This is the next post in my series on why San Bernardino, California residents need an estate plan. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be discussing and stressed the need to speak with an attorney about your situation. It is important to understand that preparing an estate plan, without understanding all of your options, may lead to unintended consequences at the time of your death. In this article, I will discuss the importance of having a last will and testament. If you need assistance then contact my office today to speak with an estate planning lawyer.
I have previously discussed what happens when one dies without a will in San Bernardino. Such a situation is referred to as “dying intestate” and it results in the deceased’s assets being distributed in an order predetermined by the state of California. This order for asset distribution will be followed regardless of what the deceased wanted. This can result in one’s assets going to aperson whom they did not want to inherit anything, in a person receiving more or less than the deceased wanted, or assets being distributed before the deceased wanted. Furthermore, dying intestate can result in assets being liquidated even though the deceased may have wanted such assets to go to specific relatives.
When a person dies without an estate plan, fights between relatives often arise.. A will can clearly define how one’s estate will be handled. When a person dies intestate, however, heirs often begin to argue about what each of them feel they are “entitled to.” Another issue that may arise is paying high probate costs, attorney fees, and possibly taxes for the estate administration and distribution that the beneficiaries did not expect. Under state and federal law, they would have no choice but to pay such expenses. These issues can be avoided through comprehensive estate planning.
Contact my office today to speak with a San Bernardino estate planning attorney. I regularly assist people in creating a last will and testament, a Trust, as well as other planning instruments. Call today to schedule a consultation and to speak with a lawyer. We also service Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Ontario, Victorville, Rialto, Hesperia, Chino, Upland, Apple Valley, Redlands, Highland, Colton, Yucaipa, Montclair, elsewhere in the Inland Empire, as well as Los Angeles.