A vital part of any estate planning process is identifying a person’s assets and ownership in Orange County. Locating and naming these assets is often the first step in effective estate planning.
Finding this property ensures that a will or other testamentary document is thorough but also avoids the application of the state’s intestacy laws that could create chaos, animosity, and confusion during the probate process. A skilled estate planning attorney is prepared to help you through this process by locating all relevant assets and determining their true ownership. Reach out today for more information.
Identifying all Assets and Determining True Ownership
Accurately identifying assets is the vital first step in any estate planning process. The goal of having an estate plan is to ensure that your heirs receive the property they are entitled to according to your wishes.
In most situations, it is clear that an individual owns assets. For example, the deed of a home may be in a person’s name, as may the title to a car or other vehicle. Similarly, money in a bank account or an investment fund may be a testator’s sole property. However, complications may arise when assets belong to two or more people. In these situations, a will may transfer only the owner’s portion to heirs after their death.
These situations could result in joint ownership between heirs and a third party, which can be especially complex when dealing with businesses or other ongoing entities. A knowledgeable attorney in Orange County could take the lead in determining an estate planner’s legal ownership of all assets and determine the impact that a will or other document has on the legal rights of others.
The Importance of Effective Asset Identification
Proper identification of assets is a vital part of any estate plan in Orange County. From the most basic standpoint, it avoids confusion about a person’s intentions when authoring their will. In addition, a will that can identify this property is far less likely to face challenges during the probate process.
Another benefit to proper asset identification is avoiding the loss of control that results from a court’s application of the state’s intestacy laws. For example, California Probate Code § 6401 & 6402 provides a chart of which family members will inherit property that is not accounted for in a will.
This applies to situations where a court invalidates a will, including cases where a will does not specifically identify each asset. As a result, determining what a person owns is essential to protecting the integrity of a will and heirs’ rights.
Let a Seasoned Attorney in Orange County Guide You Through the Identification of Assets and Ownership
An estate plan ensures that your assets go to the right heirs after you pass away. A fundamental part of this process is identifying these assets and your right to ownership. To do this, you must list all assets you own and identify joint owners.
An experienced lawyer could work to create a comprehensive list of your assets and interests. With this information, legal counsel could create an estate plan that meets the relevant legal requirements and protect the rights of your beneficiaries. Call today to learn more about assets and ownership in Orange County as it applies to the estate planning process.