Did You Know You Already Have An Estate Plan?
An estate plan will ensure that your wishes regarding your health and assets are carried out accordingly, before and after your death.
Estate plans provide a set of guidelines for important decisions regarding your health and assets
Without an estate plan, California law determines what happens next
Take back control by planning ahead
If you’re reading this, chances are, you already know that estate planning is important as you recognize it helps to ensure that your wishes regarding your health and assets can be carried out accordingly, before and after your death. Yet, there is still that chance that you think, “I don’t need estate planning” or “I’ll get around to it when I get around to it.”
Fair enough. But, let’s make one thing clear: you already have an estate plan. That’s right; even if you haven’t taken the time to develop a custom plan for yourself and loved ones, the state of California already has a plan for you. California has default laws that spring into action in the event of your incapacity or death. You can find California’s intestate succession laws, which have to do with what happens to your estate when you die without an estate plan, here: California Probate Code §§6400-6417.
The takeaway from California's laws should be this: while you may have a default plan out in place by the state, it may not be a plan that you agree with. For instance, if you happen to be married without estate planning, and you pass away, then a portion of your assets might pass along to your children, and not your spouse regardless of your wishes. This may not be ideal for many of us out there; especially for those with minor children.
If you’d like to avoid having a complete stranger take over the most personal parts of your life and family, including potentially vital health decisions, you’d better get planning to take back control. Sure, no one wants to think about being sick or dying, but that’s the point: take the relatively short period of time and plan ahead, and your loved ones won’t have to think about anything as you will have already laid out a specific plan for (hopefully) every potential outcome.
If a lack of control doesn’t bother you, it may be because you’re thinking you don’t need a plan yet because you’re too young, or you don’t have any assets or children to worry about. But here’s something else to think about: who would pay the rent or mortgage if you’re in an accident and can’t or don’t care to tend to it? Who will keep the lights on? Who will pay the water bill? Would you just let payments lapse?
No. You’d take the little but of time it takes to plan ahead and in the event something goes awry – you’re set. But how do you take back control? It’s simple. Schedule a strategy session and we’ll get you estate planning in no time.
Matthew Schlau is a co-founding principal of Schlau|Rogers and an estate and business planning lawyer practicing in Orange, San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside counties. He is a husband, father, blogger, crossfitter, and really good at helping people achieve their goals.
At Schlau|Rogers, we do more than just estate and business planning, probate and trust administration. Our objective is to provide individually-tailored plans that allow you the opportunity to reach your goals, all while minimizing headaches and risk, and maximizing peace of mind.
On our blog, you'll find useful information about estate and business planning, probate and trust administration, as well as some tidbits on personal finance, taxes, and anything else we think will help minimize headaches, worry and risk, all while maximizing peace of mind.
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Disclaimer: This blog is a resource for educational and informational purposes only and should not take the place of hiring an attorney. Using this blog does not create an Attorney-Client relationship between you and Schlau|Rogers. Individually-tailored legal advice is not provided within this blog. Instead, this blog is a resource designed to make you aware of various legal issues. Your use of this resource is subject to our Terms and Conditions, which you can read here. If you would like to hire an attorney, you can get in touch with us at (949) 873-0662 or request a strategy session.