What would happen to your resources if you were to pass away without executing a last Will or a trust? The answer is that the situation would wind up being sorted out by the probate court. Ultimately, the assets that you leave behind would be distributed to your closest relative or relatives in accordance with intestacy laws of succession in the state of California.
This is something that you want to steer clear of because the probate process will take a lot of time to run its course. In addition, you may want your assets distributed in a manner that differs from the way they would be transferred under succession rules.
Making sure that you state your wishes clearly in a legally binding manner is important regardless of your family situation or relationship status. However, it is absolutely essential for people who are in long-term committed relationships. You may be just as committed to your partner as any married person, but there could be reasons why you did not obtain a marriage license. Sometimes individuals would lose certain financial benefits if they were to get married.
And of course, people who are in committed same-sex relationships may be unable to marry depending on the state within which they reside. In California, same-sex marriage is now legally recognized.
You really must be proactive about making sure that your partner is provided for should you pass away first. If you are in this position and you are currently without an estate plan, right now would be a good time to set up an appointment to speak with a highly qualified San Jose inheritance planning lawyer.