It can be especially difficult to witness a loved one age and develop serious, devastating health disorders that affect his or her mental capacity. Although most people in California understand how important estate plans are, not everyone has the legal protections in place to avoid being taken advantage of. When dementia or other illnesses leave an elderly family member exposed and vulnerable, it is often up to loved ones to establish necessary conservatorships to keep that individual safe.
Probate might be an understandably important aspect of estate law, but it is not a necessarily fun process to go through. However, not every California estate will have to pass through probate, and the reasons why can vary. Residents who want to avoid having their estate probated can take certain preventive measures before their death.
The validity of a will is a popular point of contention during difficult probate battles. While most people in California likely do not anticipate their will being challenged, it can happen when a family member feels spurned or when someone might have a legitimate reason to be suspicious. However, simply because a will's validity can be challenged does not mean that the probate process related to it will be a breeze.
Family life is evolving; indeed, it appears to have been rapidly changing for quite some time. From divorced and remarried families -- also referred to as blended families -- to cohabitating couples, the face of California families is perhaps very different than what it was generations ago. So-called non-traditional families are more likely to end up in probate, where a person's estate is not entirely in clear hands.