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Estate planning may help California families avoid stress

It is normal to want what is best for one's loved ones. It is also not uncommon to consider what that may mean with regard to providing for family members in the event of one's own death. Many in California choose estate planning as a means to secure continued provision for loved ones after death. Individual situations vary, as do the laws and regulations that govern such matters in each state.

Many believe that formulating a definite estate plan helps families avoid potential stress further down the line. There have been situations where people die without having executed estate plans, resulting in expensive, lengthy probate processes and disputes between family members that linger for years. Taking the time to document one's intentions and instructions while one is still of sound mind may help loved ones avoid confusion and discord later.

Wills, trusts and powers of attorney are common documents often included in a thorough estate plan. Many parents, as well, prefer to name specific people who will become responsible for the care and upbringing of their minor children should they die or become incapacitated in such ways that they are no longer able to care for themselves or their children. Of equal importance is keeping an estate plan updated once it is executed, as lifestyle changes regarding marriage, residence or income may bear impact on a plan as it is written.

An experienced California attorney can guide someone through the estate planning process. Discussing the inevitable is an uncomfortable topic for some. However, without an estate plan, assets will be distributed without an estate owner's direction or trust protection, which may cause financial and legal challenges for loved ones.

Source: htrnews.com, "Estate planning: Why?", Phillip R. Maples, Michael Best, July 8, 2016

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