Thinking about the end of your life can be emotional. However, death can raise important legal questions about the division of a person’s property, finances, and business assets.
Creating a comprehensive estate plan—equipped with a will, trust, power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, and business succession plan—ensures that your wishes are fulfilled upon your passing. An experienced Anaheim estate planning lawyer could help with this process. Contact a diligent trusts and estates attorney to begin planning for the future.
Potential Conflicts During Estate Planning
The law states that adults can spend their money and divide their assets freely in most situations. Besides cases involving guardianships, people can continue dictating these decisions after death. Most estates include:
- Real estate
- Personal property
- Money in bank accounts
- Pensions, annuities, or other long-term payment plans
It is important to remember that an estate may also carry debt. For example, overdue credit card payments or medical bills could prompt creditors to make a claim on an estate before a representative can distribute a decedent’s property to named beneficiaries.
An estate plan may also function to provide for the care of minors or charitable causes. For instance, if a person creates a trust for their grandchild’s college education, a third party must hold that money for that express purpose. A knowledgeable lawyer in Anaheim could provide individuals with more information about common issues that may arise in estate planning.
The Benefits of Estate Planning in Anaheim
Typical assets owned by most people include homes, cars, and businesses. In most cases, if those individuals were to die tomorrow, an executor would disperse their assets evenly to each of their heirs.
However, an estate plan can alter this distribution. For example, a will may instruct family members to pass their entire estate to a brother, nephew, or long-time friend. Additionally, a trust may state that the proceeds from the sale of the decedent’s home should be used to fund a scholarship.
In short, the purpose of an estate plan is to provide clear instructions for a person’s property after their death. If properly executed, these documents carry the full weight of the law, and Probate Courts must ensure that estate executors take complete responsibility to see them through.
Because estate plans may potentially disadvantage otherwise qualified heirs, people frequently dispute their legality. For example, according to California Probate Code § 6110, a valid will must contain the signatures of two individuals who witnessed the testator sign the document. A disinherited daughter may contest whether these witnesses saw the decedent sign the will. A local attorney could provide more information concerning the purpose of estate planning and take legal action to protect your rights.
An Anaheim Estate Planning Attorney Could Help to Protect Your Family’s Future
While people who die without an estate plan will see their assets go to their default heirs, this may not be the wish for many individuals. Often, people intend for their entire estate to pass to another child or person who would not normally stand to inherit under state laws of distribution. However, a comprehensive estate plan can ensure your post-life wishes are met.
An Anaheim estate planning lawyer could help you make long-term arrangements that benefit your family. Legal team members could work on drafting legally binding documents and taking proper steps to ensure you meet your goals after death. Contact an Anaheim estate planning attorney today to learn more.