An estate is an individual's personal belongings, real estate, and other holdings. When someone dies, his or her estate is divided according to the wishes of the deceased or, if there is no will, left up to probate court. Death is one of the few certainties in life and can come at any time, without warning or following a debilitating illness. In any event, planning your estate while relatively young can ensure that it is handled according to your wishes. This section covers California estate planning laws, which encompass everything from the durable power of attorney to estate taxes and living wills.