Many California residents die without leaving any sort of written instructions as to whom they wish to inherit their assets. One school of thought is that many people avoid estate planning discussions because they don’t like to think of their own mortality. However, not having a plan in place often leads to stressful situations among surviving family members further down the line.
Some people think it sufficient to simply tell a spouse or a son or daughter what he or she is to inherit. They may not realize that if a person dies without a will, the state may end up determining who receives existing assets. These decisions are generally made in a probate court, and the process is often lengthy, as well as expensive.
Thinking ahead and creating a thorough estate plan allows one to control what will happen after one’s death regarding property, money or other personal items a benefactor wishes to distribute among loved ones. State laws vary regarding the estate planning process. It is typically best to seek clarification of the laws in one’s own state before documenting a formal plan.
McCoy Fatula, APC is fully prepared to assist you in simple or complex estate planning matters in California. If you have questions about a Power of Attorney, advanced health care directive, wills or revocable living trust, you can find answers by requesting a meeting with a member of our legal team. What you do now can be of great benefit to your loved ones in the long run.