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No will? California already has you covered. Is it what you want?

Living Trusts

Have you been meaning to create a will or trust but it keeps getting put off? If that applies to you, you should know that the state of California already has a will written for you, so to speak – or mandatory guidelines already in place for you that the state will follow after your passing. But is this “will” for people who don’t create their own the one you want?

In California’s will the state requires a public notice to be run in the newspaper alerting any potential claimants to your estate to step forward. The state itself has first claim on all of your property to assure that your debts are paid. After your debts are paid, the state will distribute your assets according to California law, oftentimes to people other than those who you wanted to receive your assets. If you own a home, your loved ones aren’t likely to have your guidance on what you want them to do with your home. If you have minor children and you and your spouse die, a judge, not you and your spouse, will make the final call on who becomes the guardian of your children.

For most people this frightening scenario isn’t ideal. Fortunately with proper planning it can be completely avoided. A qualified estate planner will help you preserve your wishes, allowing you, and only you, to choose what is best for your family and protect your loved ones.