Planning for the guardianship of your friends and family in the occurrence of your death is one of the most personal and imperative tasks you will take on during your life. Trying to avoid the subject will only worsen the situation for your family while they are managing their loss. The lack of a comprehensive estate plan could cause a tremendous amount of stress and financial hardship for those you love most. It is irresponsible to go through life without an estate plan in place, especially since one can be created for you at a low cost and with very minimal effort and time.
Ideally, an estate plan should allow you to control your property while you are alive and healthy but allow you to plan for your loved ones in the case that you become disabled or die. Should you die, your estate plan should carry out your wishes and give what you want, to whom you want, when you want, and in the manner of you are choosing. You can control your assets long after you are gone.
Some people will tell you that probate is not as bad as it sounds. Those people are probably probate attorneys. The fact is, if you have over $75,000 of total assets, you should avoid probate at all costs. Probate is the Court-supervised process of gathering up the assets of a deceased person (called the “decedent”), paying the decedent’s final bills, and then distributing the decedent’s remaining assets in accordance with the decedent’s will (if they had one).
Probate is necessary when the decedent has left assets titled in his or her sole name. These assets may include houses, cars, bank accounts, and even life insurance policies or retirement funds. Many people believe that having a will avoids probate. Probate will be required if the decedent has not left a will and some states provide a “will” for those who chose not to make one through the intestacy statutes.
Hire a probate attorney and make sure the firm is specialized in the will and probate process.
Content Provided By: http://www.bassilaw.com/aop/San-Francisco-probate/