Without an estate plan, your family will be left behind to pick up the pieces when you pass.
Probate is a process that no one wants to prepare for. But, if you’re not making your estate plan now, your family is going to be left behind to pick up the pieces when you pass. It’s best if you find a probate attorney Los Angeles who can help you start your estate plan as soon as possible. Otherwise, your family may find themselves having to make decisions for you, and that can sometimes get a bit messy. Search for a “probate attorney near me” for more information, but we will provide you with a brief outline.
The Probate Process
When you die without a will, your assets will go into probate and the court is essentially in charge of who gets what. So that diamond ring set you wanted your first born daughter to have could be fought over by many family members if you don’t specify this in your will. So, instead of looking for an attorney to help with the probate process, they’ll be looking for a probate litigation attorney Los Angeles and Orange County instead.
You don’t necessarily have to have a will in order to have a good estate plan. Some people utilize other legal options such as a living trust or transferring real estate into another person’s name while retaining life use.
This is why it’s very important for you to work with an Orange County or Los Angeles probate attorney.
There are other ways to ensure your assets can avoid probate. One such way is establishing beneficiaries for your accounts, such as your checking, savings and money market accounts. This way, when you pass, your money is automatically transferred to your listed beneficiary, eliminating the need for your family to probate that asset. If you don’t list beneficiaries to those accounts, your family may find themselves in need of a probate litigation attorney Los Angeles, as there may be a few members of your family who feel that the assets in those accounts should go to them. You’ll also want to ensure you list beneficiaries in your insurance policies and retirement and pension plans.
Take Care of Your Children
Another very important reason as to why an estate plan is needed is to ensure your minor children are cared for. Without any type of estate plan, your children essentially become wards of the court. And while you may be young and thinking that you don’t quite need your estate plan established just yet, remember that if you have minor children and you’ve yet to set up guardians for those children, the court will decide who cares for them in the event both of their parent’s parish accidentally or at a young age.
Also, you’ll want to name a trustee to manage the assets you leave behind. Again, if you’ve yet to establish an estate plan or a will, the court will decide not only who will manage the money, but also how the money will be spent. When you establish an estate plan, your intentions are clear as to who is to manage your money and how your children will receive it. You can stipulate to the age of distribution, or whether or not the child has to graduate college before he receives his money.
For more information on probate or estate planning, contact our office today.