The primary reason to prepare an estate plan is to ensure that your assets are passed on to those you want to receive them. If you die without a will or trust in California, your estate will be distributed according to the state's intestacy laws. Our law firm understands that this could result in an unwanted situation because this could mean your assets end up going to distant and possibly unknown relatives, rather than the people you would have chosen.
Unmarried couples in particular should strongly consider preparing an estate plan; under the intestacy laws of California there is no provision for an unmarried partner. Our skilled legal team has worked with past clients of all ages and various marital statuses, helping them successfully address any and all estate planning issues or concerns.
A carefully prepared estate plan can also keep your estate from going through the expensive and time-consuming process of probate. If you have a substantial estate, specific strategies are necessary to avoid unnecessary taxation, and our knowledgeable attorneys have helped past clients navigate these issues.
Finally, a sound estate plan in California will also include a living will to address end-of-life health care issues and a durable power of attorney, which appoints someone to handle your affairs if you become unable to do so. While this can be a difficult topic to discuss, our law firm can detail and explain these documents, making it easier to make an appropriate decision.
The estate planning usually begins with a meeting and the gathering of personal information about your assets, family and financial situation. You may need to provide a deed to your home to determine whether the title is held in joint tenancy or another form of ownership. Inquires about retirement plans, life insurance policies and other non-probate assets will be asked, therefore, it is important to prepare for these discussions. After gathering the relevant information, specific options regarding your estate planning will be discussed, resulting in an estate plan that is tailored to your unique needs.
To learn more, check out our estate planning website. This could provide general information, helping individuals make timely and appropriate decisions regarding their estate planning needs.