Discussing mortality is not always a favorite subject. Many people find the topic uncomfortable. However, in California and beyond, both young and old alike may benefit from gaining an understanding about the laws that govern estate planning matters before it is too late. When a person dies with no estate plan in place, family members may face many challenges during a lengthy probate process.

When a judge appoints someone to handle the duties of an estate in those circumstances, it may not be the same person the decedent would have chosen. This is one of many reasons it is crucial to address such issues while one is still of sound mind. By executing a thorough plan and keeping it updated, an estate owner retains maximum control regarding who will inherit assets.

An individual may also name a person or persons to be given authority to make financial or medical decisions should the time come when he or she is no longer able to do so due to a decline in health. Depending on the size of an estate, various options are available to customize a plan according to one’s immediate and long-term goals. Where larger estates are concerned, a main priority of many is to reduce the amount of estate taxes.

When considering how to approach the estate planning process, a California resident might have questions that would be best addressed through experienced guidance. A probate and estate administration attorney is typically able to help in such cases. A first logical step to take in seeking answers is to arrange a meeting to discuss one’s particular situation.

Source: calbar.ca.gov, “Do I Need Estate Planning?“, Aug. 16, 2016