September 21, 2021

Depending on your estates’ size, probate is a process that allows a Probate Court Judge to be able to decide you will be able to inherit your property and assets. Probate, when a judge is involved, can lead to a very expensive, time-consuming, frustrating, and lengthy process. Your children and your spouse will be the ones to receive your property and possessions for each of your assets if you do not have a will. The probate judge will, pursuant to the Intestacy laws, will be the one to distribute all your assets to them. In the case where you may not have children, the courts will look at your remaining family members, including any siblings, parents, nephews, nieces, and whoever else they can find. You are able to overcome this outcome of the Intestacy Laws of California by being proactive and obtaining a Trust, or Living Will.

An estate is what you leave behind you after your passing if you do not have beneficiaries, a trust, or a will. Some people easily confuse the word estate as meaning the inclusion of absolutely everything you have left behind after your passing. As a matter of fact, some people can pass away, and their money may not even be included in an estate. When you pass away and leave an estate behind, the Intestacy Laws of California can dictate where your assets will go.

So, What Is A Will?

A Last will and testament, or a will, is a signed document stating where you desire your assets to end up after you pass away. A will also may allow for you to determine who will be the caregivers or guardians for any minor children or even pets. You are even able to direct the disposition of your remains, such as a burial or cremation. Probate is not avoided, however, with a will, which is a big misconception. If you own a property and only have a will, your property will still need to go through probate. A will is a much-needed document. A Pour-Over Will gets its name when teamed with a living trust. A will is also especially important if you have minor children. Without a will, you have no named guardian for your minor children. Either the court gets to decide, or your parents, or even your siblings and in-laws get to decide, or fight over who will gain guardianship of your own children, and even of your pets.       

Can I Name Someone To Be In Charge Of My Estate After I Pass Away?

Yes, you are able to name someone to be in charge of your estate after you pass away. This person in charge of your estate is called an Executor. An Executor has the ability to pay for your final expenses, taking an inventory of your assets, paying for your debts, and the distribution of your estate, according to your wishes. An Executor is nominated within your Pour-over will or will. A pour-over will, accompanies a trust as a legal document. A Pour-over will takes and moves assets or pours over your assets into your trust in the case that you a=have an unfunded asset within your trust. This way, the trust’s terms are enabled to control that particular asset.

Need A Probate? Need A Will?

More questions or concerns? Please feel free to contact Cannon Legal Firm. We will discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have at no charge. Free consultation.

About the author 

Dana Cannon

Dana M. Cannon has many years of experience with Probates, Conservatorships, Trusts and Estates. During that time she has advised clients on multi-million dollar trust administrations; handled complex litigation; performed estate planning; and represented clients in contested and uncontested conservatorship, guardianship, probate and trust matters. She has been a volunteer at the Los Angeles Superior Court Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program since it began.  She understands that these matters may not just involve money. They are often fueled by emotions and because of that this isn’t just business, it’s personal. She looks forward to assisting you with your legal needs.

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