What is Estate Planning?

Do you know what will happen to your children if you die while they are young?Do you know what will happen to your children if you die while they are young?|Do you want them to automatically inherit everything on their 18th birthdays?

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o matter your age or accumulation of wealth, an Estate Plan is designed to protect you, your loved ones and your assets during your lifetime and after your death. A good Estate planning attorney can help you determine what estate planning documents are right for you.

You have the right to say exactly how your estate should be handled, and by whom, upon your death or incapacity. The catch is, you have to do so in writing, and you have to do so while you still can -before you die or become incapacitated. If you are putting off your estate planning, you are taking the risk that you may not be able to due to an unexpected illness or accident.

If you were to die without a proper estate plan, your estate will likely be required to go through Probate and/or Conservatorship, both costly and lengthy court processes. But Probate and Conservatorships are optional. You can avoid them, but you have to plan ahead.

You have the right to say exactly how your estate should be handled, and by whom, upon your death.  The catch is, you have to do so in writing, and you have to do so while you still can -before you die or become incapacitated.  If you are putting off your estate planning, you are taking the risk that you may not be able to due to an unexpected illness or accident.

Don’t put it off any longer.  You will be surprised at how easy it is and how well you will sleep at night knowing it is done.

Do you know the consequences of not having an Estate Plan and having to go through Probate?Do you know the consequences of not having an Estate Plan and having to go through Probate?|So what is Estate planning and how does it help protect your family’s assets?

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s a Estate Planning attorney, I can tell you these questions are rarely on anyone’s mind until they become necessary. Estate planning is also not just for the elderly.

Think of all the people in your life who have died too young.  I believe young families are the people most in need of estate planning.  Although the chance of you dying before your children are grown may be small, the consequences of not planning can be disastrous if you do.

What About Medical Decisions?  Remember Terry Schiavo?

Terry Schiavo was married, but was still kept alive on life support against her husbands wishes for 7 years because her parents didn’t agree with him.

Who was right about Terry’s wishes? Her husband? Her parents? Who knows? The family would not have had to go through 7 years of misery if Terry had signed a medical directive and stated her own wishes. Make sure that your wishes are known by putting them in writing. Don’t assume that your family knows what you want and that they will all agree.

Do you know how long your Probate will take in California?

Are you aware of how much you will need to pay in Estate Taxes?

Why Should You Hire a Good Estate Planning Attorney to Assist You in Estate Planning?

Many people wonder if they should hire an Estate Planning lawyer, of if they can just prepare their own plan using forms purchased from a store or the internet. The reason to hire an experienced Estate Planning attorney is simple: It is imperative that your documents work when they are needed – on your death or incapacity. At that time they cannot be fixed or corrected.

What is Estate Planning? What is the planning process and the resulting documents that are important to YOU? What must be done correctly to satisfy legal requirements?

Any documents not completed with an knowledgeable Estate Planning attorney won’t ever be tested until you are either dead or incapacitated. At which point the documents cannot be fixed. They must work when called upon. There is no second chance. I would not recommend taking that risk.

You would not perform your own medical procedure using information you found in books or on the internet, would you? Nor would you allow someone other than a doctor to perform it. It makes sense to let the professionals do the task.

When choosing an Estate Planning attorney, choose an experienced estate planner, not one who only dabbles in the area. Estate Planning is a complex area of law. Make sure that you personally meet with an attorney and that the attorney answers all of your questions and describes all of your options. If the attorney does not answer your questions, or does not seem to be certain of the answers, go elsewhere. Beware of firms that use staff to mass produce estate plans. Your estate plan is personal to your situation and should not be cookie-cutter.

Do you have minor children? Young children? Disabled beneficiaries? Beneficiaries receiving public benefits? Beneficiaries with a substance abuse problem? Beneficiaries in a bad marriage? Beneficiaries who are irresponsible with money? Beneficiaries who do not get along with each other? All of these things should be addressed in your estate plan. The best thing you can do is get informed about your options and learn how to fully protect what you’ve worked hard to earn.

So, What is Estate Planning? It is your best bet to avoid Probate. Contact me today – Your Experienced Estate Planning Attorney of choice.

Call Today (909) 625-0220

And schedule your Free 45 minute Consultation

I will answer all your questions clearly and with your best interest in mind.

  • What would happen to your children if you die while they are still young?
  • Who will care for them?
  • Where will they live?
  • Who will manage their money for them?
  • Will various family members fight over them?

Every parent of young children should consider what planning should be done to ensure that the children are taken care of and that their money is managed for them properly until an appropriate age.  Minors cannot hold property.  Any money left to them will be controlled by the court and then handed over to the child at 18, no strings attached.

How many children who receive an inheritance at 18 will still have it at 21? Think about it for a moment.

You can prevent this, but you have to take action to do so.  How?

  • Designate your children’s guardian
  • Don’t name your children directly as a beneficiary of life insurance, retirement, or any other account

Don’t let your estate pass directly to your young children through intestate succession or a will.  Instead, create a trust and name a trustee to manage your childrens money until you feel they are responsible enough to do so on their own.

Will your loved ones have the ability to help you if you become incapacitated?  Will they be able to handle your finances?  Will they be able to carry out your medical wishes?

Everyone can benefit from incapacity planning including Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directives.  The effect of becoming incapacitated without these documents is devastating.  If you do not create them while you still can, only the court, through a Conservatorship, can do so.  Conservatorships are incredibly costly and invasive, but can be easily avoided by simple planning while you still can right now.

Don’t believe the myth that your spouse, parent, or child can act for you without these documents.  Your spouse cannot legally sign financial documents on your behalf.