Estate Planning 101

Everyone has an estate in some capacity. An estate consists of everything you own from your home to any money you possess as well as personal possessions. Having an estate plan is important because it ensures that all of your assets get divided up and handled the way you want them to. Having an estate plan in place leaves little to no room for interpretation. What you say goes, and that is the way it should be.

How to Get an Estate Plan Established

To get an estate plan established in the state of California there a few things you will want to have.


A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your belongings to be divided up once you pass on. In California, if someone fails to provide a will after one’s death you must go to court for a process called probate. Probate lasts anywhere between 12 and 18 months and consists of lots of paperwork and fees. Creating a will ensures a hassle-free transition of your belongings. Without a will, the state essentially decides what happens to your assets.


A trust makes the whole process of transferring your assets from one person to another much easier. Your assets would be owned by the trust yet still completely under your control.  A trust is commonly used, and is recommended to be used, in combination with a will. Having both a trust and a will makes the process of diving up your assets much easier on everyone.

Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney gets assigned to a person of your choosing, giving them the power to make decisions for you involving your property, finances, and medical care if you are in a position where you cannot make these decisions for yourself. Power of Attorney is typically assigned to a spouse, family member, or any individual you find extremely trustworthy and has your best interest in mind.

What to do with the Documents After Establishing an Estate Plan

After meeting with a lawyer and establishing your estate plan it is extremely important to keep the documents in a secure location. Make sure to tell a trustworthy individual such as a spouse where the documents are in case something were to happen to you. We at Astria Law Group recommend reviewing your plan with your attorney every 3-5 years. We also suggest updating your plan if there are any changes in your assets or personal life.

Astria Law Group will help you establish an estate plan, ensuring all of your assets are taken care of in the correct manner. Contact us today to get started in planning.

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