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Who receives your property if you die without an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2021 | Estate & Trust Administration |

When you create an estate plan , you will likely detail very carefully whom you want to receive your various assets. Some people will continue to update their plans every few years for the rest of their lives just to make certain that they retain total control over their estate.

Estate planning protects the people you love, but many people still find reasons to procrastinate about estate planning. Rather than wanting to update and review their plan frequently, they want to wait until nothing in their life will change before committing their wishes to writing.

One of the strongest arguments against delaying the creation of your estate plan is that you could die at any time without anything on record. What happens to your property if you die without an estate plan?

California has laws regarding how to handle your assets

Those who die without an estate plan or at least a will have effectively given up control over what happens to their property. The California probate courts will apply state law to their estates and determine who receives what property after the repayment of all necessary taxes and outstanding debts.

These laws generally give the most rights to spouses and children. However, other family members can also inherit your property if you don’t have a spouse or children to receive your assets. In the rare situation where the state cannot identify any surviving family members, your assets could eventually become the property of the State of California.

Taking the time to create an estate plan now protects the people you love and gives you peace of mind about their well-being when you’re no longer around.