Estate Planning 1012021-01-18T10:41:43+00:00

It’s important to have an estate plan.

  • Do you want to make sure the assets you’ve worked so hard to accumulate during your lifetime go to the people or organizations you care about?

  • Do you may want to avoid probate, make your own choices about what to leave to your family, and to whom you want to leave it?

Losing a loved one is a sad and difficult time for family, relatives, and friends. In addition, those left behind must often figure out how to transfer or inherit property from the person who has died. The property that a person leaves behind when they die is called the “decedent’s estate.” The “decedent” is the person who died. Their “estate” is the property they owned when they died.

  • To transfer or inherit property after someone dies, you must usually go to court. And dealing with the courts and the property of someone who has died is very complicated. Sometimes, however, family or relatives may be able to transfer property from someone who has died without going to court.

General Estate Planning Terms:


The person (usually the spouse, domestic partner, or close relative) that the court appoints to manage the estate of person who dies without a Will. The administrator is also called the personal representative of the estate.

Advance Directive2020-09-16T20:08:20+00:00

Also called a “Living Will” is a document in which you specify in advance whether or for how long you would like life support and artificial nutrition and hydration continued under certain circumstances.


A person who inherits when there is a Will.


The person who died.

Decedent’s Estate2020-09-16T20:06:57+00:00

All real and personal property that a person owned at the time of death.

Durable Power of Attorney2020-09-16T20:06:28+00:00

Authorizes someone to act on your behalf for financial and medical decisions during your lifetime.


A person named in a Will a to carry out the dead person’s wishes. The executor may also called the personal representative of the estate.


The person who will take care of your minor children, after your death.


A person who inherits when there is no Will.

Holographic Will2020-09-16T20:04:20+00:00

A Will that is handwritten, dated and signed by the person writing the Will.


When someone dies without leaving a Will.

Intestate succession2020-09-16T19:04:27+00:00

The order of who inherits property when someone dies without a Will.

Living Trust2020-09-16T19:03:36+00:00

A trust set up during the life of a person to distribute money or property to another person or organization.

Personal Property2020-09-16T19:02:56+00:00

Things like cash, stocks, jewelry, clothing, furniture, or cars.

Personal Representative2020-09-16T19:02:21+00:00

Or executor, is the person who manages your assets after your death, coordinates with the probate court, and distributes your estate according to your Will. The administrator or executor may also be court appointed to manage the estate.


The court process for distributing a dead person’s assets, paying debts owed by the dead person, and settling the financial affairs of people when they die.

Real Property2020-09-16T18:59:25+00:00

Buildings and land.


Anyone who has the legal right to receive property of a person who dies, either under the Will or the Probate Code.


When someone dies leaving a Will.


An arrangement where property is given to someone to be held for the benefit of another person.


The person who will manage assets after your death for any minor children, grandchildren, or disabled beneficiaries of your estate, or, for your surviving spouse, as applicable. A trustee may also be appointed to manage your assets during your own lifetime in certain circumstances.


A legal paper that lists a person’s wishes about what will happen to his or her property after death

Go to Top