We are often asked if we can recommend estate planning books or materials that would give our clients accurate and timely information regarding estate planning in California. In response to these inquiries, I typically refer my clients to three publications from the California State Bar. The links to these website publications are as follows:
- Do I Need a Will?
This brochure explains in general terms the effect of a Will, the property covered by a Will, and the consequences of dying intestate. In addition, the brochure explains the differences between holographic Wills, statutory wills, and a lawyer drafted Will. The brochure briefly explains that a Will is carried out by a probate. This brochure is a useful introduction to clients unfamiliar with the administration process.
- Do I Need a Living Trust?
This brochure explains revocable trusts. The brochure explains in general terms the conservatorship and probate avoidance effects of using a revocable living trust. The brochure also explains the importance of funding a revocable trust. The brochure contains a brief admonition against promoters of living trusts.
- Do I Need Estate Planning?
This brochure describes in general terms the estate planning process, persons who could benefit from estate planning, and the differences between wills and revocable living trusts. The brochure also briefly describes probate, the importance of choosing a personal representative, and general considerations in disposing of property at death. This brochure is a very useful introduction for lay people to the entire estate planning process.