There are different types of people in California, from those who like to live by “the seats of their pants,” so to speak, to those who prefer structure, routine and planning in their daily lives. Some people are list-makers, experiencing tremendous satisfaction as they check off each completed task or item in their planners. Others say spontaneity is the spice of life; lists make them nervous. When it comes to estate planning, many people fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

Most people like the idea of protecting their assets and providing for their loved ones’ futures. However, when doing so necessitates discussing mortality, many shy away. Even though death is inevitable for every human being, some people really don’t like to think or talk about it.

Families whose loved ones refuse to consider estate planning as a valuable tool often run into problems when those family members are no longer alive. Squabbles regarding inheritance, and complications involving the probate process, often bring undue stress upon those who are grieving. There are ways to avoid such problems, however — one of which includes making purchases ahead of time to provide for later needs.

Many California residents make sure all their funeral plans are made, expenses covered, coffins or urns chosen and paid for, etc., before they actually die. Executing a solid estate plan is a good choice for those who want to have a say in what happens to their money, property and business interests after they die. Keeping a plan updated is crucial as well, especially if major life changes occur, such as new births, re-marriage or dissolution of business partnerships. An experienced probate and administration attorney can help an estate owner develop and execute a thorough plan.

Source: CNBC, “Five ways to bulletproof your estate plan“, Tom Anderson, April 7, 2017