Hi, I’m Andrew Meinzer of Meinzer Law Firm.
Here we help people all across California who are planning ahead to ensure that things go as they want when they die or become unable to take care of themselves anymore, who are handling the final affairs of somebody else who’s died, or who are helping somebody who’s become unable to take care of himself or herself anymore.
In this video, I’m going to discuss with you what happens when somebody dies or becomes unable to take care of himself or herself anymore and that person had the foresight to have estate plan documents in place like a trust and powers of attorney. This is going to be a broad overview based on California law, and it’s not going to be specific legal advice.
The primary purpose for having estate plan documents in place like a trust and powers of attorney is to avoid the effort, the time delay, and the expense of a probate decedent’s estate court proceeding at death or a conservatorship court proceeding at the point of becoming unable to take care of oneself, in other words being incapacitated. Having estate plan documents in place is going to make things exponentially easier and less expensive.
That said, there is some legal work that still needs to be done. And it’s a good idea to do it because it’s required by California law, and it keeps everybody protected.
Normally there’s not any single thing that needs to happen that’s particularly time-consuming or expensive. Normally it’s simply a matter of sending some required notices out, preparing some documents and filing them with different government agencies, and keeping everybody informed. Still it’s important to have an experienced attorney to help you with the process to make sure that things go correctly.
When somebody dies and they have a trust in place, normally we can conclude the entire process within five to six months. And nobody can do it in much less time than that because there’s a notice that has to go out four months before concluding the process, and it takes a little time to get the information to put in that notice. And the alternative, which is a probate decedent’s estate court proceeding, that normally takes a year at best and often takes longer.
Similarly, if somebody becomes incapacitated and that person has a trust and powers of attorney in place, we can normally have somebody put in charge of that person’s affairs within a matter of days. The alternative, which is a conservatorship court proceeding, normally takes weeks or months to get somebody put in charge.
And all of this is why I highly recommend that everybody have estate plan documents in place that include things like a trust, a will, powers of attorney, and other related documents.
Again, I’m Andrew Meinzer of Meinzer Law Firm. If you know that you need our help with carrying out the estate plan documents of somebody else who’s died or become unable to take care of himself or herself anymore, or if you just have a question, please give us a call, and let us take care of you.