The point of having an estate plan is to make your intentions clear concerning which parties inherit your property. This can occur at your death through a will or at any time in the future through a trust.
Unfortunately, issues can often arise during this process as a lack of detail in a will or trust may leave doubts as to your intent. This could lead to conflicts between your heirs and potential beneficiaries. In other situations, ineffective estate planning could result in a lengthened and costly probate process.
Fortunately, an attorney could help identify many of the common issues with estate planning in Rosemead and minimize the chances of these issues becoming a problem in the future.
Avoiding Conflicts Between Potential Heirs During Estate Planning
The division of a person’s estate, especially when that estate carries significant value, can raise contention among heirs and others who may stand to inherit. The law states that certain relatives are heirs to an estate in the absence of a will. Therefore, the point of having a will or other form of estate plan is to minimize these conflicts by leaving no doubt concerning one’s intentions. The best way to achieve this is by drafting testamentary documents with as much detail as possible.
For example, a testator may state that “I wish for my son to inherit my car.” If a testator has more than one son or more than one car, this clause is can be ambiguous. Instead, language such as, “I wish for my son, Joe, to inherit my 2016 Ford F-150” is far more effective.
Similar concepts apply if a person wishes to intentionally disinherit another party. Under state law, surviving spouses and children presumably all receive a portion of a decedent’s estate. A person who wishes for this not to occur should state as such in their will. An attorney in Rosemead could help someone avoid these issues during estate planning by drafting testamentary documents that both reflect a person’s wishes as well as leave no doubt as to their intentions.
Issues that May Arise During Probate
Having a comprehensive estate plan is vital to informing parties as to their rights in the future. It also plays an important role in informing a probate court as to those wishes. This is especially essential when we consider the state’s intestacy statute.
According to California Probate Code § 6401, if a person dies without a will, or their will does not speak as to every portion of their estate, the court must distribute the relevant assets according to the hierarchy listed in the statute. This means that a surviving spouse will receive one-half of the property while the remaining assets split between the decedent’s children.
As such, issues may arise during the estate planning process in Rosemead if a will does not contain the totality of a person’s assets. Therefore, taking a full accounting of a person’s assets before forming an estate plan takes is extremely important. A lawyer could help inventory these assets or update an existing estate plan in a way that aims to avoid the probate court’s application of the intestacy statute.
A Lawyer in Rosemead Could Help Avoid Issues with Estate Planning
Effective estate planning requires more than just putting one’s wishes on paper. It also requires an examination of the potential complications that may arise in the present and future. The best way to identify and avoid these issues with estate planning in Rosemead is to work with a lawyer. Retaining a legal professional could also help shorten as well as simplify this process. Contact our office today to learn more about how we could help you avoid these common pitfalls.