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No spouse, no kids, no estate plan?

It seems that every time a celebrity dies without leaving a will, there is an outcry from fans and critics. Many use the event as a cautionary tale while probate for the rich and famous drags into years and descends into feuds. Nevertheless, nearly 60 percent of adults in the United States have not made a plan for their estates.

You may be among those in California with no estate plan. However, you may think your lack of planning is justified. After all, you have no children and perhaps are not even married. What is the point of making an estate plan if you have no one to inherit your assets?

3 issues that could hold up the probate process

Estates commonly go through probate after a person's passing. Before your loved one's death, he or she may have discussed the idea of you acting as executor of the estate. You may at first have felt honored that your family member trusted you to take on such a role, but you likely also understood that it came with a great deal of responsibility. Still, you decided to accept the position.

Now that your loved one has passed, you have started the probate process. While you may hope that the process will go smoothly, various aspects of the estate could hold up the proceedings. You could even face issues that lead to litigation, which can cause considerable delays to the process.

Understanding the repayment plan in Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Whether you live under the threat foreclosure, a lawsuit or garnishment from a creditor, or a constant barrage of phone calls from creditors wanting their money, you know that you need to take action soon in order to get your financial life back on track.

The problem is that you don't qualify for Chapter 7 due to your income, and you want to try to keep your home. You know that you could file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you aren't sure how the repayment plan works. It may help to have some information regarding how it works in order to alleviate your fear and concerns so that you can make a decision regarding whether to file.

What do you know about debts and bankruptcy discharge?

Wanting to get back on financial track after accumulating a significant amount of debt is commendable and achievable. Of course, before you jump into any debt relief option, it would benefit you to learn how certain avenues could help you. In particular, you may have an interest in bankruptcy after learning that the process could result in creditors forgiving your debt.

First, while you may be on the right track, the notion you hold is not entirely correct. Filing for bankruptcy does not automatically mean that you will no longer hold responsibility for your debts. However, part of the process known as bankruptcy discharge could help you reach the goal you desire.

Getting a divorce? Don't forget to update your estate plan

Sometime after getting married, you and your spouse did your due diligence and went through the estate planning process. Well, years have passed since doing that, and now the two of you are going through or just finished up the divorce process. With everything going on in your life, your estate plan is probably the last thing on your mind -- but it should not be.

Every year, numerous California residents decide to end their marriages. It happens. When it does, you'll find some individuals excited to plan for the future and others who aren't ready to even think about it. When it comes to updating your estate plan, time really is of the essence.

You could still obtain a loan after filing for bankruptcy

You may wake up every day with the burden of substantial debt on your shoulders. You likely keep your mind reeling trying to think of the best ways to potentially address your outstanding balances. While paying a little here and there could help slightly, your debt likely remains too much to handle on your own overall.

Though bankruptcy could be a viable option for you, you may think that following this debt relief route would have too many negative side effects on your credit. You are not alone in this assumption, but it is a common misconception. Certainly, bankruptcy will have an impact on your credit, but when it comes to obtaining loans and having higher interest payments, you may be interested to learn that the differences may not be as high as thought.

What you should expect from the probate process

When a person passes away, it is up to loved ones and others to deal with his or her California estate and ensure that assets go where they should. This can include paying off remaining debts and dealing with disputes over the terms of the will. The entire estate administration process is not easy, especially when you will not be able to avoid the probate process. 

Probate is the process of transferring a person's property after he or she passes away. In many cases, the terms of an estate plan make it possible to avoid the probate process altogether. It can be a lengthy and complex process, and many people working to settle their loved one's estate find it beneficial to work with an experienced legal ally as they walk through this process.

Are creditors threatening to take your vehicle? You have options.

California readers know there are many drawbacks and negative consequences involved with owing a significant amount of debt. From constant phone calls from creditors to the threat of losing your vehicle, falling behind on your payments can affect multiple areas of your life. 

If you are significantly behind on your car payments, you may find yourself facing the threat of vehicle repossession. This is the process of a creditor retaking your car due to late payments. This may seem like an affront to your property rights, but it is actually legal for creditors to do this. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make this process stop and help you deal with your debt.

Are you good with money or do you just think you are?

You may never have considered yourself the best with money, but you likely also did not consider yourself irresponsible. After all, you may splurge once in a while, but you do not typically overspend often. However, you may have realized that you do not know as much about your spending as you think you do, and after a while, you could have noticed that you have not contributed to your savings as you should have.

Fortunately, there are ways you can help yourself manage your money better. Some of these actions may seem easy to implement, and you may struggle with others, but becoming financially literate could help you avoid difficult situations in the future.

Creating an estate plan isn't as difficult as people think

Every adult living here in California could benefit from an estate plan. No one can tell the future, and few people expect a debilitating or deadly illness or injury to happen. Under these circumstances, it would be a good idea for you to consider creating an estate plan as well.

Many people procrastinate when it comes to completing this task for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common include not wanting to contemplate their own deaths, and because it's complicated and time consuming. Even as uncomfortable as it may be, creating an estate plan doesn't have to be complicated.

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