According to a Court Statistics Report released by the Judicial Council of California, San Diego witnessed around 2059 estate-related filings between 2018–2019. An estate refers to an individual’s property, assets, capital, and other possessions owned by them at the time of death. The law of California states that the property left behind by an individual is the decedent’s estate, where decadent refers to the dead person. In contrast, the estate is their “total property.” It is always advisable to hire an estate planning attorney San Diegoto help you out because property management involves many aspects. You will require their legal expertise to formulate a will and help you with legal documentation. They will also help your family inherit the estate smoothly and avoid complications as far as possible. This article focuses on four top ways an estate planning attorney can assist you. Read on to know.

1. An attorney can help you out with documents

As mentioned above, your attorney will help you manage various aspects of your estate planning, including the documents. Many people are under the impression that planning documents are only necessary after death. Some of the papers you must-have for the planning process include a will, living trust, advanced healthcare directive, and power of attorney for finances. All of these documents are vital for the planning process. For example, the California Probate Code Section Section 4701, an advanced health care directive, gives you the authority to determine your healthcare directives, besides naming someone to make those decisions on your behalf.

2. Helping you avoid the probate process

Your attorney will also help you avoid the probate process in California or San Diego, which can be pretty stressful, time-consuming, and costly at times. They can help you avoid the probate process by offering solutions, for instance, creating a revocable living trust. The Superior Court of California (applicable to the County of San Diego) defines a revocable living trust as instructions that mention the property transfer process without approaching a probate court. They might also offer you other solutions, including naming a beneficiary for your assets, joint ownership of a house or joint tenants, or taking the help of a beneficiary deed (where you designate someone to receive your real estate property upon your death).

3. Assisting you with preparing the will

Your attorney will help you prepare the will following the laws prevailing in California. Anybody over 18 years of age can draft a will in San Diego, provided they are of sound mind with at least two witnesses present during the will’s signing. It is also interesting that Californian law does not recognize oral declarations.

4. Depositing the original will

Your lawyer will also help your family member or relative deposit the original will upon your death. The law on wills and estates in California requires you to deposit the decedent’s original declaration in the Court of the County (in your case San Diego) or the country where the estate’s owner resided upon the time of their death. Your attorney will ensure they deposit it in the right county along with a stiff backing containing the document’s caption and other details.

You must hire an estate planning attorney in San Diego because it can be extremely complicated if not handled systematically and with legal expertise. Your attorney will assist you in whatever way you want, from managing the documentation to avoiding the probate process.