When most people hear the term "family law," they think of divorce and custody battles. However, family law encompasses much more than this. It is an area of the law pertaining to family or domestic matters. This includes everything from prenuptial agreements and divorce proceedings to cohabitation agreements and adoption proceedings.
Family Law As A Valuable Planning Tool
People who work with family lawyers have access to planning tools that will help them in many different areas. For adoption, parents use these legal professionals to help them navigate the complex proceedings involved in adding a new member to their family. With divorce and custody, parents work with their lawyers to find the most ideal living arrangement for their children. Some couples choose to draft prenuptial agreements before they get married, which serve to protect themselves and any future children as well. Living and cohabitation agreements are meant to protect adults and any children belonging to either adult.
Now that you understand the basics of family law, it is apparent that a major component of it is protecting children. Adults who work with family law professionals have already implied their desire to protect their children whether they realize it or not. However, family law's basic provisions only serve as a starting point. To provide even more safety for children or heirs in the future, estate planning is an essential task that goes hand-in-hand with family law matters.
Inheritance Law And Estate Planning Law
Inheritance law is the area of law dictating who receives a decedent's assets after he or she dies. It varies from one state to another depending on whether the state follows community property law or common law. California follows community property law, which can make some matters complicated. Community property law essentially gives your spouse some automatic rights to some assets and especially those acquired during your marriage. This can supersede a will. However, family law specialists know the solutions for working with this legal complexity. If you are planning on getting married or divorced, you should understand community property rights and take steps to protect yourself and your children or heirs.
Estate planning law encompasses everything from wills and trusts to advance directives. When you die, it is important to leave instructions for who will inherit what or how much. A solid estate plan can protect your assets and preserve them for your heirs whether that may include a spouse, your children or both. Estate planning ensures that your loved ones do not have to lose what you want them to have through taxes and probate proceedings.