Planning an estate is about more than just dealing with assets. Estate planning is also about managing and dealing with other people. Along with having the proper legal and financial instruments in place, ensuring a smooth administration of one's California estate will require communicating important details to loved ones.
This can prove to be a challenge since loved ones may not feel comfortable talking about death. Also, many may not be financially savvy, while some may lack organizational skills, which can make talking about estate administration stressful. Having a conversation with loved ones will allow a person to determine which individuals would be best suited for dealing with administration of an estate.
Some of the things that a person should discuss with loved ones and intended beneficiaries are where important legal and financial documents are located. This will include documents related to IRA accounts, as well as life insurance policies. Also, informing loved ones of the location of one's will, trust documents and power-of-attorney documents is also essential in ensuring a successful estate administration process.
On the other hand, it is just as important that the estate planning documents themselves are properly drafted without mistakes. Failure to do so can lead to future legal problems for intended beneficiaries in California. It can even result in intended beneficiaries being unable to obtain assets during the estate administration process. Additionally, failure to provide the correct legal language in estate planning documents can cause loved ones to have to go through an expensive and lengthy probate process.
Source: Forbes, "The Single Most Important -- And Unconventional -- Estate Planning Tip You Will Ever Get", Charles Sizemore, March 19, 2015