Santa Monica Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate Planning in Santa Monica, CA

Attorney Lars KushnerEstate planning is a necessary preparation measure for individuals at any stage of life. Establishing a holistic estate plan can ensure that your wealth and assets are handled according to your wishes, therefore preserving your legacy, and benefiting your loved ones. This explains why many Santa Monica residents are looking to estate planning attorneys to help implement their vision and ensure their legal and financial rights are protected in the event of their death. 

At Kushner Legal, we value our client’s goals and curate an estate plan to match. Through a variety of legal strategies, we ensure that their future is planned for and that their assets are protected. Creating an estate plan can be intimidating. Let us take some of the burden. Call Kushner Legal at 310-279-5166 to speak with an experienced Santa Monica estate planning attorney today.

What Is Estate Planning? 

To understand estate planning, one must first know what is involved in an “estate.” A person’s estate is the collection of their property, assets, wealth, and other possessions. Everything of value that a person owns is considered their estate. But what happens to that estate when the person dies?

Estate planning answers that question, among others. An effective estate plan can name the individuals who will inherit their assets, known as beneficiaries. It can dictate who will manage affairs and decisions if the person is incapacitated or passes away. Comprehensive estate plans are comprised of a few different elements, which can include a combination of the following:

  • Last Will and Testament (will) or living trusts
  • Revocable or irrevocable trusts
  • Durable power of attorney documents and/or advanced healthcare directives
  • Beneficiary designations

In essence, an estate plan is used to describe how a person’s estate will be distributed following their death, how children will be cared for, and who will make financial or medical decisions if the person is unable. 

When Should I Begin Estate Planning?

The answer to when a person should begin estate planning is dependent on their financial and personal circumstances. If an individual owns many assets or has a high net worth, estate planning may become immediately necessary. An estate plan is a valuable tool for any adult who owns assets, however, regardless of the value of their estate. In this situation, assets can include: 

  • Savings or investment accounts
  • Real estate
  • Retirement plans
  • Tangible property like vehicles, furniture, or possessions
  • Life insurance policies

When a person dies, all of their assets will be collected, and the value will be determined before distributing the estate to beneficiaries. Therefore, if you own any of these assets, it is advised to begin estate planning. Many people assume that estate planning is only necessary for older individuals, which is simply untrue. 

What Are the Benefits of Estate Planning?

There are several benefits to creating an estate plan. An effective estate plan can ensure that assets go to the proper beneficiaries, which can be people or even organizations. By reducing uncertainty concerning your wishes, it can help ease the burden on your loved ones following your death. Distributing a loved one’s property can be very stressful on those involved, and it is not uncommon for familial or creditor disputes to arise. Estate planning can help avoid those problems.

Moreover, a comprehensive estate plan can be used to limit taxes and the expenses associated with probate and trust administration. This is a major financial benefit of estate planning. Through careful planning, it is possible to mitigate or avoid estate taxes and avoid having some of your assets probated, which can be a time-consuming and costly process. 

Is It Necessary To Hire A Santa Monica Estate Planning Lawyer?

While it is possible to craft an estate plan at home, seeking legal assistance can ensure that these documents are valid and enforceable. The California Probate Code sets forth many stringent requirements for wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents. Failure to adhere to these requirements can render an estate plan obsolete. 

Furthermore, there are an array of strategies available when estate planning. An experienced attorney can help structure your assets in such a way that they are fully and completely protected under the law.

How Can Kushner Legal Assist with My Estate Plan?

At Kushner Legal, our experienced Santa Monica estate planning law firm is ready to implement a plan that benefits both you and your loved ones. Through a tailored estate plan, it is possible to prevent your assets from being wrongly distributed and subject to steep taxes and probate costs. 

Kushner Legal takes a client-centered approach and works to fully understand your vision before offering counsel. By doing so, we are better able to help our clients solidify the future they want for themselves and their loved ones. To get started today, consider calling us at 310-279-5166