Many California residents have not completed the most basic element of an estate plan: the last will and testament. If you ask them, they'll say something like, "I'm going to do it soon. I just haven't had the time." Or they'll say, "I'll take care of it before the end of the year." But what if today is your last day? What if you die next week and you leave your family without the most vital piece of estate planning documentation?
If you die without a will, California intestacy laws will go into effect. Those laws will dictate who gets what under the guidance of a probate court judge after you're gone. If you don't have a lot of assets to your name, intestacy laws might be enough to settle your estate, but they certainly won't make things easier on your family.
Let's consider what a will achieves for your loved ones after you pass away:
- Provides clear information pertaining to estate distribution to avoid family disagreements and arguments about what you would have wanted.
- Indicates who shall care for your minor children after you die.
- Makes the probate process easier and more straightforward after you die.
- Makes the probate process less costly and faster for your loved ones.
- Allows you to disinherit certain family members who -- barring the existence of a will -- would have a right to certain portions of your estate.
- Allows you to determine who will serve as your estate's executor.
Having a last will and testament finalized before you die is essential. If you're ready to complete your will (before it's too late), our law firm is available to advise you of your will planning options.