When looking to purchase residential real estate in California, it is good to first find out if there is a homeowners' association involved in the neighborhood governance. An HOA can be a valuable security blanket for many buyers, but for others there may be potential problems that should be investigated prior to buying. Such organizations generally enforce restrictive deed covenants that homeowners should know about in advance so that they know what to expect.
If you purchase a home or a condo within a community, you may be subject to certain rules established by a homeowners association (HOA). These regulations stipulate certain standards regarding residents' behavior, architecture and home maintenance.
In California, estate planning is sufficiently complex to make it wise for adult children to discuss the status of such matters with their parents. The children can add to their peace of mind and to that of their parents by discussing estate planning preferences and goals with them. In some families, this may be difficult to do because the children and their parents are not accustomed to talking about financial matters together.
A power of attorney is an integral part of an estate plan in California and elsewhere. It appoints someone who is a trusted friend or family member to act as one's agent, if the maker of the document ever becomes incompetent to handle his/her own affairs. This may seem like a depressing thing to worry about, but such things do happen. If a power of attorney is not prepared in advance through estate planning, the family may incur extraordinary expenses in court fees to have a guardian or conservator appointed.
California residents who are beginning to consider retirement planning may want to consider the issue of renting vs. owning a house during the retirement years. Even though owning a home may be an affordable option, there are considerations that may militate in favor of renting a home in one's non-working years. When engaging in the estate planning and retirement planning process, looking at these issues could be a worthwhile undertaking.
Estate planning in California involves organizing one's affairs in case of death or incapacity. That the process deals with one's own death may account for the fact that less than half of the country's population has a properly drawn-up will. However, many more people may have elements of estate planning in place by way of beneficiary designations in their insurance policies, retirement plans and the like.
You set up your estate plan years ago, filed it away in your safety deposit box and haven’t thought much about it since. Just knowing it’s there gives you and your family a sense of security in case anything was to happen. However, taking the time to review and update these documents is equally as critical as creating a plan in the first place.