If you own assets, estate planning can be a highly beneficial way to ensure your legal and financial rights remain protected. By establishing an estate plan, is it possible to protect your wealth and property from tax liability or from falling into the hands of unintended beneficiaries. As such, more and more Culver City residents are implementing estate plans to protect their fruits of their labor.
Kushner Legal is a Culver City estate planning law firm with years of experience in creating estate plans to optimize our clients’ assets. There is no one-size-fits-all for estate plans and we work to tailor a plan that suits your individual needs. The sooner you get started estate planning, the sooner your assets are protected, and your legacy solidified.
Kushner Legal is an estate planning law firm serving Culver City that can help answer your questions now. Timing can be critical in estate planning so it is important to call Kushner Legal at 310-279-5166 or submit a contact form to get your questions answered and begin setting up your estate plan today. We can discuss your matter over the phone, over Zoom, or meet you at our office or a convenient location in the West Los Angeles area.
Legally speaking, a person’s estate is the collective sum of their net worth, assets, and financial securities. Essentially, anything of value that a person owns is counted as their estate. This can include many elements, such as:
All of these assets combine to form an estate. Most adults have some form of estate, which will be distributed according to either their estate plan or California law following their death.
Considering that most individuals have some form of estate, it is relevant to consider what will happen to these assets following their death. Without having any form of an estate plan in place, a person’s assets will be distributed according to California Probate Code Sections 6400-6414. California law prioritizes spousal and child-parent relationships when distributing the assets of an individual without an estate plan. In many cases, this may not represent the true wishes of an individual. Perhaps an individual wishes to distribute their estate to other family members, loved ones, or organizations. This will not be accounted for if the individual does not have an estate plan.
Furthermore, creating an estate plan can help reduce tax liability. If an individual structures their assets well, through trusts or other means, they can successfully reduce the burden of estate taxes. An estate plan can also be leveraged to restructure assets to qualify for long-term healthcare benefits. Particularly in the case of Medicaid benefits, owning too many assets can prevent a person from being eligible for necessary long-term care benefits. Through estate planning, this hurdle can be avoided, which is a major incentive for many people.
A comprehensive estate plan will include different documents that work to fully protect your assets. Some common estate planning documents include:
When employed properly, these documents are used to manage a person’s affairs – financial, medical, and personal – in the event of incapacitation or death. An estate plan can name the individuals or organizations who will inherit specific assets, how and when the estate will be distributed, and who will manage the affairs when the time comes.
Simply put, the sooner the better. To fully enjoy the benefits of estate planning, the preparation must be done well in advance. This is particularly true of people who wish to restructure their assets for tax or healthcare reasons. These measures must be put in place beforehand.
On the other hand, life is highly unpredictable. A power of attorney or advanced healthcare directive can grant peace of mind that all decisions will be made according to an individual’s wishes. Without such legal measures in place, a person’s medical and financial affairs will be left vulnerable. It is best to begin estate planning when a person is sound of mind and fully healthy.
Many people ask the question: Is an attorney necessary to create an estate plan? An attorney can provide crucial guidance regarding how to create legally enforceable documents that can be upheld in court. California law provides for wills that are hand-written by an individual, known as holographic wills, but such documents must adhere to specific rules to be deemed valid during probate. Failure to comply with these rules can render the will obsolete and therefore unenforceable.
A Culver City estate planning lawyer at Kushner Legal can help ensure that your plan adheres to California law. Additionally, they can provide valuable guidance on how to best structure your assets to mitigate tax liability.
At Kushner Legal, we leverage creative estate planning strategies and an extensive knowledge of California law to fully protect your assets. We work alongside our clients to understand their objectives and reflect their wishes in an estate plan that works for them. If you own assets of any kind, estate planning can benefit you. Contact an experienced Culver City estate planning law firm at 310-279-5166 to discuss your options today.