Estate Planning Not Only for Seniors

It was reported today that actor Anton Yelchin, noted for his roles in the rebooted Star Trek franchise and who passed away June 19 in a freak accident involving what may have been a defective vehicle, died without a will. He left behind a $1.4 million estate consisting of approximately $641,000 in personal property and $731,000 in equity in his home.

It appears that Yelchin was unmarried and had no children when he died, so the balance of his estate is likely to go to his parents under California’s laws of intestate succession. Also, Yelchin’s estate is not likely to be subject to any death taxes because the value of his estate is under the federal minimum and California has no estate tax of its own. However, if Yelchin had passed away in Massachusetts, in the absence of any planning, his estate would have been subject to a hefty estate tax, which “kicks in” for estates valued at more than $1 million.

While many younger people have not had time to acquire the assets that Yelchin’s movie career brought him, it is important for even young people to take steps to prepare for their own death or incapacity, so that their wishes may be carried out and to ease the burden on loved ones.