Dying without a valid last will and testament will leave your estate open to probate. This is a long and potentially costly process that the state of California would prefer you avoid. There is no reason why you can’t publish a will that lays out how you want your estate to be distributed after you pass.
You never need to go to probate
The first thing you need to realize is that you never actually have to go to probate in the first place. The clearer you make the terms of your will, the less chance there will be for anyone to be able to dispute them. A clear and precise distribution of your assets, backed up by the right choice of executor, will be the result.
Avoiding probate will cut down on expenses
There are several ways that you can avoid having to go through the process of probate. For example, you can transfer your property to a trust. The property that you place in this trust is not subject to probate. This means that it can be passed directly to your heirs. Create a document and pass the title to the trust.
Another way to avoid endless litigation will be to set up a payable-on-death registration. This will allow you to name one or several people as beneficiaries. They can then claim the money directly from the account after you have passed. Keep in mind that you will have to ask to add this feature.
You should also make sure to update the beneficiary designation in your policy of life insurance. This is crucial if you divorce and then remarry. You want to make sure your current spouse is the one that will receive your assets after you die. Otherwise, your ex-spouse is the beneficiary.