If a parent dies and you're the executor of the will, one of the first things you have to do is take stock of exactly what is in the house. The will may lay out what possessions go to which heirs, or it may give you more general directions about splitting things up evenly. Either way, protecting those assets after a parent's passing is crucial, even if is means taking the drastic step of changing the locks on the family home.
Economic times have been hard in California. So, it would stand to reason, if there is a way to save a buck (or two) by doing something yourself, it would be a good idea. Right?
If you don't have an estate plan, you aren't alone. Many Californians die before drafting wills, creating confusion among heirs and leaving asset distribution to probate judges. Even individuals who have estate plans can wreak havoc among beneficiaries, if the plans are not updated regularly.