The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC June 22, 2018

California residents and others who are thinking about creating an estate plan are encouraged to do so with professional help. Ideally, an individual will have an estate planner as well as an accountant or financial adviser as part of a larger team. It may also make sense to consult with an attorney as part of the process of creating a plan to transfer assets to future generations.

There are many documents that a person could put into an estate plan such as a will, trust or health care directive. By using a professional to create these documents, it increases the odds that they are created properly, which can make it easier on both grantors and their heirs. Those in the estate planning field say that individuals should speak with a variety of professionals before settling on one to work with. Generally, estate planners are chosen based on a person's comfort level with a given professional.

Regardless of how wealthy a person may be while alive, it can be worthwhile to create an estate plan. This may make it easier to transfer a home, car or other possessions to future generations. It can also allow for the timely transfer of assets to a charity or other cause. Those who die without a will, trust or other estate plan documents will have their assets distributed according to state law.

In some cases, the people who end up receiving assets such as a former spouse or estranged child may not be the intended beneficiaries. Individuals who want to avoid probate can do so by creating a trust. Trust assets are generally exempt from going through probate. An exception is made for items put into a trust by way of a pour-over will.

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