Many people in California have many things on their minds other than what will happen to their “stuff” after they die. When the topic of estate planning arises, some immediately change the subject because they do not like to think about their own mortality. Others, however, recognize the potential benefits of a carefully crafted plan.
Surprisingly, many people die without leaving any formal instructions, wills, trusts or other estate documents behind. Such situations often cause problems for family members who think they are entitled to inherit certain assets. If a person dies with no will in place, there is no guarantee the state will distribute assets to those who would have been chosen by the decedent if he or she had drafted a will.
Many people shirk the idea of having to take time to plan an estate; however, those same people may think nothing of planning extended vacations, financial goals or other long-term related matters. Some might be more inclined to develop a thorough estate plan if they better understood the potential benefits. For instance, an estate plan allows a person to name someone who can make financial and/or medical decisions in the event that the owner of the estate should become incapacitated.
Estate owners may also retain control of their assets by naming specific beneficiaries for inheritance. Estate plans can also provide for the future care and upbringing of children by naming one or more persons as guardians. Estate planning is a highly customizable process; anyone in California seeking assistance regarding a new plan, or the need to update an existing one, can request a meeting with an estate administration and planning attorney for guidance.
Source: thetimeshearald.com, “Why would I want to do estate planning?“, Matt Wallace, Nov. 4, 2016