Tips for Estate Planning in California

We are often asked why it is important to have an estate plan – What happens if you don’t have one? The answer is simple and it can be brutal. Without a well thought out plan of our own, the government will decide how your estate will be distributed. We hear stories of people that have very specific wishes of where they want their estate to go, including to loved ones and people who they want to benefit from your life’s work; but without a plan, your wishes may be ignored.

If you become sick or incapacitated, someone may petition the Court and ask to be appointed to make decisions that you may not want. You have the absolute right in how your life should be if you become ill or unable to care for yourself, as well as the right to appoint someone of your choosing to make the decisions that you would want to be made. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a plan, the government will make those decisions for you.

It takes time and a lot of questions to learn what is the best for your unique situation. Once our office learns your story, we prepare a unique, customized plan that fits your needs and requirements. These plans may include a revocable living trust and financial powers of attorney. We will prepare health care directives which include HIPPA authorizations so medical providers can give you the care that you need and desire.

If you have changes to your financial condition or your health and you require modifications to whom you had chosen to act in your place if the time comes, our office will be there and provide assistance to you.

Estate Planning Tools

If you own a home and have children, then a Living Revocable Trust will be the cornerstone of your estate plan.

Living Revocable Trust

A Living Revocable Trust is one of the most powerful planning tools available to you and your family. This trust can enable you to avoid probate, possibly save on estate taxes, and help you plan for your family’s future needs.

A frequently asked question is whether there is a way to protect your children and loved ones from unscrupulous creditors, lawsuits and even divorcing spouses? Most people think of a trust as an instrument to help you avoid probate, but a trust can also protect your children and loved ones from all of these problems.

With the right planning, a trust can give you peace of mind knowing that you have taken a preventative step in exposing your family to major financial risks.

Will

 For those who have a trust, a will is a backup to that trust. This will can assist your estate if you fail to place all your property in the name of the trust, but it is used solely for emergencies.

A will is also very important if you have young children, so you can decide who should raise and care for your children if something should happen to you and your spouse.

For those who don’t have large estates that would need to go through probate, a simple will may be the appropriate tool.

 

Your next step: call Travis Black and ask for a free consultation so that he can help you plan for your family’s future.