Written by Robert Nickerson
There's no denying that having an estate plan can bring a lot of negative thoughts about your loved ones; especially death. But there's also no denying that every family needs one. We can prepare as much as we want for the future, but there's one thing we can never predict: timing. Timing reflects a lot of things: timing of sickness, timing of accidents, timing of health, and of course, timing of death. Because of that, don't assume everything will be automatically taken care of.
Of course, the next step is a tough one: having "the talk" with your elderly parents about planning for the inevitable. Believe it or not, this is a much harder "talk" then the "talk" you have with your teenage children. Your parents will probably try to defer the subject or explain that they'd rather have this conversation in another ten years. In fact, I cant guarantee a proven formula where they won't get emotional. But I do have some ideas that will make having this conversation a lot easier.
This should give you a good guideline on how to approach "the talk". It's no guarantee, though I think it'll make things easier.
If you want, we can even help have that conversation and help build an estate plan to make it less stressful for your loved ones and give the whole family more time to enjoy themselves. Call or email the office for more details.
Written by Robert Nickerson
In February of 2019, there was a lot of speculation regarding the $150 million dollar estate of Karl Lagerfeld in France. It had nothing to do with his financial assets or property. It had to do with his cat Choupette. Yes, his pet housecat. But this was more then a pet; Choupette was Karl's companion who was loved and had even appeared in many of his published photos, even in luxury fashion magazines. It was assumed that the cat would be well off thanks to his owners wealth who would have set something up in an estate plan to make sure it was cared for. But in a bizarre twist, a year after Karl had passed away, the administrator of the estate had "disappeared". This has created some odd legal questions relating to the cat and his inheritance.
Because there have been cases of fiduciaries being questioned for how their handling the administration of an estate, the courts have had to step in to litigate these actions. While I'm not that well read on estate laws in France, in the state of California, having a lot of time passed between a death and a fiduciary managing an estate would have open the door to a lot of questions.
In state of California, Karl's estate would have taken a couple of steps. Had he had a will, an executor of the will would have needed to submit an original to the superior court of the county of where it was written. A probate court would have found a personal representative to which then a hearing would finally determine a personal representative of Karl.
Regardless of what happens to the estate and the cat, beneficiaries need to understand their rights and to have the right attorney to inform them on what steps need to be taken as to not see a delay in their inheritance.
We can make sure all of our clients are properly informed for whatever estate plan their a part of or even in charge of. Contact us for more information.
Jeffrey C. Nickerson - Estate Planning Attorney - My Passion is Special Needs Planning!