Estate planning can be simple, and proper preparation could lead to crafting a desired plan. People can follow some established tips for getting the most out of the process. Following fundamental steps for effective estate planning might ensure that assets transfer to California beneficiaries without much trouble.
Basic estate planning ideas
Performing an audit of all assets could be helpful. This way, the testator might not overlook anything when writing a will. Not every asset needs to go into a will, and exploring options for transfer on death (TOD) accounts is advisable. TOD accounts are ones where the primary account holder names a beneficiary, and the assets transfer outside of probate upon the account holder’s passing. The same would happen with real estate held as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.
Some may decide that drawing up a trust is preferable to a last will and testament. A trust could help beneficiaries avoid probate while also allowing the grantor to establish rules, requirements, and directives that are not possible with a will.
Additional estate planning tips
Estate planning may also involve documents unrelated to asset transfers after death. A power of attorney document or a healthcare proxy might be appropriate for certain planners. All estate documents must be legal under state law to be valid, so making sure this is the case would be a vital part of the planning process.
Periodically reviewing the estate documents allows a planner to update beneficiaries and make revisions. Not updating estate plans might lead to problems after the testator’s death and during the probate process.