While most people are under the impression that estate planning is not something they need to worry about until much later in life, that’s not necessarily the case. Creating an estate plan is important for anyone, at any age, who has assets they wish to pass on — regardless of the size of their estate.
An estate plan includes legal documents that clearly identify what you wish to happen to your property and other valuable belongings upon your passing. It may also include direction for your personal care in case you become incapacitated. Essentially, it makes your desires explicitly known for your family and other designated beneficiaries.
The last thing you want for your loved ones who are mourning your loss is to have to deal with the complicated legal processes of managing your estate, not knowing what you would have preferred. This can cause much turmoil in a time already filled with sadness and grieving. By having a plan in place for the future, you can ensure that you and your estate will be protected and managed according to your exact wishes.
Planning for the future can be overwhelming for a number of reasons. I understand that it might be uncomfortable to think about your end-of-life wishes, and even if you are prepared to think through them, there are so many options for creating a strategic estate plan — how do you know which tools are right for you and your family? As an experienced estate planning attorney in Granite Bay, California, I am certain that I can help you with all matters involving your unique estate plan. I’ll take the time to understand what you’re trying to accomplish and outline the necessary steps to reach those goals.
There are multiple types of wills and varying kinds of trusts, and the purposes of each document can have different effects on the future. California law allows residents to use a living trust, a will, or both, in their estate plans. To make sure you have the best plan in place for you and your family, you’ll need the guidance of an estate planning attorney who can answer your questions and address your concerns and goals along the way.
By establishing a will, you can achieve many objectives, but the main intention is to choose how your wealth and assets should be distributed after your passing. In California, there are a few different types of wills that our state recognizes:
Living Wills - Also known as Health Care Directives, these documents specifically outline your preferred choices for your health care options in the event you become unable to communicate them yourself.
Holographic Wills - A holographic will is a legibly handwritten last will and testament with clearly stated intentions of the decedent.
Statutory Wills - This is a templated will provided by the state that can be filled in with your wishes prior to your passing, but leaves no flexibility for change or amendment.
Drafted Wills - This is the most versatile option, as your attorney can create a truly tailored plan that is able to adapt to your life’s changing circumstances.
By establishing a trust (instead of stating your end-of-life wishes as you do with a will) you can legally protect your assets from estate tax issues and probate court, as well as provide for your loved ones and meet other important legal and financial objectives. There’s a wide variety of trust options available in California. Some of the most common choices include:
Revocable Trusts - This type of trust is the most flexible, as it can be changed or terminated at any time without the permission of the beneficiary.
Irrevocable Trusts - Once created, this arrangement cannot be changed or terminated without the permission of the beneficiary.
Special Needs Trusts - If you have children or other dependent loved ones with a disability, this type of trust can set up financial support throughout their life upon your passing.
Charitable Trusts - There are two types of this particular kind of trust that can give back to your favorite charity: one that gives to them for a specific period of time or one that allows them to receive the assets at the end of the trust’s term. If this is an option you wish to explore, work with an attorney to better understand the details.
Whether you need help with drafting a will, creating a trust, or both, in the Granite Bay area, reach out to my firm for the guidance you need to move forward with confidence.
I have guided many families in Granite Bay, California, and the surrounding areas through the processes of exploring their options, establishing their goals, and aligning them with the best solutions to meet their needs. By taking a collaborative approach to your planning process, I strive to provide peace of mind that your wishes will be understood clearly and taken care of accordingly. Not only can I help you create a solid estate plan, but I can also ensure that your documents are prepared properly and adjusted as needed through life’s changes.
From preparing wills to creating trusts and more, as an experienced estate planning attorney, I can help you personalize a strategic plan of action to ensure that your wishes are respected and your loved ones are taken care of. Contact my firm — Katz Business Law — in Granite Bay, California, today for a free consultation and learn how my experience can work for you.