Estate planning often involves leaving one’s possessions and assets to living relatives or perhaps to a charitable organization. However, what if you don’t have any relatives or are estranged from them? Can you leave your legacy to anyone you choose?
California Law That Dictates Beneficiaries
In the US, you don’t have to worry about things like forced heirship which many European nations use to limit beneficiaries. In the US, you can leave your assets to anyone you choose with very few restrictions. If you want to go to the Whitepages website and pick names at random, California doesn’t care for the most part.
The only real exception will be if you are holding the asset as community property with a spouse. But even then, you could leave your 50% to a random person.
Of course, if you leave a will that outlines random recipients of your estate, you are making things really tough on the executor, who may spend a lot of your estate simply locating the random beneficiaries. Then, you have to include long probate proceedings, especially if a randomly selected heir has passed away.
Again, it’s unlikely that anyone is looking to give their hard-earned money to just anyone. The idea is that you can if you want to, and it is nice that California doesn’t restrict what you can do with your things when it comes to passing assets on to the next generation.
Estate Planning in San Diego, California
Whether you want to leave your assets to family members, charity, or even to your favorite pet, Petrov Law Firm can help you to prepare for the future. Contact our California estate planning attorneys today at 619-344-0360.Read More
If you and your mate are planning for the future, you have some options that are unique to couples and that may offer some tax benefits to the survivor. Here are a few things you should know about estate planning for married couples.
- You can use a Survivor’s Trust if you want to leave everything to your mate. This is the simplest way to leave your estate to a spouse. However, if your surviving mate remarries, this does leave things open for the estate to be passed to the new mate and his or her children rather than yours.
- A Marital Disclaimer Trust gives the surviving mate the option to use a Bypass Trust. However, the help of an attorney is recommended so that the survivor exercises this option at the most financially sound time.
- For very large estates, you may need an A/B Trust to act as a tax shelter. However, with the estate tax only applying to massive estates, this is no longer a frequently used option.
- If you have a blended family or a smaller estate, you may benefit from a Survivor’s Trust with a QTIP (qualified terminable interest property) plan. You maximize the distribution of assets to the surviving spouse while still taking advantage of the best deductions for a married couple.
Learn More About Estate Planning for Married Couples in California
Petrov Law Firm has been helping married couples to plan for the future since 2014, and we are proud to specialize in California estate planning. To get started on your future plans, call our California estate planning attorneys at 619-344-0360 today!Read More