The Importance of Estate Planning in California
Today, more than ever, it is important for everyone to have an estate plan. Don't make the mistake of believing the myth that your estate is not large enough for an estate plan, because your estate plan covers more than just property. It covers who will care for your children, and what kind of health care you will receive. And it covers who takes care of your personal affairs if you are incapacitated. Your plan may include even more than that, such as protecting your family or your children from creditors, or even from themselves.
If you don't create your own estate plan, then the government of State of California will decide what happens with your assets. This is called "intestacy," and all of your property will be distributed under the state's own disbursement laws. Those statutes almost never match how you would have divided your assets yourself. Moreover, any person who wants to act as the Administrator of your estate must petition the Probate Court for approval and authorization to manage your estate, and must establish that he/she is the appropriate person to do so. The Probate Court will likely appoint guardians for your minor children. And the Court may appoint a conservator to make decisions about your medical care if you are unable to do so. Without a valid plan, all decisions about your estate, your children, and your health care will have to be approved through the Probate Court system.
Comprehensive estate planning will solve those problems, and keep you in control of your future. It will consider all of your wishes, and may contain provisions for keeping your family and your heirs out of Probate Court whenever possible.
Wills and Trusts are the foundation of every estate plan. These are often supplemented with additional formal documents that round out your plan, including a Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directive (which combines a Living Will with a Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney), a Nomination of Guardian for your minor children, a Children's Trust (or sub-trust), or maybe a Special Needs or Charitable Trust. Your plan may include burial and disposition instructions, and can include even more specialized instructions beyond all of these.
If you're ready to get started, click HERE. We strive to make the process simple and convenient for you. We'll take the time to listen and learn about your family and situation, your needs and your wishes. We'll explain the various options available to you, and guide you through the process of choosing and building your plan. If you're not quite ready, please browse our site and all of the information it contains. You can click the subjects in the sidebar to the right (in your computer browser) or down below (on your phone or smart device) to learn more.
WE'RE READY TO HELP
California Will & Trust is here and prepared to assist you when you need us. We'll help you take control of your future and put together that Will or Living Trust estate plan you've been meaning to create. We'll stand by your side and guide you through the Probate process or administering a trust if your loved one or friend has passed away. And we'll help you face the challenges of a family law matter. You can either get started online using the links on this website, or you can call us at (707) 207-4500 or (925) 465-2500.