Why should you plan your estate?
No one likes to think about their own death, however leaving your estate unattended, no matter how large or small it may be, can be disastrous. You most likely have an idea of where you want your assets to go, but if you don’t properly plan for your estate’s distribution, your intended beneficiaries may not get what you wanted them to receive. In addition, your heirs may be subject to unnecessary taxes, extra administration costs, and contests from squabbling siblings.
An Estate Plan will allow you to ensure your property goes to the intended heirs with the least amount of tax liability possible. It should also name who you wish to be the guardian of any minor children you may have, as well as whom you would like to manage your estate in the event you become incapacitated and/or in the event of your death. Without a proper Durable Power of Attorney, if you suffer a tragic event as a result of illness or injury, leaving you unable to manage your finances, your family will be forced to establish a Conservatorship though the court in order to assist you with your finances. This proceeding is expensive and very stressful for your loved ones. Unfortunately, you don’t know if or when tragedy will strike. As a nurse who worked in critical care units of local hospitals for many years, Attorney Julie Fiedler has seen countless cases where illness or injury have left people unable to care for themselves. It can happen whether you are young or old. We, at Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc. cannot stress enough the value of setting up an appropriate plan in advance.
Your Estate Plan should at least include a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and an Advanced Health Care Directive. However, Californians should also consider setting up a Living Trust for any property they may own valued over $100,000, or for any real estate to avoid costly and time-consuming probate proceedings.
The creation of an Estate Plan should be done with care in order to prevent the possibility of your wishes not being followed. Wills that are not complete can be contested by other heirs in a court of law resulting in your wishes not being followed. While you can set up your own Estate Plan, it can be a risky proposition. It is best to seek the advice of an attorney experienced in Estate Planning to ensure your wishes are followed. Your attorney can advise you as to whether a Will alone is enough to secure your property or whether it would be best to set up further protection of your assets.
Experienced Alameda and Contra Costa County Estate Planning Lawyers
Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc. is an experienced Estate Planning Law Firm providing individually tailored plans to fit our clients’ needs. After a careful review of the details and fees involved in the process, we begin to structure an estate plan based on our clients’ concerns and goals. Our Law Offices are located throughout the state and serves California in Elder Law and Estate Planning. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.