In California if you die without a will or a trust your assets may pass by the rules of intestate succession provided for in the California Probate Code. If you want to specify who will inherit from you (and who won't) you will need either a will or a trust. If you have a small estate a simple will may perfectly suit your needs. If you have a more significant estate - that is if you own real estate or have assets that exceed $150,000.00 - then you should consider a trust. Wills also are the instrument wherein you would designate who will be in charge after your death e.g. the executor, and, if needed who will be the guardian of your minor children. This office can assist you in determining what kind of estate plan you need and of course, draft the appropriate documents.
Every adult needs the following four documents:
- WILL to pass your assets and name a guardian for minor children.
- TRUST to pass your assets without expensive probate costs.
- POWER OF ATTORNEY to ensure someone you trust is handling your finances if you can't.
- ADVANCED DIRECTIVE to make sure you have someone who cares about you making your medical decisions if you can't.