“I don’t have an estate in California big enough or worth doing any planning for.” This often stated comment is many times the wrong reason for not having a living trust, a will, a power of attorney for property management or an advance health care directive.
The word “estate” simply refers to the things you own, your assets. For example, money in a checking account is an asset you own. If you have a checking account, you have an asset and you have the beginnings of an estate. Equity in your house or ownership of a life insurance policy or anything else you own are additional assets making up your estate.
Depending on what property makes up your estate, when you die California may require that ownership over it can change only with the court’s oversight. To avoid probate in California, a living trust which owns your property should be prepared; the living trust doesn’t change very much the power you still have over your property so you often have nothing to lose by getting a living trust.
Call an experienced estate planning attorney in Los Angeles who is able to help you no matter where in California you may live. Call Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259 for estate planning help.