The word estate planning could make one think that it is meant only for the rich who own “estates”. But the fact is that anyone who is a homeowner and has reasonable assets needs to have estate planning.
If you don’t create a Will or a Living Trust and die, your beneficiaries will have a hard time selling the home and dividing the assets for the simple reason that the title of your home is on your name and you are gone. Your beneficiaries will have to prove to the court through a tedious process and high cost that they are the natural inheritors.
Chances are that the probate process will need to be started if you died without a Will or a Trust. Attorneys charge a certain percentage of the total value of the estate as their fees to file for probate and complete the process, which will be an astronomical sum and this is not where you would want your hard earned money to go, if it can be helped.
And yes, it can be helped!
To be continued…
Dolly is a registered and bonded LDA. She has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from USF, Paralegal Certificate from Cal State East Bay University, Mediation Certificate from San Francisco Bar Association, and Divorce Mediation Certificate from CALDA.