Category Archives: Estate Planning

Where There’s a Will, There’s a (Better) Way

Is there a way to have your estate handled without everyone else getting an administrative “piece of the pie?”

The idea of a Will is literally thousands of years old. It’s not that they’re a bad thing (Buggy whips were cool…once), it’s just that the law has changed to allow cheaper and more effective William R. Livelyways to “get your house in order”; and for the benefit of those who must “take over” when one will finally be gone.

As previously written, property cannot be allowed by society to bust be “hanging out in the air,” without someone claiming and being responsible and accountable for it. Therefore, and in order that society can “move things along,” if one has not intentionally caused a Will to be written for them, they may be surprised to learn that the State has already written one for them. It’s called the “Law of Interstate Succession,” and it’s written right into the Probate Code of our State.

Taking the “scenic route” to probate court.

Nevertheless, and whether or not there is a Will, there has to be proceedings in a court of law to finally establish the rights of one to inherit the property of another. In California, the place where those proceedings take place is in Probate Court. At the present time, if you live in the Santa Clarita side of Saugus, the Court will be in downtown Los Angeles. If you live closer to Antelope Valley, those hearings may be in Lancaster. It will take somewhere between a year or two (on average) to do it; and it will be expensive, as well as very public; and on a variety of levels. Continue reading Where There’s a Will, There’s a (Better) Way

Why Even Have An Estate Plan In The First Place?

What will you do with your “stuff” once you’re gone?

The law presumes that everyone must stand in their own shoes in order to manage and control their own affairs and property. A fundamental principal of our law is that everything William R. Livelymust, at all times, be owned and controlled by some person or entity. Ownership and control must never be allowed to just “hang in the air” without the management and control by some responsible human enterprise. If there would be no individual human enterprise to do it, the government will step in and do it. Now, if everyone is in a position to tend to his or her own garden, then everything will be found to be in that world, and all things will continue to be that way. But, if that dream should be disturbed, something radical must then occur.

Who gets what? A practice that goes back centuries.

We’ve been doing this since Medieval times, at least in the Western part of the world.  One should be expected to write down exactly and to whom one would leave their property and other belongings when one would pass on or otherwise become too incapacitated to do it themselves. Of course, such a writing is still commonly known as a “Last Will and Testament.” In those older days, a Will would be for the disposition of real property, and the “Testament” part, to be for other types of belongings; but, that distinction doesn’t seem to be that important anymore. Continue reading Why Even Have An Estate Plan In The First Place?