A Will is an essential part of your estate plan. Your will is a written legal document that specifies how you want your assets to be distributed after you are gone. It must be filed with the California Probate Court upon death. The court then supervises the distribution of your assets. Many people incorrectly believe that if their estate is modest and not subject to estate taxes, there will be no need for probate. This is a misconception! Any estate where assets must be distributed through the provisions of a will is subject to probate, regardless of whether the estate is taxable.
If you die without a will (intestate), the State of California determines how your assets get divided, and who your beneficiaries will be. A judge will decide who handles the administration of your estate. If you’re like most people, you’ll want to plan so that the state doesn’t make these important decisions for you.