Whether young or not-so-young, planning for the future is essential and often overlooked. You never know when something could happen, so having a plan to protect your family and your assets is a necessity.
Even if you are just getting started in your adult life, there are things you can prepare for—such as deciding who will make decisions in the event you become incapacitated. Estate planning becomes vital if you acquire assets—such as a home, a car, or a savings account—and especially critical if you have dependents who rely on you for financial purposes.
At Anthoor Law Group, we can help you draft a comprehensive plan for the future. Keep reading to learn why it is essential to have a valid estate plan in California.
If you die without a Will, the California court will distribute your assets for you in accordance with the Probate Code. If you would like specific people to receive your assets after your death, then you will need to put your intentions in a written Will. Unfortunately, the court will not know who you were closest to without something on record.
The state’s probate process may leave your loved ones without the protection they need. Working through the estate planning process with an attorney will ensure that the right people, as you have designated, will benefit from your legacy.
The methods outlined below can protect your loved ones. Please note, this list is not exhaustive.
To draft a Will in California, you just have to be over 18 years old and of sound mind. California does not recognize spoken Wills, so you must write everything down and sign it. Additionally, you must have at least two witnesses affirm that you are signing your Will.
If you have children or individuals that you financially support, you create a Trust. California allows you to create various types of trusts that will give you control over any specific requirements you have for each fund. Often, people form a Trust for individuals who are too young or incapable of making responsible financial decisions. A Trust is also a way to pass on your assets without a Will or going through probate.
Not many people realize that they might be required to pay estate taxes. Depending on the value of your estate, the government can tax your estate before passing your assets to your heirs. It is important to work with an estate planning attorney to find out how to preserve your assets as much as possible.
When planning for your estate, you will need to make the nerve-wracking decision of who will receive your assets when you are gone. Your list of heirs might include an irresponsible inheritor. Luckily, you can write restrictions on the inheritance they receive, such as the requirement that they must be going to college, to ensure that they use what you left them wisely.
Planning for what happens after you die is a big part of estate planning, but do not forget to think about what you want to happen if you become incapacitated. If you are unconscious or otherwise unable to make medical decisions for yourself, you can prepare tools to uphold your wishes in such a situation.
A Living Will is for conveying your preferences for what type of medical treatment, such as life-support, you would like if you are unable to communicate your wishes. Like a regular Will, you must be over 18 and of sound mind when writing your Living Will. It will only become effective when at least two physicians declare you incapacitated. An Advanced Directive appoints a Healthcare Power of Attorney or agent who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
A Durable Power of Attorney document is where you designate a trusted individual, your agent, who can legally act in your place to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf.
No one wants to think about dying, but everyone worries about it occasionally. Estate planning is the best way to help the people you love should something happen. It is a plan to ensure that your estate and loved ones will be cared for according to your wishes. You can plan for every possible situation and spare your loved ones from extra stress. Estate planning attorneys can help you create that plan and put your mind at ease.
At Anthoor Law Group, we care about your future and the security of your loved ones. We know it can be draining to think about worst-case scenarios, but we can help create an estate plan so that your mind will be put at ease in such an event.
Contact our estate planning lawyers at Anthoor Law Group in Fremont, California, with any questions about the estate planning process at (510) 794-2887.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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