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Newport Beach Estate Law Blog

What if only 1 of my children wants to own the family business?

When an estate plan involves an independent business owner who wants his or her family to benefit from the value of the business, a lot of important questions will need to be answered. Most importantly: Will you leave your business to be managed by your children, or would your children rather do something else?

Fifty years ago, this probably wouldn't be a question that business owners would aks. In the past, children usually took the reins of the family business after mom or dad became too old to manage it. Modern families are different. Parents tend to encourage their children to follow their own path. If the kids are interested in taking over the family income maker, that's excellent. If they're not, parents are usually happy as long as their children are happy.

Bitcoin and inheritance: What will happen to my crypto coins?

With the rise of Bitcoin's value, more and more people are taking the cryptocurrency seriously as a method for storing wealth. Some analysts believe that a single Bitcoin will be worth $1 million in the not-to-distant future, while others believe that the coins will be worth no more than $0 dollars in a matter of years. Regardless of your opinion, if you own Bitcoin, you will want to make sure you create a strategy for transferring your crypto coins to heirs in your estate plan.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about cryptocurrencies in terms of estate planning is the way that they can be lost forever. If someone dies but doesn't leave instructions to heirs regarding how they can gain access to the coins, then potential heirs will not have any way of accessing the coins. Indeed, as every cryptocurrency investor knows, these coins are often held by individuals independent of banks -- so there is no authority to which heirs can appeal to open up a cryptographic wallet. These digital lockboxes cannot be accessed without the cryptographic keys -- not by anyone.

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Dispute over Napa estate erupts more than decade after death

A family argument over the fate of a $92 million estate wages on in Napa Superior Court. The dispute erupted between two daughters of a multi-millionaire landlord, businessman and vintner who amassed a considerable amount of wealth during his life. The daughters are in disagreement about what happened to the $92 million estate, which also included approximately $38 million intended to fund charitable works for disadvantaged youth.

The suit was filed in 2016, 10 years after the death of the vintner. One of the sisters filed suit to demand that the other sister present all of the accounting for money the sister controlled as the co-trustee of the man's estate.

Doctors: Have you completed your estate plans?

As a doctor, you will have unique estate planning concerns. For one, if you're in private practice, you may own a valuable business and you will want to transfer as much of your business value to your heirs as possible. Secondly, if no one in your family is a doctor, you face the challenge of not having anyone to continue running your business. Fortunately, there are some strategies doctors can employ to ensure the success of their estate plans.

Here are a few things you'll want to take care of first when beginning your estate planning process:

What are the benefits of creating a living trust?

California estate planners have a lot of options for organizing their finances and distributing their wealth after they're gone. One of those options might include the creation of a living trust instead of a will.

It's important to understand the potential benefits of a living trust before deciding if creating one for your estate is right for you.

What happens if you die without a will?

Complications, complications. That’s what happens when you die without a will, and there are a number of scenarios. Families bicker over what property and assets they want. A surviving – but unmarried partner – finds that he or she cannot inherit the property of a deceased partner. And the family of an affluent, long-living uncle had to spend years as well as thousands of dollars in legal fees to settle an estate.

These situations all are avoidable as long as you plan well and prepare a will. Even people in their 20s should consider having a will, especially if you have a young family, gained a significant inheritance or entered the military.

Have you created a plan for your special needs child?

A special needs child is a child who requires specific care. In many cases, special needs children need to be cared for after they become adults, and they never become fully independent. In other cases, special needs children require costly medical services and round-the-clock attention to ensure that they're healthy and happy.

The responsibilities involved with taking care of a special need child are usually attended to by the child's parents, but what happens if something happens to the parents and they're no longer able to care for their child? This is where a special needs trust comes into play. A special needs trust can give the parents of child with a disability the peace of mind that their child's needs will be met financially, medically and emotionally -- even if they're no longer available.

Transferring property deeds to an adult child

As you approach old age, you may be wondering how to transfer your real estate holdings to your adult children. There are several reasons why seniors may wish to transfer their real estate: Some people decide to unburden themselves of their house and travel the world; others make a choice to downgrade to a more manageable living space. For some seniors, the physical strain of maintaining the property may no longer be an option.

Whatever your reason, you are now wondering how to transfer your property. One of the most common ways is through the transfer of a deed. There are a few different deeds to choose from, and you should think carefully about which one is best for you before making a decision.

Tips for cleaning up your estate for your heirs

At some point in their lives, most California residents begin to realize that they may not have many years left to spend with their families and loved ones. During these last years, most people try to make the most of them and cherish the lasting memories they have. They may also choose to prepare their estates so that their wealth can be passed on to their loved ones in the most uncomplicated way possible.

The practice of tidying up your estate for your heirs comes from an old Swedish tradition called dostadning, which literally means "death cleaning." Here's how you can follow the dostadning tradition for your heirs and loved ones:

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