Californians recently witnessed one of the largest initial public offerings of stock in Silicon Valley history when California-based Facebook, Inc. went public. For some, like Facebook's co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and other insiders, the IPO will only add to their already considerable financial assets. These 20 and 30-year-old millionaires prove that estate planning is not only the concern of the elderly; indeed, minimizing estate taxes and maximizing asset protection are very much on their relatively young minds.
Many California pet lovers may be concerned about what will happen to their beloved pet after they pass away. A good estate plan should ensure that four-legged friends and other companions are cared for. Fortunately, over the years the law has increasingly come to recognize that some people want to provide for pets in their wills and has created mechanisms for them to do so.
As previously noted on this blog, Michael Jackson's estate is one example of excellent estate administration that continues to manage the estate's assets and preserve the musician's legacy after his death. The Kinkade Family Trust has already proven essential in protecting the legacy of Thomas Kinkade and his estate's future earnings after the artist's sudden death on April 6 at his Northern California home.
A well-worn maxim tells us that death and taxes are the only two things of which we can be certain. Under particular circumstances, we can also be certain that the occurrence of the former will trigger the latter. Everyone should be aware of the estate tax, but especially those whose estates stand to be diminished because they exceed a specified dollar threshold. Proper estate planning can help avoid unnecessary taxation.
In drafting an estate plan, people must give rational and careful thought to how they want their property distributed. Then they must account for the effect that applicable laws and rules will have on that plan. Fortunately, an estate plan can be closely tailored to comply with the laws and fulfill a person's intent.
Mike Wallace entered the living rooms of many Sacramento, California, homes for nearly six decades until his retirement in 2006. The journalist will always be remembered for asking the tough questions at the right time. Most recently, however, the "60 Minutes" anchor passed away at the age of 93. News of Wallace's health in his final days is a strong reminder for individuals to establish durable power of attorney in a timely fashion.
Marilyn Monroe's life on and off the screen captivated people in California and across the country. Her enduring fame is proved by the recent movie, My Week with Marilyn, which earned lead actress Michelle Williams an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. But other examples of Monroe's continued popularity abound.
The first wave of the Baby Boomer generation has only recently reached the traditional retirement age of 65. Their parents, the generation that was steeled by the Great Depression and fought in World War II and Korea, are in their 80s and 90s. Each generation has faced its particular obstacles, but they are united in the challenge they currently confront: how to create an effective estate plan.
Some Sacramento readers are probably still mourning the premature death of Whitney Houston, who passed away Feb. 11, just before the Grammy Awards, at age 48.
Most people recognize the need for an estate plan, but as we have mentioned before, few people create one until the last minute, if at all. Perhaps you have thought about an estate plan and even executed a will, designating where and to whom your property will go after your death. Maybe the plan includes more sophisticated estate planning instruments, such as a trust. But does it include a living will?