As the common saying goes ‘Only two things are certain in the world: death and taxes.’ For most people, death is a taboo topic.Hence, it is often mentioned in hushed tones and silent whispers. However, the reality is that everyone will need to think about their demise and make future plans for their. Here are 5 common problems that could arise when an individual passes away without a proper estate plan:

Probate Proceedings
A probate is the legal process conducted when a person dies without a will or when the said will is in dispute. One of the worst aspects of dying without a will is that the state gets to decide how your assets should be allocated. If you or your family is involved in a probate, you should hire a qualified probate lawyer who will assist you to navigate the murky waters.

Inability to access funds
When an individual passes away without a clear will or estate plan, the beneficiaries might not be able to access the deceased’s property until the relevant court procedures are fulfilled. This can be a long and time-consuming process. As the process continues, legal fees still need to be paid and other bills must be met. This can cause a serious financial crisis within the family.

Lack of proper guardianship
When parents die without a will, their children are often the ones who suffer the most. Within an estate plan, parents usually state their preferred guardian who should take care of their children in the event of death or incapacitation. When there is no stated guardian, the state might be forced to place your children under child protective services until a suitable guardian is chosen by the court.

Difficult family decisions
When someone is in a coma, the family might be forced to make the difficult choice on whether to continue with life support or not. Without a proper estate plan outlining your final wishes, your family will definitely struggle to make this difficult choice on your behalf. Another common dilemma that they might face is what to do with your final remains. Hence, if you have any special final wishes, then you should outline them clearly in an estate plan.

High taxation
When an individual dies without a will, their property is exposed to a myriad of taxes and fees which ultimately reduce the value of one’s estate.


Voorhees &Ratzlaff Law Group

13831 Roswell Ave., Ste. D

Chino, CA 91710

(909) 334-1425