Your estate plan should not be static because your life is always changing. You may have put great care into the initial formation of your plan, but if you have not recently reviewed it, your plan is probably outdated.
There are many factors to consider when creating an estate plan and organizing those factors may seem daunting. You may feel stressed when faced with the task of gathering your information and getting your wishes in a legal document that will carry on after you pass. When meeting with an estate planner, there are some essential items you should have ready in order to simplify the process.
Most California residents know that estate planning involves creating a legal structure for dispersing one's finances after his or her death. A will may also provide instructions for health care preferences, funeral arrangements and power of attorney. While it may seem that these issues primarily affect people in older age brackets, there are numerous reasons to create an estate plan at a younger age.
Planning for the future and preparing for long-term care is not always an easy process. This is a smart step for California readers of all ages and income levels, yet there are a few common estate planning mistakes that can derail a person's efforts and cause complications down the road. Of course, one of the most common mistakes that people make regarding their estate plans is to do nothing or assume they do not need one.
The will, sometimes called a last will and testament, remains the most common and recognizable tool that people in California and other states use to create their plan for asset distribution to their beneficiaries and for related purposes. However, living trusts have increasingly grown in popularity and are worth considering when one sits down with one's estate planning attorney to work out a plan. The revocable living trust is set up by the person called the grantor or settlor, and that person appoints a trustee to govern and administer the trust. In many instances, the settlor and the trustee are one in the same.
Divorce will bring many changes to a person's life, including finances, retirement and more. In a time of upheaval and transition, it can be easy to overlook some of the things a California resident may need to do after divorce in order to truly protect his or her interests. One of these things is to make estate planning adjustments.
If you prefer to avoid conversations regarding your own mortality, you may relate to many California residents who say they don't even like to think about the topic, much less talk about it. On the other hand, you might be among those who understand that, even though such discussions may be somewhat uncomfortable, it is important to at least speak to loved ones about your wishes. It is also helpful to connect with an experienced legal advocate to place your wishes in writing and use the estate planning process to your benefit.
Estate planning in California is not a difficult process, but it should be done under the guidance of an experienced attorney and a qualified financial planner where appropriate. The risks of mistakes and the erroneous adoption of incorrect provisions taken from the internet are too great. This article shares some important points to keep in mind about the importance and structure of estate planning devices.
Many people in California are interested in leaving a legacy that will live on after death. This may mean incorporating some form or forms of charitable giving into one's estate plan both during life and afterwards. People often associate philanthropy with tax benefits but there are many aspects of personal satisfaction that motivate charitable giving. If one has an interest in establishing a legacy of giving the easy way to start the effort is to bring it up to the estate planning attorney during the discussion stages of the process.
In California and other jurisdictions, the way that real estate is titled will have an effect on how the property is passed on to others. Thus, when an individual or married couple purchase real estate, it is important how the property is titled because that designation has an estate planning effect. If the new deed lists the grantees as husband and wife, for example, this is interpreted as meaning that the parties are joint tenants with the right of survivorship.