Law Office of DeAnne E. Parker
Redding Probate, Trusts, Estate Planning And Business Attorney

Redding Estate Planning Law Blog

What happens if I die without a valid will?

Like other states, California has laws that specify what happens if a resident of this state dies without a will.

As many Northern Californians who pay attention to the news know, even people who are quite wealthy can from time to time simply neglect their estate planning and then die leaving millions but no will. However, California's so-called intestacy laws would also apply in situations where the only known will gets invalidated or fails to dispose of all the assets that get administered through probate.

How can an LLC help me with estate planning?

As readers of our blog probably recognize, there are lots of ways, beyond a simple will or even a trust, that Californians can use to help them with the estate planning process.

For instance, some residents of Redding and other parts of Northern California may want to consider forming an LLC for estate planning purposes.

Update on Aretha Franklin's estate legal battle

A previous post on this blog discussed the fact that there has been considerable controversy surrounding the estate of Aretha Franklin, the world-famous singer who died about this time last year. As that previous post stated, some family members have questioned the actions of Ms. Franklin's niece, who is serving as personal representative. These family members believe that someone else would be in a better position to control the finances of Ms. Franklin's multi-million dollar estate.

After a contentious court hearing recently, the judge overseeing the estate decided to convert the case in to what is commonly referred to as a supervised estate. A supervised estate is one in which a personal representative can do very few things without first getting the court's explicit approval.

How can a testamentary trust be useful to me?

A previous post on this blog talked about the advantages of revocable living trusts. These types of trusts, and living trusts generally, can help residents of Redding, California, keep their estates out of a lengthy, costly and often stressful probate process. The probate process is also public, so living trusts can help keep a family's financial affairs confidential.

As the name implies, living trusts get created while the drafter of the trust, the settlor, is still alive. There is another type of trust called a testamentary trust. In a testamentary trust, a person uses a lengthy, relatively complicated will to direct his or her personal representative to gather the property of the estate and create a trust after the person's death.

Medicaid planning explained

Many people in Northern California who are approaching retirement may also be thinking about how they are going to afford the cost of long-term care. As people age, after all, they may require the assistance of a retirement facility or of a nursing home, but these services can cost thousands of dollars a month. Most people do not have this kind of money lying around, and the money they do have they would prefer to pass on to their children or other loved ones.

To resolve this dilemma, many residents of the Redding area may wish to turn to a process called Medicaid planning, which, in California, may more appropriately be called Medi-Cal planning. This is part of estate planning. The goal of Medicaid planning is for a person to qualify legally for government-funded long-term care while still being able to preserve at least some of their assets. However, because Medi-Cal is meant for those who have limited means, a person wishing to take this approach will have to make sure that, legally speaking, he or she does not have property available to pay for his or her own medical care.

Famous singer's estate in turmoil

The battle over the famous rhythm and blues singer Aretha Franklin's estate is continuing. The latest move involved one of Ms. Franklin's sons asking the court hearing the case to be appointed personal representative, helping and then eventually replacing Ms. Franklin's niece. The niece has been acting as executor since last year.

According to the son, Ms. Franklin's niece has not handled her role as personal representative properly. He points to the fact that she missed at least one deadline on filing an important document with the court.

Advantages of revocable living trusts

Many people in and around Redding, California, have probably heard of revocable living trusts, as they are a rather popular estate planning device these days.

To review, a person, or couple, who wants to create a revocable living trust will first prepare the trust document creating the trust. At least initially, they will be named trustees of the trust and may also be primary beneficiaries, that is, the first in line to receive proceeds from the trust. As the name implies, they will retain the ability to dissolve, or revoke, the trust at any time.

What is a business succession plan?

Many people in Redding and the surrounding communities of Shasta County, California, have spent their lifetimes growing their family business in to a reliable source of income.

In many cases, the family business is also a person's most valuable asset and, on a more personal level, the asset she would really love to see carry on in to the next generation.

Family of former executive in conservatorship battle

A man who at one point helped lead Warner Brothers was recently at the center of a legal battle over his medical care. Despite being wealthy enough to afford in-home care, the current wife of this man has for the past couple of years arranged for him to stay in a nursing home.

The man suffers from Alzheimer's disease. While once a bright star in the entertainment business, he has for some time been unable to handle his own affairs due to mental incapacity. He has been married to his current wife for over 40 years. However, the man's oldest child and only son, from a prior relationship, filed legal paperwork asking that a California court appoint someone else temporarily as his father's legal conservator. In his paperwork, he accused his stepmother of breaching her fiduciary duty and also of possibly engaging in elder abuse. His stepmother appears to have been duly appointed as the executive's attorney-in-fact and healthcare agent.

Helping Shasta County families plan ahead

There is more to drafting a will than many people realize, and there is more to estate planning than drafting a will.

A previous post on this blog talked about all the different types of estate planning documents a Shasta County, California, resident may want to have as part of her estate plan. As this post discussed, what documents a person will require in order to have an effective estate plan depends a lot on the person's individual circumstances.

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