If you have a will and it has been revised within the past ten to twelve months, then you may want to pass on reading this article. However, if you do not have a current will, we encourage you to read more.
Most people do not have a will. You might even fall into the group of ‘most people’, but don’t take comfort in that if you do. Here are just a few of things that can happen if you die without a will:
- You give up the right to decide who inherits your property. Instead, the State of California has decided for you.
- You give up the right to decide who will manage your estate and raise your children. Under California state law, the courts can grant these powers to any ‘suitable’ person.
- Your heirs could lose a substantial portion of your estate to federal and state taxes.
Even if you do have a will, it may not be adequate if there have been changes in your marital status, state of residence, income, net worth, or if new family members have died or been born since your will was written or last amended.
Also, as recently as December 2010 we saw multiple changes in tax and estate laws that could have a substantial impact on your estate.
If you don’t have a will or if you have questions or concerns about your current will then call attorney Judd Matsunaga at Elder Law Services of California for a free consultation to discuss your estate planning needs. This consultation will be completely free of charge. If at the end of the consultation it is determined that there are changes or ammendments that could and should be made to benefit your estate then you can decide whether you would like to implement those recommended changes or not, no obligation.
In addition to wills, Elder Law Services of California can also help with family trusts, living trusts, powers of attorney, family partnerships, asset protection, California Medi-Cal planning, retirement planning and most other legal and tax strategies to help you achieve your estate planning goals.
We look forward to speaking with you soon.