It is not uncommon for estate planning and probate attorneys to encounter cases where an individual dies without a Will because they believed that everything they have will go to their beloved cousin- the only family they ever knew or that is left. Often, that is a dangerous assumption. Chances are, most of us have distant cousins or relatives to whom we do not speak or know. Just because the relationship is estranged or completely absent does not mean that the probate code discounts them as heirs.
Individuals without a surviving spouse or child often assume that a Will or Trust is unnecessary. These same individuals are also unaware of the probate laws that will gift assets to a cousin once removed, or a half-sibling they never knew, simply because that relative is related by blood and next in line to receive an inheritance. In order to prevent this, a Trust or, at a minimum, a Will is mandatory so that you can ensure that your assets are distributed in accordance with your specific wishes.
Estate planning is a personal process and can be overwhelming to individuals without any surviving immediate family members. Here at Chauvel and Glatt, we are sensitive to the struggles individuals face when discussing their estate plan. We will carefully assess your situation to determine if you need a trust, will, or both. To find out how our estate attorney can assist you, contact us today.
This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500. (Photo credit: 123rf.com)