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Estate Planner

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Why Do You Need an Estate Plan Attorney/Lawyer?

If you die without a will or trust, your assets will be distributed pursuant to something called the "Laws of Intestate Succession". You need an Estate Plan so you can ensure that your assets are left to who you want them left to, and not pursuant to these Laws. Under the Laws of Intestate Succession, your property will be distributed by the Probate Court as follows:

  • Your spouse will receive ALL of the Community Property if you are married.

  • Your spouse will receive the following portion of your Separate Property:

    • All of it if you have no children, grandchildren, parents, brothers, sisters, nieces or nephews.

    • One-half if you have one child or grandchildren from one predeceased child.

    • One-third if you have more than one child (including grandchildren from predeceased children).

  • The portion of your Separate Property not going to your spouse, or IF YOU HAVE NO SPOUSE, will go as follows:

    • To your "issue" or lineal descendants – children and grandchildren, divided into as many equal shares are there are living members of the nearest generation.

    • If no issue, then to your parents equally

    • If no parents, then to your siblings and their issue

    • If no siblings, then to your grandparents equally

    • If no grandparents, then to your aunts and uncles, and their issue (nieces & nephews)

    • If no aunts and uncles (or issues), then to your step-children

    • If no step-children, then to your next of kin (cousins)

    • If no next of kin, then to your Father and Mother-in-law

    • If no Father or Mother-in-law, then to Brother and Sister-in-laws

    • If no Brother or Sister-in-laws, then your assets go to the State of California

    The Laws of Intestate Succession do not allow for assets to be distributed to any friends or charities. And if you have no family, your assets will escheat to the State!

    Plus, if you do not have a Trust, your assets will have to be what is called “probated” before they can be distributed to your heirs. Probate can be a costly, time-consuming process. We explain the probate process below (after we explain joint tenancy assets).

    Call us at Wright Kim Douglas today:  (626) 356-3900 and setup an appointment to see us in our Glendale California office.



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