As readers of this California estate planning and administration blog may know, it is important that all adults have a basic estate plan in place so that their wealth and interests are protected in the event of their unexpected deaths. Preparing for one's demise is understandably unpleasant but leaving the distribution of one's wealth and assets up to the state may be more damaging to their interests.
An estate plan is more than the collection of documents that a person executes in order to provide guidance on what they want to happen with their possessions after they die. It is a set of procedural expectations that direct certain individuals to perform certain tasks so that the decedent's wealth and assets are effectively used according to their wishes. To this end, a Californian should put as much effort into deciding who will administer their estate as they do into who will get their property when they are gone.
There are certain words in the English language that inspire confusion in those who hear them. One of those words is probate. Though not all California residents have had to deal with this legal process, most are probably wary of it even though they may not know what it is. This post will generally address the topic of probate, what it is, and why it may be relevant to one's estate planning goals.
Challenges to estates are common in Hollywood dramas because they make for interesting stories and suspenseful scenarios. However, California residents who are in the process of creating their estate plans may wish to do everything they can to avoid introducing conflict into the administration of their end-of-life estates. There are a few suggestions for individuals who want to keep the peace between their heirs and beneficiaries after they have passed on.