One of the last things that you might want to deal with when your loved one dies is having to handle a probate issue. Many people these days leave behind estate plans that let other people know their wishes for their property.
Estate plans are something that your loved ones might have in place to make it easy to handle their estate when they pass away. It is possible that some family members might fight against these estate plans, but they must have a good reason to do so.
It's often a wise idea for Californians to set up a living trust when they do their estate planning. This type of trust (also called an "inter vivos" trust) can make matters considerably easier on heirs after you pass away, and prevent them from having to go through probate proceedings, which can be lengthy and costly.
Losing a loved one is a difficult time. You may have to deal with your loved one's estate after the death if he or she had any assets. Many estates have to go through probate. Understanding some basic points about probate can help if you are facing this situation after your loved one passes away.
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.
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.
The probate process varies from one person to the next; however, there are some basics you should become familiar with.
Did you know that Los Angeles County holds a monthly auction to sell unclaimed possessions of people who have died? These people either had no will (at least none that could be located) or had a will, but none of the heirs could be found or were alive. Further, no friends or family members claimed their belongings.
Increasingly, couples are choosing to postpone marriage until later in life or not marry at all. While cohabitating partners may feel married, in the eyes of the law, they aren't.
Probate might be an understandably important aspect of estate law, but it is not a necessarily fun process to go through. However, not every California estate will have to pass through probate, and the reasons why can vary. Residents who want to avoid having their estate probated can take certain preventive measures before their death.