Today, more and more of one's life is taken up by or expressed on digital devices in California. Television is available on any device and reading an actual hard copy book is becoming less common. People send e-mails and e-cards in lieu of actual cards or letters. In this age of electronics, there is still one document that is best if crafted on actual paper; that is a last will and testament.
It is possible that few in California realize how much contention they create with their estate plans. Leaving behind wills that are poorly considered or do not clearly define the writers' intentions is a recipe for disputes and battles. This may be the opposite of the goals of one's estate plan. However, there are some steps one can take to reduce the possibility that the heirs of the estate will contest the contents of the will.
Estate planning in California can seem like a large, complicated process that is filled with unfamiliar terms. Words like power of attorney, wills, executors, trusts and probate can sound intimidating if one doesn't understand what they mean. Perhaps one of the less understood terms is probate.
A wealthy family in California may be considering moves that can be taken to preserve family wealth from taxes with the advent of the new tax laws. There are mechanisms that can be used when reducing estate taxes. The current exemption of $11.18 million went into effect in 2018. This means that an estate valued at less than that is not subject to the federal estate tax.