A lot of people think that estate planning consists solely of making a will. While creating a will is important, this should not be the extent of your estate plan. Many of your assets do not hinge on your will, and there are other aspects of your life for which you need different documents.
Perhaps you have become involved in some way with the will of someone who lived in California but who drafted and signed the will in another state. Before you proceed with anything, your top question may be, "Is this will from out of state legal to use in California?"
It is often said that death can bring out the best or the worst in people. While you want to believe that your loved ones will honor your wishes after your death, you can never know exactly how they will react while grieving. A family member might want a special item to remember you by, or a relative who feels like he or she did not get enough in the will could possibly take matters into his or her own hands. Like most Californians, you want to preserve family harmony both while you are still alive and after you are gone.
When a person dies, the will may have to go through probate court to establish validity and proper distribution of assets. The length and cost of the process usually give it a bad name, encouraging people to avoid it.
Being the executor of someone's estate can turn out to be a lengthy and incredibly complicated process. However, some people prefer to try to go it alone without the help of an attorney. They come out of the process a lot wiser (and perhaps with a lot more gray hairs).
An estate plan is more than just a plan to distribute your assets. A great estate plan will ensure that you receive preferred medical care in the future. It can also shield your assets from certain tax consequences, allowing your beneficiaries to receive the maximum inheritance possible. That is why it is important to choose the right attorney for the job. You will want a lawyer who understands the law and how it can benefit you.
In the wake of a loved one’s death, many people find the prospect of probate overwhelming. They may have heard the term, but do not really understand what the process entails.