Over the next three decades, Americans will transfer more wealth than ever before — an estimated $6 trillion dollars — as the World War II generation and Baby Boomers reach the end of their lives. Sadly, too many people aren't prepared to deal with a significant inheritance. It's estimated that 70 percent of assets transferred to the next generation are lost. Ninety percent don't make it to the generation beyond that.
Sometimes family members need guidance in their lives from a guardian or conservator. These type of court ordered relationships are set in place to aid a young person or adult with their health and finances. In many states the term guardianship is blanketed over all age groups, but California has a different set of terms.
For many people, estate planning isn't something they want to think about when they're healthy. No one enjoys contemplating death. However, that means that many Californians wait until they're at the end stages of their lives to make wills and other financial preparations.
Many people don't think of themselves as having an "estate" that they will be leaving to others after their death. However, even if you own don't own a home, have a stock portfolio or have accumulated little in the way of valuables, you likely have at least one bank account. If you don't codify who will get the funds in your account upon your death, it could end up in probate, creating unnecessary costs and inconvenience for your loved ones.