Several misconceptions surround estate planning in California, including the idea that it only benefits those with significant wealth. Instead, estate planning provides many benefits for people from all walks of life, regardless of their age or the value of their estate.
One of the most significant benefits of estate planning is that it gives you total control over your estate, even after your passing. If you don’t decide what happens with your money, property and other assets, the probate court will. An estate plan allows you to choose your beneficiaries and determine how much you want to leave each person.
Additionally, the court will designate someone to settle your estate if you don’t have an executor named in an estate plan. If this person didn’t know you and your wishes, the people you wanted to leave assets to may never see anything.
The probate process is lengthy, especially in a state as densely populated as California. Without an estate plan, your estate must go through a lengthier process that takes months, or even years, to complete. Having an estate plan in place significantly reduces the amount of time required for a probate court to settle your estate.
Cutting down on conflict
Unfortunately, the process of distributing the assets in an estate often creates a lot of conflict among potential heirs. Instead of putting your friends and relatives in a position to fight over your belongings, an estate plan promotes harmony and cuts down on potential conflicts.
The maximum tax rate for inheritance taxes in California is 40%. If you don’t make allowances for inheritance taxes in an estate plan, your heirs assume financial responsibility for these taxes.
There are numerous benefits to creating an official estate plan. Not only does it alleviate stress from your loved ones, but it also allows them to access what you want to leave them quicker.