One of the primary reasons clients seek out estate planning is the desire to preserve their estates for their loved ones. Without an estate plan, your family might be left with many unwanted consequences, including hefty tax burdens and other costs. More importantly, if you want to make decisions regarding your estate yourself, instead of leaving those decisions to a probate judge, then you want to have an estate plan. Let our Los Angeles estate planning lawyers help you get started by explaining a few of the important things you need to know.
What is Actually Involved in Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a method for preparing yourself and your family for what happens after your death. Estate planning also allows you to plan for unexpected incapacity. Planning ahead gives you a chance to specify who will inherit your property after your death while helping you to reduce the taxes your estate will have to pay. If you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated, your estate plan can provide the protection you and your family will need.
If I Don’t Have a Large Estate, Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?
No, estate planning is not only necessary for the wealthy. Estate planning can protect anyone who has anything they want to leave behind for their loved ones. Even the smallest estate needs to be planned in order to protect both the assets themselves and the beneficiaries to which they will be passed. In fact, most middle-class families need a plan just in case a family’s breadwinners are no longer able to provide.
What Should the Basic Purpose of My Estate Plan Be?
If you don’t make the decision now about who should receive your estate property, the court will make those decisions for you. The basic purpose of an estate plan is to select which of your heirs should receive which property. If the court is required to do this for you, it can take years to complete and often leads to ugly family disputes. Also, courts do not automatically decide that a surviving spouse will get everything. Let our Los Angeles estate planning lawyers explain the terms you will need to accomplish your goals.
Can an Estate Plan Help to Protect My Young Children?
In order to ensure that your children will be taken care of in the manner you see fit, you need to designate a guardian or guardians to care for them, in the event both parents die before the children turn 18. Otherwise, the court will make that decision for you. No parent wants to leave this important decision to a neutral party who does not know their children or the family members who would potentially be given custody. Our Los Angeles estate planning lawyers can ensure that you consider all strategies to protect your children.
Will Estate Planning Help to Reduce Estate Taxes?
An easy way to ensure that your heirs will not pay more than absolutely required in estate taxes, then it is wise to have an estate plan. Estate planning can help you protect your heirs from a huge tax burden, by allowing you to transfer your assets to your heirs while maintaining the smallest tax burden possible. Estate planning can help you take advantage of the right exemptions and deductions, so let our Los Angeles estate planning lawyers help.
Can I Do Something to Avoid Disputes Over Inheritance?
The best way to avoid disputes over your estate and who will receive an inheritance is to provide very detailed instructions in your estate plan. Ultimately, you don’t want to see your family fighting over your personal possessions after your death. An estate plan you can help you to avoid many of the challenges that come with distributing an estate. Our Los Angeles estate planning lawyers can help you determine the best steps to take.
Can Anyone Create a Will?
In order to create a will, you must first be old enough. The age of majority is different in each state. In California, you must be at least 18 years old. In most states, it is presumed that the testator has the necessary mental capacity to make a will unless someone challenges that capacity. If that happens, the court will determine whether the person who created the will was incapacitated at the time. If you are not sure about your capacity, speak to one of our Los Angeles estate planning lawyers.
Why is it a Good Idea to Consult with Los Angeles Estate Planning Lawyers?
The job of an estate planning attorney is to provide expert legal advice. Estate planning is an important area of the law that typically involves drafting complex legal documents. Those documents can result in serious legal consequences is not drafted properly. For that reason, it would always be wise to consult with an expert when you begin your estate planning.
Join us for a free seminar today! If you have questions regarding estate planning, trust contests, or any other trust administration issues, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us in Los Angeles at (310) 337-7696, and in Orange County at (562) 346-3209.
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