Perhaps the most severe miscalculation you can make concerning your future is assuming that only the wealthy need estate planning. While many do not wish to think about death, planning for a secure future for you and your family is simply being responsible. Who needs estate planning? You do!
The Purpose of Estate Planning
Everyone needs an estate plan. Too many people believe that an estate plan is only for the wealthy. The fact is, if you have a checking account, you need an estate plan. Without an estate plan in place, in the event of your death, your property and assets may end up in the hands of unknown beneficiaries, creditors, or may be subject to unwanted taxes, fees, and probate costs. This is known as dying “intestate,” or without a written and legal will to express your final wishes.
If you have family or loved ones, dying intestate places an incredible burden on them. They will be required to fight for your assets and incur possibly huge expenses just to settle your affairs. All this on top of the natural grief and distress of losing a loved one. Estate planning is a great gift to your family and loved ones.
Why Do You Need Estate Planning?
Why do you need an estate plan in California? The Estate Planning Attorneys at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo offer several benefits of having an estate plan. Here are several for your consideration.
- Make sure your assets go to the right beneficiaries – creating an estate plan means you can structure the distribution of your assets however you want and avoid the lengthy probate process. You may also exclude whomever you want from inheriting assets.
- Plan for your healthcare at the end of your life – estate plans can include essential documents that record your wishes for end-of-life treatments and designate a healthcare proxy to make decisions when you cannot.
- Plan for the future of your financial investments and accounts – an estate plan can continue investment ventures or accounts after your death. You can designate someone to manage them or create powers of attorney to make financial decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated.
- Arrange a guardianship for minors – your estate plan in California can include a guardianship arrangement for dependent children under 18 or special needs dependents so they are cared for after your death.
- Prepare for the future of your business – a CA estate plan can include provisions for the future of your business, including assets and shares transferred to partners or beneficiaries, in the event of your death.
- Protect your assets – without an effective estate plan in California, creditors, lawsuits, or others could come after your assets, denying them from your beneficiaries. Asset protection is a vital aspect of estate planning.
- Make charitable gifts – estate planning allows you to plan ahead for funding your favorite charities or non-profit organizations. You can designate certain assets for a charity and even structure the funding to minimize their tax burdens.
- Avoid excessive taxation – state and federal governments take enough of your taxes, and wise estate planning can help you minimize your estate’s tax burden, and that of your beneficiaries.
- Eliminate potential family problems – wars over a loved one’s estate are common. A clear estate plan can stop fights before they start by designating who controls the estate distributions and other assets, and how they are to be handled.
- Take control of your family’s future – dying intestate, or without a will or estate plan, in California leaves your family’s future and all your assets in the hands of the probate court. Creating your own estate plan keeps you in control instead of strangers.
Contact Us for Help With Your Estate Plan
Who should have an estate plan in California? Anyone who cares about their future and the future of their loved ones. Get the help you need from The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo in Woodland Hills, CA. Our skilled estate planning attorneys can work with you to create an effective estate plan that is tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Call us today at 818-676-9572.