Estate planning at any age is important. It will ensure you and your family are covered at all stages of life. An estate plan incorporates all the legal documents you need (Trust, Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, etc.) should you become incapacitated or die. The size or amount of assets you have doesn’t matter or at what age you start your planning. It isn’t expensive to get your estate plan in place but failing to plan can cost your heirs plenty of time, money, and anguish. Contact us at Breunig Law for a comprehensive, fixed price estate package to protect you and your assets from taxes and governmental interference.
An estate plan is not just something for those that are affluent.
You never know when there will be no tomorrow. Putting the legal documents into place to ensure your loved ones know what to do should you become incapacitated or die, is the best gift and comfort you can provide them. But don’t worry, you can continue to adjust your wishes as you and your loved ones go through different stages of life. Preparing for the inevitable is the smart thing to do with an Estate Plan that incorporates all the legal documents you need. It doesn’t matter the size or amount of assets you have, large or small. Estate planning is not just for the elderly, it is for young families and the middle-aged, as well. Take the time to provide your loved ones with peace of mind knowing that they will be taken care of and not end up in probate, dealing with the courts to settle your affairs.
If I already have a will, why do I need an estate plan?
A will is only one piece of the estate plan and almost always requires a probate to transfer property to your beneficiaries or heirs. An estate plan is comprised of several documents centered around a trust that will outline your wishes and simplify handling of your affairs, if you become incapacitated or die. It will provide a private and smooth distribution of your assets to your family, friends, or charities you care about the most. Assets properly titled in a trust never go through the probate process, saving time and expense for your beneficiaries.
With a Revocable Trust you will continue managing all of your assets over your lifetime making changes as needed, but your assets will be held in the trust. The importance of this is that when you die your assets will pass to your beneficiaries without the need to involve the court with a probate. It will be much faster to distribute assets and preserve dollars for your beneficiaries
While there are many different types of trusts based on your unique needs, the Irrevocable Trust, just as the name implies cannot be altered during your lifetime. This type of trust is used when there are a variety of objectives, such as providing for a loved one with special needs, long-term care planning, charitable giving, avoiding estate and capital gains taxes, and asset protection from creditors and predators.
The Will provides backup to your Trust in case there are assets that are not titled in your trust when you die. While this document is an important piece of handling your affairs, it is used as a backup to a revocable or irrevocable trust.
In the event you become incapacitated, the Durable Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone in advance to make decisions on your behalf if you are suddenly hospitalized or cannot speak for yourself. They will be able to make both health and financial decisions such as managing your accounts and paying debts. They can also permit the one you trust to place your assets in an irrevocable trust to put them out of reach of creditors or to qualify you for government funded long term skilled nursing care.
A Health Care Directive is a document that if you become incapacitated, it will provide instructions about how you wish to handle your health care decisions. This is a very important document to have on file if you are ever incapacitated.
Breunig Law provides compassionate, skilled, and experienced services you can trust. We will deliver counseling, drafting, and execution of a well-thought-out estate plan that will protect your assets, support your family’s unique needs, and save you and your family money and stress.
It is recommended you review your estate plan every couple of years to ensure it accurately reflects your current situation.
Request our free book “Estate Planning in California”.