George Carlin would have been an extraordinary pitchman for estate planning. You may recollect one of his routine on “stuff.” We all have stuff, and we’re really specific about our stuff. We move it around with us, it’s hard for a few of us to dispose of it, and a few of us don’t care for our stuff stirred up with other individuals’ stuff.

Amid your lifetime, you gather a ton of stuff, some of it really special and some of it not. And since it’s your stuff, it implies something to you. You definitely know you can’t bring it with you when you expire in this world, so there must be some method for disseminating your stuff to other individuals.

Ordinarily, you need your stuff to go to individuals you value most… your family and unique set of friendships, at times a beneficial motivation. Also, you may designate special individuals to have certain things to remember your legacy.

Document Instructions for Your Stuff

When you pass on, everything you call your stuff, regardless of how profitable or significant it is, is called your “estate.” In the most straightforward terms, a “estate plan” is your directions for getting your stuff to the designated people you want to own before you pass.

Important Legal Mumbo Jumbo

Legal requirements in an estate planning are very important which includes of signing documents and having witnessed the signing by others. Your estate plan might be exceptionally straightforward, or it might be more perplexing, contingent upon how much stuff you have, to what extent you need your stuff to accommodate your beneficiaries, and when you designate the chosen date for your beneficiaries to receive your stuff. For instance, you’d likely need to hold up a couple of years before that charming two-year-old gets grandpa’s special pocket watch.

How Do You Get an Estate Plan?

You can choose who you want your beneficiaries to inherit your stuff and when they can inherit your stuff. Your lawyer puts your instructions into a legal document called a will or trust. (There are unmistakable points of interest to utilizing a trust, yet we’ll spare that exchange for some other time, please check out our “Wills Vs Trusts” blog.) Also, while you can legitimately write your own, you will have a greatly improved shot of your estate planning to work if you have an accomplished lawyer do it for you. Being experienced and I have serve many clients, many attempt to do their own and screw it up all the time.

What Happens if I Just Don’t Get Around to It?

Imagine a scenario where you pass on and you don’t have a estate plan in place. All things considered, there an approach to get your stuff to other individuals, the state in which you live in has an arrangement holding up on the off chance that you don’t have one. The main issue is that you won’t have any say in who gets your stuff, and somebody may get left out – and – your stuff may go to an outsider – some “heir at law” that you don’t know.

Scenario 1: If more than one of your relatives need a similar piece of your stuff, that can get untidy and costly… and a great deal of your stuff will be utilized to pay the courts and lawyers to deal with it all. (Happens constantly.)

Scenario 2: If you’re not legally married and you want your life partner to receive your stuff when you pass on, you would need to get your desired arrangements set up, or it will not occur. Under the state’s plan, your stuff will be passed on to your blood relatives. Period.

Scenario 3:

If you’re legally married with children (blended family), don’t be too certain that your life partner will get all your stuff. Your children will presumably get their share of your stuff, which implies your spouse may only receive partial and will not have enough to live on.

Just in case, if your stuff will be involving kids, you’ve truly got to get things in order and get a plan together. In this situation, the court will choose who will raise them if something happens to both guardians.

Scary thoughts? You bet!

The Bottom Line

Responsibility comes with having your own stuff and you should be in charge of ensuring what will transpire after you’re gone. We should ensure you do it right; call our office now, we’ll help you create your plan and your legacy for your stuff into a legally binding document

Please call (909) 256-6702 to discuss your questions and schedule a free consultation:
Trust and Estate, Elder Law, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration and Probate in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties. We offer flat, hourly and contingent fees, based on the type of matter.




341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of trust and estate, elder law, special needs, conservatorship, trust administration and probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont and assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.