It is impossible to know what will happen in the future. At any time, it could be a person’s time to go. This is why it is important to make sure to implement a proper estate plan in California. However, it turns out that a surprising number of people have not done any estate planning.

A recent survey revealed that approximately 40 percent of those in the Baby Boomer generation have not created a will. This statistic rises to 71 percent for Americans who are over 34 years of age. The reasons for this can range from ignorance to procrastination. On the other hand, it does not matter what the reason — failure to properly plan for estate administration can be highly detrimental to a person’s loved ones.

When a person dies without a will, one’s assets will automatically be given to one’s spouse if joint ownership has been established. However, assets without joint ownership, such as a vehicle or jewelry, can create lengthy litigation in probate court. This can cause significant stress for friends and family during a time when they should be concentrating on dealing with the emotional trauma of losing a loved one.

Therefore, if one has not done so already, a California resident should begin planning for estate administration as soon as possible in order to save friends and family from unnecessary stress in the case that something unexpected happens. However, this will require drafting proper estate planning documents with the correct legal language. Knowledge of applicable rules and regulations related to estate planning will be necessary.

Source: cbs19.tv, “Angie’s List: Estate Planning Pointers“, Destiny McKeiver, Dec. 14, 2015