Estate Planning is the area of law involving Wills, Trusts and Probate and is all about preserving your assets during your lifetime and dispursing those assets based on your wishes upon your death.
The death of a loved one often forces us to deal with estate matters in a time of great grief and stress. It involves funeral arrangements, accessing assets, paying bills, filing a will or death certificate. These tasks can be even more stressful without any planning. That is why planning ahead now is so important to you and your family.
In California, if you have a Will, or no estate planning at all, your estate will require a probate proceeding. Why is that a disadvantage? Because a probate is public. Examples are attached hereto. Everyone has access to your information. Probate creates delays and high costs. Heirs can easily contest the proceedings. The Court decides guardianship of minors. And, if need be, the Court decides if you are incapacitated.
But, if you have taken care of your estate plan and have a Revocable Trust you can:
Avoid probate costs and delays
Avoid family disputes
Avoid or reduce estate taxes
Avoid a Court hearing if a person is incapacitated
Protect minors and adults
Protect minors and adults from ex-spouses and creditors
Fund education and support your kids and grandkids
Protect your assets during your life, incapacity, and after your death.
In addition, to a Revocable Trust, it is important to have the following documents:
Power of Attorney for finances
Power of Attorney for Health Care, if incapacitated
Easy access to medical information
Decisions about life-sustaining measures.
Take the time to plan now, the money you spend today on your estate plan, will save your family money later. But more importantly, it will save your family the added stress and burdens involved with probate.
Thank you for visiting my Website. For more information, please contact me at martha@MDAEstateLaw.com or (925) 287-6543.
Martha Davis Alexander