The general recommendation is that you meet with your estate planning attorney and review your estate plan every three to five years or when there is a life event.
A life event is when there’s a significant change in your life such as:
- A change in marital status
- The birth or adoption of a new child
- Purchasing a home
- Becoming a grandparent
- You, your spouse, or child becoming disabled
- Your children reaching the age of majority in your state
- Your parents start depending on you for care
- You or your spouse receiving a large inheritance or gift
- You get a new job or promotion
- You start or close down a business
These are just some of the life events that should trigger a review of your estate plan. Speak to a Downey, CA estate planning attorney to learn about other events that may signal that it’s time to reassess your estate plan.
Getting into the habit of reviewing your estate plan at regular intervals will help ensure that your assets are passed onto your heirs in accordance with your wishes. In addition, it will help make sure that your heirs receive their inheritance as smoothly as possible.
What Is Probate? How Can Probate Be Avoided In Los Angeles County?
Probate is the legal process of distributing a person’s estate after their death. So, it’s not so much a question of can probate be avoided, rather than how can probate be as easy as possible?
Creating a clear and legally binding estate plan with a Downey, CA estate planning attorney before you die is the best to make the probate process as easy as possible on your loved ones. There will be no question as to what your intentions were and it would be very difficult for anyone to challenge what your estate plan or will says.
However, there are times when someone dies intestate, which means they die without an estate plan or will. That’s when things get challenging. Under these circumstances, the court process of probate will be required in order to distribute their assets according to the intestacy laws of the state. In Los Angeles county, anyone has the right to show up to probate proceedings and challenge attempt to obtain money from the estate.
For example, a disgruntled business partner could, an ex-spouse, an estranged relative, or a creditor could all make claims to the estate. The judge must hear them out and they may very well get some piece of the estate that you never intended go to them. That means there are fewer assets than money that goes to your loved ones.
Furthermore, the more challenges there are, the longer the process will take. And, the more expensive it will be. These costs will be taken out of your estate, which again, means less money gets passed to your loved ones. Not to mention the emotional stress of having to go through the process of defending their rights to your assets.
Ultimately, the probate process in Los Angeles County will cost a lot more than it would ever cost to work with an estate planning attorney to set up a solid estate plan.
For more information on Creating Or Reviewing An Estate Plan, a free initial consultation with a Downey, CA estate planning attorney is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you need by calling 213-583-5547 today.