Many California residents understand the importance of naming another party or parties as authoritative voices in making financial or medical decisions should they themselves become incapacitated and unable to do so. Careful estate planning is a means to solidify such wishes, protect assets and help loved ones’ plan their future financial security. Although, some people do not like to discuss their own mortality, others realize that dying without an estate plan in place can lead to stress and complications for family members later.

In situations where estate owners have died with no set plan in place, family members have often become entangled in bitter arguments and contentious legal battles. In fact, many accounts include familial relationships that have been ruined because of squabbles over a loved one’s estate. To avoid family rifts, an estate owner will want to prepare a plan ahead of time, and can do so through consultation with a probate and estate administration attorney.

There are various types of estate plans, each having its own benefits. Every person’s situation is different, and a plan can be customized to suit one’s unique set of circumstances. There are many factors to consider. Depending on individual needs and goals, an estate plan may be kept basic and simple or be more complex, especially if significant amounts of assets are involved.

A California attorney can help anyone with questions better understand the estate planning process. He or she can also help draft a plan that reflects a particular estate owner’s wishes and helps families avoid lengthy probate situations. A first logical step to take is to request a meeting to discuss the issues while one is still of sound mind.

Source: estate.findlaw.com, “Estate Planning Basics“, Accessed on July 27, 2016