Drafting a complete estate plan is vital to ensuring that your wishes are carried out after your death. While many assume that these documents will sufficiently outline your goals, alternative forms of estate planning can provide greater flexibility.
Unfortunately, conflicts often arise during the estate planning process in Orange County. However, having a better understanding of potential obstacles can guarantee a smoother transfer of property. A dedicated attorney could help identify common issues with estate planning in Orange County and work towards minimizing their impact.
Naming a Person’s Assets in an Estate Plan
An estate plan provides a complete set of instructions concerning what should be done with a person’s assets and physical property after their death. For two reasons, it is essential to correctly name those assets. Accurately naming assets helps courts and executors distribute a person’s assets and belongings accordingly. For example, identifying a car as a “Red 2018 Toyota Prius” allows for a far better transfer than simply calling an asset “My Car.”
Likewise, providing a full list of assets in a will or trust can simplify the probate process in Orange County. The state’s laws concerning intestacy can have a negative impact when a will fails to address a person’s assets. As a result, having a complete and accurate understanding of a person’s assets is critical to avoiding estate planning conflicts. With the help of a skilled attorney, a person creating estate documents could leave no room for any issues concerning their assets and property.
Appointing Capable Parties to Oversee an Estate
The most important part of drafting an estate plan is naming heirs who will inherit property. However, an often-overlooked portion of this process is naming a qualified person to oversee the distribution, regardless of whether they have control over a will, trust, or any other estate planning document.
In the case of a will, a testator usually nominates an executor with the sole authority to pay estate debt and transfer property to heirs and beneficiaries. Similarly, in trusts, trustees take temporary control of property or cash and distribute it to the beneficiaries at the appointed time.
For the most part, any adult party can serve as an executor. However, California Probate Code § 8402 outlines the qualifications for an executor. According to the statute, an executor must be at least 18, cannot be the subject of a guardianship order, and must reside in the United States.
Even if a party meets this standard, testators should choose people who want to serve in this role. Nominated testators can refuse to do so, in which case the court will appoint a party to administer the estate. A knowledgeable lawyer in Orange County could help individuals understand their roles as testators and trustees and why they are so crucial to the estate planning process.
Let an Attorney Help Avoid Common Issues with Estate Planning in Orange County
Creating an estate plan is a legal process requiring strict attention to detail. People who do not draft these documents in the proper form or fail to meet specific requirements can create problems for the future.
An attorney in Orange County could help you recognize and avoid many common issues involved in estate planning. Reach out today to discover more and get started on your estate planning process.