All states, including California, provide statutory mandates when an estate is filed without a will. When a person with few relatives and no children dies without a will, the administrator of the intestate estate will be mandated to distribute the assets according to state law. This means that the person's assets may be given to relatives who may have been estranged from, or little known to, the decedent. Basic estate planning can avoid that result.
While estate planning is not a topic that most people want to think about, having an estate plan is essential. Without an estate plan in place, your family may not understand your wishes regarding how you want your property distributed or even your medical wishes if you become incapacitated. A thorough estate plan covers not only your wishes for property distribution, but your health care and financial needs in the event you cannot make decisions for yourself.
Estate planning in California and elsewhere is a process that benefits a business owner who wants to assure a smooth transition at the time of his or her retirement or death. Some specific estate planning tools are particularly applicable for small, closely-held businesses that are structured as corporations, partnerships or LLCs. The vehicle commonly used is called a buy-sell agreement.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) will bring many changes to people's personal income tax returns in California and elsewhere. Many of the changes are effective in the 2018 tax year, and will be reflected in people's tax returns filed in 2019. The far-reaching changes may necessitate revisions in the estate planning programs that people have established, so that it is important to check with the estate planning attorney and any tax specialist who assisted in establishing one's estate plan.
Living in a community with an active Homeowners Association (HOA) has many benefits, including regulations to ensure the community’s safety and rules for cleanliness to keep the properties looking their best. Depending on the community, an HOA can also provide amenities for members such as tennis counts, playgrounds or pools.
In California, gated communities with posh amenities may require some central management that can manage numerous administrative tasks on behalf of the homeowners. A Homeowners' Association, however, is not an organization that is without controversy. It often has to deal with homeowners who do not appreciate the attempts at conformity that usually motivate the HOA. These dynamics exist not just here but in all states where HOAs are found.