A lot of estate planning is about avoiding the probate process. Probate is a court process through which an estate is handled after an individual's death. Through probate, an executor can be appointed for the purpose of identifying heirs and beneficiaries, paying off estate debts, and distributing estate assets.
Raising children can be a challenging endeavor. This is especially true when a child has special needs. Depending on the condition at hand, a child with special needs may require extensive medical care and social support. These needs can be long-term in nature, which is why these considerations need to be taken into account when engaging in estate planning.
Understanding the basics of trusts as estate planning tools can be crucial for California residents. Trusts are essentially agreements that dictate how assets will be managed and distributed to named beneficiaries. The creator, or grantor, of a trust can name a trustee to manage the trust. This trustee has a fiduciary duty, meaning that he or she must make decisions regarding the trust and trust assets that further the best interests of the trust's beneficiary.
We've spent quite a bit of time on this blog discussing various types of trusts. These estate planning vehicles can serve an important purpose. They can allow an individual to leave assets to others with certain restrictions applied. There are oftentimes tax advantages to utilizing a trust, too. In order to pick the trust types that are right for an individual in his or her situation, it is important to carefully consider the options.
A recent post here discussed the generation-skipping trust and how it may be beneficial to those engaging in the estate planning process. This is just one of the many trust types available to those who create estate plans. Each trust type has its own benefit, and one or a combination of a number of trusts can help bring a vision for an estate plan into reality.
As we have discussed previously on this blog, there are many estate planning vehicles that can be utilized to dictate how an individual's assets will be distributed upon his or her death. While wills are quite common, trusts can, in some instances, be much more effective when used in combination with a will. There are a wide variety of trust types available to estate planners, each serving its own purposes and carrying its own benefits. Knowing the ins and outs of each trust is critical to developing a holistic and effective estate plan.
Last week on the blog we discussed the estate of famed movie star Burt Reynolds and how he utilized a trust to protect his assets for his son. Although it may seem a bit unconventional to write someone out of your will like Burt Reynolds did to his son, it can serve a purpose. In fact, there are a number of decisions you can make during the estate planning process to protect yourself, your assets, and your heirs and beneficiaries.
Many of you probably heard about the recent passing of acting superstar Burt Reynolds. While news stories are peppered with remembrances of his best film roles and his contributions to Hollywood, some reports are shining a light on another aspect of the actor's life: his estate planning.
There are a number of legal vehicles that you can use to better position your estate for distribution upon your passing. One effective way to save money on taxes and increase an estate's income is to create a charitable trust. This type of trust isn't tax exempt and is meant to benefit one or more charities. However, the assets in a charitable trust can be subjected to a charitable contribution deduction, which can significantly decrease the size of a taxable estate.