Palos Verdes and Torrance Estate Planning Lawyer
When people think of an estate plan, they may picture someone on his death bed surrounded by loved ones signing his last will and testament. Estate planning, though, is much much more than that. Moreover, depending on the size of your estate, having merely a will may be the worst estate plan you can have short of intestacy. Estate planning involves not only arranging for your death, but also includes planning for events that occur during your lifetime. For example, there actually is a much higher risk of becoming legally incapacitated than of dying. Without the proper plan, you will be subjected to a living probate: a court proceeding to have a conservator appointed to take care of you and your assets and finances. As with any probate proceeding, this is time-consuming, burdensome on your family, and easily avoided with a proper estate plan. The truth about estate planning is that it is different things for different people, but is always an essential step and an integral part in your life planning. There is no correct age for it and there is no right season for it. It's never too soon and it's never too late to create one.
So, what is an estate plan? Simply put, it starts with an assessment of all your assets and values and then a design for how your assets and values are to be preserved and to whom and how and when they are to be distributed. Your plan also determines who will take care of you and your loved ones in the event of death or incapacity. The tricky part of estate planning is maneuvering around all the tax obstacles during the transfer of any assets, such as, estate taxes, gift taxes, and generation-skipping taxes.
Life is unpredictable. You never know when you will need a proper plan in place. Don't wait until tomorrow. You don't want to find yourself wishing you had gotten a proper plan in place but never got around to doing it. Because if you don't create your own estate plan expressing your hopes, wishes, and desires, the government has created a default one for you: intestacy. Intestacy distribution may not only run contrary to anything you would have designed, but will cost your estate time, attorney fees, and executor fees.