You don’t want your loved ones to find out the hard way that you didn’t manage your estate properly. Sadly, this is the reality for so many families who have to cope with the messy aftermath of poor estate planning. Many of the most common mistakes can be entirely avoided by planning well in advance with the support of a lawyer.

#1 Not Realizing the Dangers of Going Without a Will

It’s true that if you don’t have a will that the state of California will “make a plan” for you, which is known as intestate succession. This means that state laws will determine who receives your assets and in what amount. Although this can and does happen often, it doesn’t give you the personalized touch and ability to determine what happens to your assets. Instead, loved ones that you did not wish to receive assets might end up owning them in full. Make sure you make your wishes known by hiring a CA estate planning lawyer to help you.

#2 Not Using a Trust

A will can be seen as your most basic (but still important) pieces of your estate plan. However, once you pass away, it becomes a matter of public record. This means there’s little to no privacy with your whole estate, and that’s a problem for many people who would prefer members of the public to not know about their estate. Use a trust to add more control and privacy.

#3 Not Updating Beneficiary Forms

You know you’ll need to update your revocable trust and will when a new baby is born or when you get divorced, but what about your beneficiary forms? Neglect these and if something happens to you that ex spouse can legally receive all or some of your retirement account or life insurance policy.

Most estate planning mistakes can be prevented with the right strategy and partner. Look to our Pasadena estate planning law office when you’re seeking a partner to assist you with your full estate planning intentions.

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