A person who dies without having a will is said to die intestate, which opens up a battle for the belongings of the decedent. California laws cover what is to happen to the person's estate when this situation occurs. Understanding how the succession laws impact the estate is something that can help anyone who has a loved one who passed away without a will.
If you're approaching retirement age, chances are, you're taking steps to secure your financial future and your legacy. Although not everyone enjoys making end-of-life plans, creating a will is an important part of protecting the assets you've worked a lifetime to earn
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.
Clarity is what one should aim for when planning an estate. Lack of clarity in estate planning can result in future legal problems for intended beneficiaries. This can require significant amounts of time and resources being spent in a prolonged probate court proceeding in California. Therefore, it is essential that people have their wills and trusts in place as soon as possible.
Many Americans, including here in California, do not have a will or a trust. This is typically because they simply have not found the time to make one. Wills and trusts are a crucial part of estate planning. Without one in place before you die, surviving family members may have to confront some thorny problems in order to arrange for the lawful distribution of your estate.
Research suggests that many Americans have taken the steps necessary to ensure that their estate planning needs are adequately met. In fact, one study asserts that as many as 71percent of individuals have not addressed the creation of wills or trusts. Many in California and elsewhere hold false assumptions concerning how their assets would be handled upon their death, and the result of such misbeliefs could be a long and difficult probate process for those who are left behind.
California natives may not know that filing a living will can protect their medical rights in the event that they require artificial life support to live. A living will, or advance directive, outlines an individual's life support wishes, such as whether they want to be resuscitated or whether they would like life support to continue to keep them alive. It also prevents family members from being forced to make these important decisions on the individual's behalf. Often, it can be extremely uncomfortable for a loved one to guess what an individual would want in a medical situation. A family member may have to decide whether to prolong that person's life or not to let them go.
Over the years, California residents may need to revise financial decisions they made earlier in life. This might be true for estate plans as well; what sufficed at one time of life may be inappropriate in another.
California couples often make big plans for the future during the initial year of their marriage but do not think in terms of estate planning. Without realizing it, they may be costing themselves vital opportunities to secure a stable future for their incipient family and accumulating property should something happen to them individually or as a couple.
California law recognizes the validity of holographic wills for any residents of the state. A holographic will is a handwritten document in which the testator describes their preferred disposition of the estate after their passing. So long as the will follows the specific previsions of the law, the court will consider it to be valid. However, it may sometimes be easier to invalidate a holographic will than a regular will.