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Torrance California Estate Planning Law Blog

Mine, yours & ours: Estate planning for mixed families

The traditional American family of a mother, a father and several children is slowly disappearing as the standard household in California and other states throughout the nation. As individuals become parents without marriage, divorces separate families and new marriages create new unions, the make-up of families is changing to become more inclusive and representative of how people actually live. With all of these changes, though, planning for the future can become complicated when families blend, separate and reorganize in new groupings.

This is where the help of a dedicated estate planning attorney can be incredibly helpful. Lawyers who understand and respect the realities of mixed and blended families can support their clients to ensure that their estates are organized to ensure that dependents and heirs from different relationships will have the opportunity to benefit from their end-of-life assets.

If you become incapacitated, are your assets in safe hands?

Your health and age circumstances may make it necessary for you to designate someone to handle your affairs. If you become unable to make decisions, identifying an individual you trust leaves you feeling safe and confident in him or her.

Should you become incapacitated, you cannot make medical decisions. Financial decisions regarding your home, cars or estate need to be decided by an able individual as well. If you do not designate a durable power of attorney, decisions about your health and property may be up to someone you do not necessarily want to deal with your body or possessions. He or she may even be a judge unfamiliar with your life and wishes.

An estate plan should answer 3 basic questions

Most people understand the basic idea of an estate plan, which is to share your possessions with those you love after you’ve passed away. While that’s a fundamental part of what estate planning is about, an effective estate plan requires a thorough approach. The basic mission may sound simple, but one has to follow strict legal regulations to avoid scams, loss of value and family disputes.

Whether you have a will, a trust or a combination of both, an effective plan should answer three fundamental questions:

  • What do you want to happen?
  • Why do you want it to happen?
  • Who will make sure it happens?

Famous astronaut tackles family litigation over estate

As people age, they often become more vulnerable. Most Californians, however, wouldn’t expect to become victims of their own family members for the sake of their wealth.

Sadly, this is what former American astronaut Buzz Aldrin now alleges. He claims in a lawsuit that his children have stolen his assets, committed slander over his mental state, seized control over his businesses and manipulated his romantic relationships – perhaps to limit his beneficiaries.

How long does it take to make an estate plan?

According to Forbes, “Only about 45% of adult Americans have estate planning documents.” Creating an estate plan is a layered process. Important moments in life require careful consideration and arrangements. A grand wedding takes more than a week to plan, purchasing a home could demand more than a month and successful estate planning involves more than signing a few documents. Time is valuable and to many individuals, limited. Ensuring you and your loved ones’ assets are squared away can be beneficial long-term. Many may struggle with where to begin on this financial journey. Peace of mind is possible with an estate plan set in place.

Estimating the duration of the estate planning process

Is an estate planning attorney worth the cost?

In the Internet age, everything can be done online, including buying groceries, shopping for clothes and redecorating your home. People can even complete their wills online. With cheap do-it-yourself options, some wonder if hiring an estate planning attorney is worth the price.

An estate plan includes more than just a will

What's In a Name? A Lot, When It Concerns Account Titles

Having an adult child added as an owner of bank account is a fairly common occurrence that allows both elderly parent and child to have access to the account if the parent needs assistance in managing their money. But most people don't know that by titling an account differently, the account can still be accessible without being owned by the child when the parent passes away.

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Get the peace of mind that you deserve. First, attend a seminar. This will entitle you to a free initial consultation and a discounted estate planning fee. To learn more about our services or sign up for a seminar, contact us online or call us at 866-402-1805. We have offices in Torrance, Orange, Newport Beach, Pasadena and Woodland Hills.

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