What If I Don't Have a Will?

Do you currently have a will established or someone that would be appointed manage your finances if you were to become incapacitated or died tomorrow? We know it can be difficult to both talk about and address your finances in the event of your death or incapacity, but ignoring it doesn’t make things easier on your loved ones.

Importance of Having a Will

As experts in Estate Planning, our attorneys believe that every person should have a will or plan in place. There are several advantages to having something set up including:

  • Saves time, money and stress for your loved ones,
  • Determines who will manage your estate,
  • It decides who does or doesn’t gets your assets and property,
  • Provides a home for your pets,
  • You can leave instructions for your digital assets,
  • You get to choose who will take care of your minor children,
  • You get to support your favorite causes and leave a legacy, and
  • May provide funeral instructions for your family.

Not Having a Will or Estate Plan

What happens if you don’t have something in place before you die? When someone passes away without establishing a will to deal with their finances, their property will pass via the Intestacy rules enacted by the state legislature. I’m sure you don’t want to leave it up to your elected officials.

Without a trust in place, opening of probate may be necessary. Probate is the formal legal process where an executor or personal representative is appointed by the court to administer an estate and distribute assets to beneficiaries.

Santa Clara Probate Process

In Santa Clara County, there are several steps involved in the probate process. These steps include:

  1. Filing a petition of probate: this requires indication of who has passed away, and who/why someone is entitled to represent their estate.
  2. Notice of estate parties: checking any heirs, beneficiaries, and potentially creditors of the estate.
  3. Notice to the court: informing the Santa Clara Court of the assets in the estate, whether or not the person had any estate planning documents, and what the process is of actually administering the estate.

Contact Estate Planning Attorneys at Mlnarik Law Group, Inc.

If you are looking for an estate planning attorney to help with the probate process, or to establish someone’s will and estate plan? At Mlnarik Law Group, our attorneys have several years of experience and education, and provide you with a customized approach to give you and your loved ones peace of mind.

Call us (408) 919-0088, by contact form, or visit our Trusts & Estate Planning Services page for more information on the services we provide.