Every day in California and around the country, people die without a will. Some of these deaths are through accidents and therefore unexpected. Others involve older people who never got around to putting an estate plan in place because they didn't want to contemplate death or just didn't think that they had enough assets to worry about.
You're growing worried about your parent. Alzheimer's has set in, and memory issues have turned into safety issues. Maybe a stove was accidentally left on. Maybe your parent got lost outside of the house and couldn't get home. You think it's time for mom or dad to go into an assisted living center, just for the sake of safety.
Approximately half of all Americans have no estate plan -- not even a will. Many people understandably don't want to contemplate their own demise. Others assume that their family will sort things out once they're gone. Some think that they don't have enough assets to make it worthwhile.
If there's anything that people dread discussing over family holiday get-togethers more than politics, it's financial issues. However, the holiday season brings family members together who rarely if ever see each other during the rest of the year. Therefore, it is practical time to discuss serious matters like estate plans.
At this very moment, there are hundreds, even thousands, of individuals throughout California who have been handed the awesome responsibility of administering a substantial estate. For each, there are many ways that even the most well-intentioned executor or administrator can allow things to fall through the cracks.
Many Los Angeles area families have a vacation home. It may be a getaway cottage in Big Sur or a place farther north in Napa or Sonoma wine county. Regardless of the location, when people draft their estate plan, they generally leave the property to their children.