You might have questions about what your personal representative or executor would need to do when you pass away. This important person has the responsibility of ensuring that your estate goes through the probate process as quickly and as streamlined as possible. The first step in this process is to determine whether or not the deceased party had a will.

A will might be a component of their overall estate plan, meaning that there may be other things such as a living trust in play as well. If your loved ones are not able to find a will among your important papers, they may contact attorneys that they believe might have drawn one up for you. Some of the biggest challenges include when a person keeps all of their documents stored in a place that is not easy for your loved ones to access, such as a safe deposit box.

One of the challenges with this is that they might need special permission from the probate court judge to be able to enter that box. If no will can be located after search and there are no other estate plans in place, the estate is classified as intestate. 

This means that it is believed that the deceased did not make their final wishes known and puts the probate court in the position of determining who will receive what out of that estate. Through intestate succession, the state of California steps in to clarify what happens to the assets owned by the deceased.

By naming your personal representative in a California will, you share your wishes as they relate to who manages your estate administration and who you’d like to receive what.

If you have more questions about how this process works and how you can align it with your individual goals, schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer today.

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