When they begin creating an estate plan, many people come across the phrase “death taxes” online or in conversations with others planning for the future. Generally, “death taxes” refers to estate taxes, gift taxes, and inheritance taxes. And every estate plan should account for both federal and state versions of these taxes.
One important part of the estate planning process in California is determining what you leave to your children. Because an estate plan is hopefully created long before you die, situations may change with your beneficiaries and you may need to update your will. For example, if you have a child that you want to disinherit, this is a big step and one you should consider carefully, but it can be done if you determine that is the best thing to do.
If you have just lost a close friend or family member, you may be dealing with many emotions. In addition to grieving the loss, you may be faced with distribution of your loved one's estate, including any property, possessions and assets he or she had. You may be faced with the need to open a probate estate in the Superior Court for the county where the decedent resided. The process of finalizing the deceased's estate and distributing property to the beneficiaries named in the will or heirs if there is no will can be difficult during this hard time. The probate process is designed to organize this process and to ensure everything is handled properly.