Probate is the court-supervised process of estate administration and property distribution after an individual dies. In California, probate can be a lengthy and expensive process. Legal fees - which are based on the size of the estate - and court costs can eat up a significant portion of any estate. Fortunately, it is possible to avoid probate in California with some careful estate planning.
When blues legend B.B. King died last week he left behind a legacy of music that has influenced countless musicians in California and around the world. Unfortunately, he also left behind a brewing fight between his children and his business manager over the management of his assets.
Estate planning inevitably requires making some assumptions about the future. But none of us can clearly predict the circumstances and needs of our heirs long after we are gone. Fortunately, California law allows a testator to leave some asset distribution decisions to be made later by a beneficiary, through a tool known as a power of appointment.
People in California often want to plan for their own financial future as well as those of their living heirs, but those with significant assets may have an interest in thinking even further into the future. California residents who want to share their wealth with future generations of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even beyond will want to take the right approach to estate planning, possibly using various trusts to provide a wealth of options and possibilities for any future contingency.