Estate Planning Overview

What is Estate Planning?

This is the process of memorializing your affairs – personal, health and financial in case you become incapacitated or die
Choosing how the assets you have worked so hard all your life will be distributed at your death (personal and real property), bank accounts, IRA’s, etc.
Your goals and desires will be met, not somebody elses, not another family member you do not want to have that authority and not the State of California

What are Common Estate Planning Devices?

Planning for death:

Last Will & Testament
Intervivos Trust
Testamentary Trust
Business Succession Plan
Guardianship nomination for your children under 18

Planning for Incapacity

Advance Healthcare Directive
Living Will
HIPAA Declaration
Durable Power of Attorney

What happens if you DON’T do <a href=””>Estate Planning</a>?

Your estate could very well end up in Probate with years of battling and fighting among relatives
California law will kick in and issue it’s own “default Estate Plan” called intestate succession
Ex-spouses might get property
Children might inherit at 18
Assets could be distributed to distant relatives and relatives you don’t like
It will be costly, public and take time
You could become incapacitated and your wishes will not be followed, your financial affairs could become public with somebody or a Court appointed person making those decisions and your end of life decisions would not be followed since you do not have any Estate Plan designating them.

Key Issues that mandate you should do an Estate Plan?

Are you expecting to live longer?
Do you have children?
Do you have a blended family?
Are you a business owner?
Do you own real estate?
What kind of legacy do you want to leave?
Are you prepared for a catastrophic event?
Do you ant your estate to incur the cost, delay and public nature of a probate?
If you have done nothing, how will you protect your family and assets?

Do you need to Review your Estate Plan?

Have you received an inheritance?
Change in your financial circumstances?
Started a business?
Are you a business owner?
Your retiring?
There has been a death of a beneficiary?
Birth of a child or grandchild?
New son-in-law or daughter-in-law?
New Spouse or Divorce?

Why do you need incapacity planning?

Without it, the Court will have to appoint a conservator you may or may not know?
This will be in effect only while you are alive?
You can designate who will take care of your financial affairs while you are incapacitated?
You can state how your incapacity will be determined?
The third parties will be able to get information and give information to the person you designate for your financial affairs?

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