Take two minutes to have a laugh:
Now, think of yourself and your life's work, the wealth you have accumulated, as Larry David (a much less humorous version, of course). You have built a family, acquired property, money, maybe you have children. All of that is represented by Larry's buffet plate. Larry should be allowed to distribute his food however he sees fit. Larry certainly believes this and tries to give his friend Jeff some of his food. Unfortunately, the restaurant manager wants to interfere with Larry's decision. The restaurant manager represents the State of California and the Federal government in the estate planning context. Without the proper estate planning vehicles in place, upon incapacity or death California makes the decisions for you under its probate code and if your estate is large enough, the Federal government will tax it. However, you can avoid interference by executing a personalized estate plan best suited for your needs. Think of your estate plan as Attorney Hiram Katz. He steps in to prevent you and your life's work from being "ripped off." Pass your property to whom you wish and don't let the government tell you otherwise.