Who, what, when, where and why of Estate Planning...
This is probably one of the harder questions to answer, because not everyone “thinks” they need an Estate Plan. Many misunderstand the importance of an Estate Plan or simply lack the information they need to assess whether or not they need an Estate Plan.
If you own a home in California you definitely need an Estate Plan.
If you have minor children, you definitely need an Estate Plan.
If you have assets worth $150,000 or more, you need an Estate Plan.
If you’re married or single, you need an Estate Plan.
The advantages of having an Estate Plan significantly outweigh the disadvantages.
What is an Estate Plan?
Many believe that an Estate Plan is for only when one passes.
That is incorrect. An Estate Plan also plans for #incapacity.
An Estate Plan includes a financial power of attorney in which you appoint agents to make financial decisions on your behalf, during times you cannot. An Estate Plan also includes an Advanced Health Care Directive which reflects your health care wishes when you cannot make them, as well as any end of life wishes you may have.
If you have minor children, your Estate Plan will dictate your chosen Guardians for your minor children.
Your Estate Plan will also dictate the management of your property during your lifetime as well as after you pass.
Why do I need an Estate Plan?
The answer to this question boils down to this: to avoid probate.
What is #probate?
Probate is a court-supervised process that takes place after the death of someone. Property is transferred from the deceased to their heirs, the deceased’s debts are paid off, etc.
“Well, that’s great then! I don’t need an Estate Plan because the courts will give my property to my family for me anyways.”
Probate is a very lengthy, confusing, and costly procedure. The court also does not know what you want and could potentially give a portion of your Estate to a family member you never wanted anywhere close to you. Further, it’s a public matter. Your Will, if you have one, becomes public. And if you’re a private person that likes to keep your personal matters confidential, probate will do the opposite.
When do you need an #EstatePlan?
You need an Estate Plan as soon as possible if you can answer yes to any of the following:
Do you own a home?
Do you have minor children?
Do you have assets worth $150,000 or more?
Where can I get an Estate Plan done?
There are many options and resources available to get an Estate Plan done.