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San Diego Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Estate plans can make life much easier for your family

When you pass away without an estate plan, your family might have to deal with some very difficult situations. One of these is that your assets might not go where you want them to go. Your loved ones might not be able to have the support that they were counting on from you and that you wanted them to have.

If you die intestate, which means without a will, the state decides who gets what. This is based on the succession laws that are set up in California that determine what is going to happen.

Identify the best ways that you can make your wishes known

Responsible adults often want to do everything they can to ensure that their assets are protected. This might include obtaining insurance, using a financial planner or placing assets in secure places. What you might not realize is that you can also ensure that your assets are properly handled after your death by creating an estate plan.

Your estate plan is like a road map for the loved ones who survive you. They can know what you want to happen with everything you have. You can also include components like trusts so that your loved ones can get what is due to them on a schedule that you implement.

What does undue influence mean in probate cases?

One of the reasons why someone might challenge a will is if the person who created the will was under the influence of another person. This undue influence might have led the person to make provisions in the will that he or she wouldn't have made otherwise.

One of the reasons why this is such an important factor is because the will is meant to relay the decedent's wishes, not the wishes of someone else for the decedent's assets. When undue influence is a factor, a will challenge is very possible.

Young adults need to think about the future

When you turn 18, there are a lot of things that you have to think about. While you might be focused on having fun and enjoying some new found freedoms, you need to make sure that you are being responsible. There are several things that you have to think about here.

One of the things that you need to do is to make sure that you have an estate plan. Now, before you say "but I have a lot of years left on the planet!" you need to realize that there is more to estate planning than dictating who will get your belongings.

Know the points you need to include in your estate plan

Estate planning is an important thing that you can do to make things a little easier on your loved ones after you pass away. As you create your estate plan, think carefully about your goals and what you think your loved ones will need to get everything taken care of.

We know that there are a lot of questions that come up with estate planning. You might not know what documents you need or what options you will need to use. There are several things to consider here -- a will, a living will, trusts and powers of attorney are some of the factors that you should think about.

There must be a valid reason behind contesting a will

Many people don't think about what is going to happen when a parent or another loved one dies. When you find yourself in that situation, you might suddenly realize that you are going to have to deal with the person's estate.

Some people choose to make an estate plan. This plan, which usually includes a will, outlines what they want to happen with their belongings. While this seems like it would make everything easy to deal with, this isn't always the case.

Work through the challenges of a complex estate

The probate process is foreign to many people. When your loved one dies and issues about the estate plan creep up, you might be facing a battle. Probate litigation is something that you might not be prepared to handle, but we are here to help you through the process.

There are sometimes questions about what the decedent truly wanted when they were planning the estate. This isn't always easy to answer because the estate plan isn't always discussed. If you and your loved one never communicated about the will or other points, you might have to rely only on what the documents say.

Make plans if you want to donate your body to science

Some individuals want to help other people when they die. One way to do this is by donating your organs. This isn't always possible, so some people choose to donate their body to science. There are several things to consider if you are thinking of doing this.

One thing that you have to think about is what program is going to get your body. You might decide that you want your body to be used to train doctors, so you would find a program that provides cadavers for medical students. You may want your body to be used to study a medical condition that you suffer from. In this case, you would need to find a research program that could use your body.

Looking beyond wills and trusts in an estate plan

Planning your estate doesn't have to be something that is difficult. Of course, the thought of dying isn't one that is pleasant, but knowing that you did what you needed to ensure that your loved ones know what to do when you are gone can easily overshadow the unpleasantness of those thoughts.

Your estate plan is something that you can think about, no matter how old or young you are. All adults should have an estate plan in place. Before you think that you don't have enough assets to require an estate plan, you need to think about what all an estate plan includes.

Trusts and other estate plan components are often complex

In our recent blog post, we discussed the definition of a decedent. This is only one concept that you must understand if you are responsible for any part of handling a person's estate when he or she passes away. We understand that many people will have some very serious questions about various points of the probate process.

One issue that often comes with a lot of questions is the trust administration process. This is a very complex process, especially when you think about the various types of trusts, the purposes they serve and the things that are allowable for each.

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Suzanne P. Nicholl
6165 Greenwich Dr.
Suite 340
San Diego, CA 92122
Phone: 619-894-8552
Fax: 858-373-5556
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