Estate planning is a valuable and necessary tool for any individual who owns assets. Putting in place an estate plan can help to reduce taxes, protect assets, and preserve the legacy of an individual after they pass away. For an estate plan to accomplish your goals, however, it must be created ahead of time.
The team of experienced Brentwood estate planning attorneys at Kushner Legal employ an array of legal strategies to help protect the assets of our clients. Moreover, through our guidance, it is possible to limit the financial burden of taxes and probate. If you are interested in setting up an effective estate plan for you or a loved one, call us at 310-279-5166 to explore your options today.
Nearly everyone has some sort of estate. Your estate includes essentially anything that you own, such as real estate, bank accounts, life insurance policies, investments, cryptocurrency, or personal possessions. It is natural to wonder what will happen to your estate after you die. This is where planning becomes important. Estate planning is the process of preparing for your finances, medical decisions, and personal care in the event of incapacitation or death.
Without an estate plan in place, an individual’s affairs will be subject to the policies and procedures of the state of California rather than their own wishes. This can result in a person’s estate being distributed in a manner that conflicts with their interests. For this reason, maintaining an estate plan that reflects your current goals and financial standing is imperative.
The ideal estate plan is one that is tailored to a person’s unique financial and personal circumstances. Because of this, the composition of an estate plan can vary greatly from person to person. Some of the components of an effective estate plan can include:
Oftentimes, these legal documents work together to comprehensively protect an individual’s assets from taxes or falling into the hands of the wrong people. Moreover, documents such as the power of attorney or advanced healthcare directive can specify how a person would like medical or financial decisions to be made if they are unable to communicate such decisions.
An effective estate plan allows an individual to plan for these matters well in advance and name the people and organizations who will benefit from their estate following their passing. These people and organizations are referred to as the beneficiaries of an estate.
Creating an effective and enforceable estate plan can be quite legally complex and challenging. While some of the components of an estate plan, such as a will, can be created without the assistance of an attorney, the document may be deemed invalid during the probate period. Involving a Brentwood estate planning lawyer can help avoid this risk altogether.
Additionally, an experienced estate planning attorney can help you understand the implications of holding your assets in a trust and how different types of trusts can benefit your estate. One major benefit of the trust is that it can avoid probate and, in some cases, reduce the burden of taxes. It is important to select the correct type of trust for your specific assets, however, and an attorney can help navigate such issues.
What questions should you ask or what documents should you compile before your meeting with an estate planning lawyer? It is important to remain transparent regarding the wishes and goals you have for your estate. Furthermore, you should prepare to share any relevant financial documents regarding your assets. This can include bank statements, investment accounts, retirement plans, or life insurance policies. Your attorney will guide you on what documents are necessary.
Some questions you may consider asking a potential estate planning attorney can include:
It is key to find an estate planning lawyer who you can trust, as this relationship is important for the longevity of your finances.
At Kushner Legal, we understand the importance of carefully managing your finances and listening to the goals you have for your estate. We act according to your wishes and ensure that your estate plan is tailored to your unique needs. It is never too early to start planning for your estate. Call us at 310-279-5166 today to learn more about how we can help protect your assets.