California Estate Planning Blog


April 04, 2012

Probate

Probate is the process used to reconcile a person's estate upon their death. It is necessary for recording the death and making certain financial obligations are satisfied according to state law. All assets that are not protected by a trust or transferred using assignment of beneficiaries are frozen until the estate is settled.

Probate typically takes several months to complete. There are many steps to the process which involve confirming an estate agent; notifying creditors and government entities; filing legal and financial documents; and managing distribution of estate assets to designated heirs and beneficiaries.

California probate code is one of the most stringent in the country. Assets can be suspended for months as estates pass through the court. Considering California is one of the more heavily populated states it only stands to reason probate caseload is often at maximum capacity.

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March 15, 2012

Estate Planning

Estate planning involves taking steps to protect assets so they can be passed along to heirs upon death. The kind of planning required depends on the type of assets that are owned. Some possessions can be transferred by filling out a simple form while others involve more complex steps.

One of the most important estate planning strategies is writing a will and testament. This document is used with probate estates and trusts. Wills provide information about who should receive inheritance property.

The most important reason to engage in estate planning is to avoid probate. Probate is required to record a person's death and settle their estate. Having a Will is essential for expediting the probate process. Anytime a person dies without leaving a Will, their possessions are given to heirs in accordance with state probate rules.

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February 14, 2012

Family Law Attorneys

Family law attorneys handle a variety of legal issues connected to families. They can help people with simple tasks, like making a legal name change, to complex issues such as divorce or criminal charges involving minor children.

Anyone that needs services of family law attorneys on a long-term basis should meet with several law firms to find a good fit. Dealing with complex legal issues is hard, so it's best to work with lawyers that are responsive to concerns and willing to answer questions.

Some legal cases are frightening or intimidating, so take time to find lawyers that put you at ease. When special circumstances are involved it can be helpful to work with lawyers that have expertise with the type of case.

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January 16, 2012

Power of Attorney

A person needs a power of attorney to legally authorize someone to take care of financial transactions or make medical decisions for them. Laws prevent people from being able to access bank accounts, engage in financial transactions, or obtain medical records without proper authorization.

Power of attorney forms can be used for a variety of scenarios. They are commonly used with estate planning and amongst business partners. POAs can grant sweeping powers that allow the designated agent to take care of nearly everything, or they can be limited to one specific duty.

There are several types of power of attorney documents. It's recommended to talk with a lawyer to find out which form is needed for your situation. The ones used most frequently are medical, durable, and limited.

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