The word “probate” can have a negative stigma attached to it. Many people create estate plans that avoid the process altogether. The reality is that probate is not always bad. Your own situation and wishes should determine whether or not you avoid it. Here is what you should know when you are creating or reviewing your estate plan:
California residents who save and invest to increase their retirement funding are also generally concerned about asset protection measures to keep their assets protected and preserved. This process is called asset protection estate planning. It involves the use of an estate planning attorney, along with one or more other professionals as necessary in the areas of tax and investment strategy.
In some situations, condominium owners in California may find that the relief they seek with respect to their property must be processed through local governmental agencies. In those cases, their own HOA is ineffective in regulating relief due to an outside third party's involvement. An interesting battle has gone on for more than 25 years regarding ocean views available to owners in the Del Mar Woods condominium complex.
Living in a well-appointed California real estate development that is governed by a Homeowners' Association may be seen by residents as a point of prestige and matter of convenience. Getting involved in a dispute with the HOA can be a living nightmare of red tape and questionable association policies. In one dispute in another state, a family wanted to construct a small four-foot wooden fence to keep out trespassers and daily interlopers such as workers, teens, bicyclists and the like.
California residents will benefit from participating in the process of creating an estate plan. The benefits of engaging in that process, with the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney, are many. Making a will allows for the orderly disposition of a decedent's assets to the beneficiaries who are specifically designated in the legal instrument.