When it comes time to sit down and draw up an estate plan, it can feel pretty overwhelming. Many people do not even know where they should begin. This is why it is important to have a Southern California estate planning lawyer helping you with this process. Not only do you want to make sure that you address every aspect of your estate and make sure your wishes are honored when you are no longer here, but it is also critical to make sure all of this is done while following the laws of the state of California.
The following are some tips to help get you started with the process.
In order to decide how you want your assets distributed upon your death, you have to know exactly what all of those assets are. We suggest that you make an inventory of all of your assets. Not only should this list include the obvious assets, such as bank accounts and real estate, but you should also include other items you have that are valuable. This can include family heirlooms, jewelry, artwork, collections, and more.
Knowing the exact value of your estate will also help your Southern California estate planning lawyer formulate the best estate plan for your situation in order to minimize the impact of estate taxes and other expenses that can end up eating up your hard-earned assets instead of those assets being passed to your loved ones.
While many people realize they should have a will as part of their estate plan, they may not understand just how valuable having trusts set up are. Revocable trusts are often used to help avoid tax consequences, as well as keep the assets that are in the trust out of the probate process.
For people who have special needs children, a special needs trust can help ensure that your child will be taken care of when you are no longer here, without interfering with any disability benefits they may be entitled to.
Another important aspect of estate planning is protecting your assets in the event you should become incapacitated or need to be placed in a nursing home. Medical and nursing home expenses can quickly eat up all of the assets a person has worked their whole life saving, leaving nothing for their loved ones when they pass.
An estate planning lawyer can help set up your estate plan so it includes an incapacity planning component that will protect your assets. Your attorney can also draft a health care proxy and other needed documents that will empower a person you choose to make medical treatment decisions if you are incapacitated and unable to do so.
If you would like to learn more about putting together your estate plan, contact Holborn Law to meet with a Southern California estate planning lawyer and find out what your legal options may be.