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San Diego Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Ensure your estate plan is enforceable

Thinking about your family members fighting tooth and nail when you pass away isn't something that pleases most people. In fact, the desire to squash the issues is one reason why some people create estate plans before they die. What many people don't think about is the fact that some family members might still pitch fits.

Challenging a will is one way that someone can try to go against what you state in your will. There are very specific conditions that must be present if this is going to happen. One thing that you can do to help prevent this is to work on ensuring that your estate plan is fully enforceable.

Think about having an important end-of-life conversation

Discussing the end of your life isn't fun or exciting, but it is important. If you have specific instructions that you need to leave for your final days and the days after, you need to have this conversation sooner rather than later.

The end-of-life conversation is hard. Only around 27 percent of Americans have likely had this conversation, but 90 percent of people note that this is an important conversation to have. Ideally, you will have this discussion with anyone who is going to play a part in these days.

Hugh Hefner had many options to care for his young widow

The news of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's death came as a shock to some, but many people realized it was coming since he was 91 years old. What many people have wondered about is how he planned to care for his 31-year-old widow, Crystal.

Before the two were married, she signed a prenuptial agreement that's been called ironclad. She knew that she wasn't going to be included in his will. Some speculated that she was there for money, but now that he is deceased, some close to the couple note that she was truly there for love.

Probate litigation can negatively impact grieving families

When a loved one dies, the people who are left behind have a lot of things that they need to do. One of these is to handle the estate of the deceased, which includes reading the will. There is always a chance that someone will get upset by the contents of the will, which could lead them to contest it.

A will contest is something that can draw out the process of handling the estate. This will end up costing more money and taking up more of your time. It is also something that can tear families apart when they should be coming closer together.

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.

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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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