More and more people are recognizing the need to have an estate plan in place, even if they are at the beginning of their careers and adult lives in California. There are still almost 64 percent of Americans without a last will and testament. Estate planning can help ensure that a person's final wishes are carried out as he or she intends.
There are many pieces to an estate plan in California. Many of these involve assets to be distributed to beneficiaries following a person's death. Some of these assets are subject to probate and some are not. Typically, the assets that have a named beneficiary are not subject to probate.
Estate planning can be a complex undertaking in California. In creating an estate plan, a person is determining who will inherit his or her accumulated assets after the person's death. Assets can include personal belongings, financial assets and real property, to name a few. Assets included in estate planning can also include frequent flier miles and loyalty rewards from credit cards.
Estate planning can be a complex process, especially when considering the care and support of a loved one well into the future. California families seeking to provide for loved ones who are unable to care for themselves may consider taking specific steps, particularly drafting a special needs trust. Trust preparation requires thoughtful consideration of future needs and appropriate guidance.
Thanks to healthier living and better medicine, people are living longer in California. However, the mind does not necessarily stay sharp into old age. A loss of mental capacity can leave a person financially vulnerable. This is particularly true if the individual has a significant amount of money and does not have a trust in place. A decision to transfer assets into a trust could ensure that a person's estate is handled according to his or her wishes should one become incapacitated.