Tackling the necessity of estate planning with hesitation is understandable. Some people just don’t have the inclination to ponder about something that they feel is still way into the future. And here’s where other people get confused. They believe that because their assets are insignificant, estate planning isn’t needed.
Estate planning is necessary for everyone. Making sure that your last will and testament is ready guarantees the future of our loved ones. With the proper planning and the aid of a credible estate planning and trust attorney, the distribution of your properties to your heirs will be observed.
What exactly is estate planning and how does it work in California?
Estate planning is the process of preparing all of your assets to be distributed to your heirs after you pass. This is not a painless legal process. It involves writing and re-writing of will with laws on family, business, and taxes in mind.
A reputable North Hollywood estate planning attorney can help clients craft a comprehensive estate plan. They are capable of reviewing assets, finances, and personal relationships that will be reflected in the last will. They are equally capable of analyzing goals and potential conflicts to prevent future misunderstandings.
As stated previously, the number of assets shouldn’t delay the creation of an estate plan. There are basic reasons why you should begin to plan for the distribution of your properties now. Here’s a list to help convince you:
You can decide the “who and what” in your will. This means that you can be specific about who will receive your properties and what assets they will get.
You will be able to decide who will administer your estate and when the beneficiaries will receive them.
In case you have minor children, you’ll decide who will get custody of your kids after you’re gone.
You can support charitable causes.
If you have a business, you can provide your wishes for your business.
You can provide the funeral arrangement and limit the expenses to be incurred by your family.
You can pick anyone who you want to administer health care assistance when you become incapacitated.
Generally, an estate plan involves creating a revocable trust, or the last will. It is the most significant part of estate planning because it establishes the allocation and condition upon which belongings will be issued to your heirs. The last will also details your retirement plans and strategies when you become incapacitated.
In the processes of creating a will, you are required to identify and itemize the value of your assets. In addition, you have to consider any business interests, copyright or patent agreements, and retirement plans.
A will needs to have a detailed inventory of assets that are solely owned, jointly owned or with joint tenancy, and the community property. Identifying these common types of properties will help minimize forthcoming complications and avoid probate.
What happens if you die without a will in California?
Crafting the last will allows your beneficiaries to avoid complex tax processes and have maximum wealth protection. The fundamental purpose of a will is to set forth your desires and dispose all of your belongings to the rightful heir.
If a California resident dies without a will or trust, the law of intestate will determine who will receive the estate. It’s a lengthy process of interviewing potential heirs and answering a series of questions relating to the deceased person.
The intestate succession law in California will investigate and follow:
Who will take in the equal share of the deceased person’s properties? The first people to get interviewed are the spouse and children.
In case the decedent has no children or spouse, the estate will go to the parents. If there are no living parents, the brothers or sisters will receive the estate.
If the deceased person has no brothers or sisters, the grandparents will get the inheritance. If there are no living grandparents, the uncles, aunts, and cousins of the decedent will become the rightful heirs.
California Law also provides exemptions in cases involving the decedent’s community property or joint tenancy. Here are some rules you should be aware of:
The surviving spouse will assert the right to community property. He or she has to file spousal property petition to assume sole ownership of the properties.
All of the separate property will be given to the surviving spouse if parents, siblings, children of a deceased sibling do not survive the deceased individual.
The surviving spouse will get half of the separate property if the deceased person has only one child. The spouse will get only one-third of the assets if the decedent left more than one kid.
All of the intestate law and exemptions mentioned above will be rendered irrelevant if the deceased individual left a living trust or a last will and testament. Leaving a last will and testament will accelerate the process of property distribution and can eliminate any potential misunderstandings and conflict between family members.
Estate planning is vital to care for our family after you’re gone. No matter how significant or insignificant you think your assets may be, you need to plan for your family, and you need to plan now.
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