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Avoiding probate through careful estate planning

Many people in California and elsewhere consider discussions of their own deaths to be extremely uncomfortable. However, many understand that death is merely an inevitable part of life and it is never too soon to talk about thorough estate planning. Generally speaking, there are many benefits to a well-designed estate plan with regard to providing for loved ones and helping them avoid probate when it comes time to administer an estate.

Probate is typically not very cost effective and is often rather time-consuming. Whether an estate owner desires his or her assets to be distributed among children, grand-children or various local charities, a plan can be customized to suit one's particular needs and goals. Beyond merely listing one's intended heirs, a carefully executed estate plan can also transmit authority to a particular person in the event that one becomes incapacitated and unable to make financial or medical decisions.

A thorough estate plan allows guardians to be named for one's children should they become orphans at any point in time. It is often helpful to seek support from an estate planning and administration attorney before implementing a particular plan. An experienced attorney can clarify state and federal laws, as well as provide pertinent information regarding various types of documents that can be included in an estate plan.

Once the estate planning process has been carried out, it is advisable to review it from time to time. This allows any changes or updates to be made as needed. Lifestyle changes, changes in familial relationships, income changes or other issues may necessitate an adjustment of one's plan. A California attorney can be on-hand to address such matters whenever they arise.

Source: tulsaworld.com, "Business viewpoint: Estate planning important tool after your death", Julie Smith, Dec. 11, 2016

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