he could leave $35 million unaccounted for.
People in California may have seen an interesting financial news editorial in Forbes recently. The article discussed the ways in which estate planning can shield people from unnecessary taxation, but that is really only the beginning of the benefits that an estates and trusts attorney can provide to people with substantial estates and complex estate planning needs.
People in California know that millionaires and billionaires are created on a regular basis in the Silicon Valley and across the state. One of the most notable examples is Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook and one of the youngest, richest men in the world. Zuckerberg's success wasn't due to luck, it was the product of a carefully crafted and prepared business strategy. Now that he has more or less entrenched himself as a success in the business world, he has also turned his attention to ensuring success at the next step, estate planning.
People in California may have heard news of late on an issue that will be affecting many Americans in the coming years, whether they know it know or not. According to a 2011 study, the baby boomer generation will likely inherit a grand total of almost $8.5 trillion from their parents and heirs. The median amount for most of these beneficiaries is somewhere in the area of $64,000, a significant amount for anyone planning for retirement, helping their kids through college, paying debt, or working on an estate plan of their own.
People in California may know singer and entertainer Frankie Valli best as the lead singer of the Four Seasons, a wildly famous, pop foursome whose hits spanned many decades, most recently reaching new audiences with the Broadway smash hit "Jersey Boys," which was based upon the music and personal story of the Four Seasons. But now a whole new audience of law professionals and students may become familiar with Frankie Valli's name for reasons having very little to do with his music.
Successful men and women in California know that planning and preparation are critical ingredients in the recipe for success, so it should come as no surprise that preparation is also the key to maximizing that success for the greater good. People chart their course in a career much as they do in life, and with careful preparation and core values as guiding principles, they may grow to prosper and enjoy the wealth they have worked hard to create.
People in California may have seen a recent financial news article in Forbes, which discussed the issue of inheritance. Specifically, Forbes explained how people in the Baby Boomer generation may actually be leaning against leaving assets to their children when they pass on. In past years most people in the Boomer generation said they thought it was important to leave an inheritance. That number now sits at under 50%.