There are many resources available in California that can help clarify laws that govern matters regarding the protection and distribution of assets for those who own estates. There are also estate planning errors that should be avoided and plenty of evidence to show what can happen if such mistakes are made. People continue to talk about former Pop music star Prince, and the debacle that ensued after he died without executing a will, which is one of the most common errors.

National Estate Planning Awareness Week recently got underway, with events planned to help the general public educate themselves regarding all aspects of financial wellness and estate plans. Crafting a thorough plan helps ensure that asset distribution goals will be realized after death. With no plan in place, there is no guarantee that the persons wanted as beneficiaries will actually be the ones to inherit assets.

The biggest errors commonly made with regard to this topic involve the important documents listed below. When an estate owner includes these documents in a well-crafted plan, it helps protects assets meant to be distributed after death. One can also name a person or persons to make financial and/or medical decisions while still alive, should a physical or mental condition leave one incapable of acting for oneself.

Good estate planning typically includes the following documents: advanced medical directives, wills and durable powers of attorney. Failing to execute such documents before death has caused problems for the families of many estate owners in the past, including some very high profile personalities, like Prince. Anyone in California seeking information or guidance regarding how to secure an estate can gain assistance by contacting an attorney who has probate and estate administration experience.

Source: Forbes, “5 Documents You Need To Avoid Costly Estate Planning Errors“, Peter Lazaroff, Oct. 16, 2016