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Estate Administration Archives

Birthright: the biggest misnomer in probate

Many people make assumptions about family, particularly their parents. They assume that their parents should take care of them in childhood, that they will step in and help their parents a bit during their golden years if needed, and when their parents are gone they will take care of them once again -- by leaving their estate.

What happens to a person's debts after death?

It is arguably tragic when an elderly person passes away without having the opportunity to enjoy their golden years by retiring. We use the term “arguably” because we understand that some people don’t want to retire, and their passion may be killed if they are unable to do what they love for as long as they can.

Protect your elderly loved ones through conservatorships

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.

For most people, estate planning can't wait

Thinking about, much less planning, for the inevitable end of life can be extremely uncomfortable for many people. Because of this, crucial aspects of estate planning are often put off or neglected. After all, the future can seem so very far away, so why worry unnecessarily now? In reality, estate planning is not something that should be delayed.

When considering estate planning, think of family

The focus of estate planning is often about what will happen to a person's assets after he or she has passed away. Although this is a reasonable focus for estate planning, some people in California still continue to shirk the process on the basis that they simply do not care what happens to their possessions after they are no longer alive. While this course of thinking might be somewhat understandable, it does not give adequate regard to grieving family members who will be left behind to handle the estate administration process with no input or guidance.

Desires of intended beneficiaries is important in estate planning

Communication is important for any area in life. It is particularly important when it comes to estate planning in California. Failure to communicate with family members and intended beneficiaries can result in future problems.

Estate planning should be updated periodically in California

Template and generic estate plans are usually not a good idea. It is important for a California resident to have an estate plan customized for one's specific situation. Many people, once they have created an estate plan, will leave it and forget it. However, it is always a good idea to periodically update one's estate planning strategy in order to take into consideration any significant life changes.

Beneficiary designations override will in estate planning

Many times planning an estate is not as straightforward as one might think. It is possible for different estate planning documents to seemingly contradict each other when it comes to directions on how to administer an estate's assets. In this case, applicable estate planning laws in California will decide which estate planning instrument holds more weight.

Many forget about digital assets during estate planning process

Most Californians with estate plans in place make arrangements concerning the disposition of their money and physical assets after they pass away. However, many of these people forgot to consider their digital assets in their estate planning efforts. This can cause some significant problems when it comes to time to administer the estate.

Types of conservatorships in California

A conservator may be appointed by California courts if a judge determines that a person is unable to care for themselves or needs help managing their own finances. It is important to understand the differences between the various types of conservatorships so the conservator is clear about his or her duties. The probate court has the option to grant conservatorship over a person's estate, their person or both.

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