California estate planning: It helps avoid sibling rivalry

Like many California parents, you likely have gone through stages in life where it seemed that your children did little more than bicker with each other. Regardless of their current ages, sibling rivalry is nothing new. However, where adult children are concerned when discussing inheritance, there are numerous documents you can sign to help prevent family disputes when the time comes to administer your estate. You can customize the estate planning process to fit your particular family's needs.

All you have to do to become aware of the possible conflict and financial disasters that can occur when an estate owner fails to prepare a solid plan is read celebrity news about stars who died without executing a last will and testament or trust. Probate litigation has gone on for years in some of these cases. If you don't want your family members to be caught up in contentious court battles, you can take steps ahead of time to designate an executor and provide asset transfer instructions regarding your chosen heirs and beneficiaries.

Establishing a trust, especially if your assets total $100,000 or more, is often the best means for helping to avoid high estate taxes and probate costs. A power of attorney can help protect your assets while you're still alive, should you become incapacitated and unable to make financial decisions. Also, many people use advance directives to make their preferences known regarding emergency medical care in life or death situations.

Molsby & Bordner, LLP is committed to providing effective guidance and support to California residents as they navigate the estate planning process. While all documents validly signed and witnessed are legally enforceable, you can also make changes or updates to your plan, as needed. Our experienced legal team can assist you in periodic review of your plan to help you make sure it remains updated.

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