Creating An Estate Plan Is An Act Of Love

It is an unfortunate fact that tens of thousands of Americans die every year with no will or other estate planning documents in place. At my law firm — the Law Office of Barbara J. Dibble, in Fullerton — we get that: No one wants to think about their own death. However, failing to plan ahead when you are healthy and of sound mind can create stress and financial strain for the loved ones you leave behind.

If you die without a will — what is known as dying intestate — California's laws of intestacy will determine how many of your assets are distributed. This may or may not match your wishes. Also, if you become incapacitated and unable to make important decisions regarding end-of-life care or financial matters, it can cause great stress for your family members if you have not created advance health care directives and power of attorney clarifying your wishes.