Scott Schomer of the Schomer Law Group discusses why Estate Planning is important to families. A Living Trust and Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign in your lifetime. For more information, please call (310) 337-7696 or visit www.schomerlawgroup.com. The Schomer Law Group is based in Los Angeles, CA.
One of the questions I get asked occasionally is, “Why do I have to do this, Scott? Why is it necessary to plan my estate?” Well, there’s some good news and bad news. The good news is that if you don’t plan, the government has a plan for you. The bad news is that I can almost assure you that you’re not going to like the government’s plan. When we’re talking about estate plans, we’re talking about two elements, planning for incapacity, planning for your demise. When it comes to incapacity, the government’s plan is something called a conservatorship. It is a court proceeding filed in your name, or a interested party, such as a spouse or a loved one, a child, perhaps; asked the court to take charge of your affairs. It is public, it is very expensive, and is very cumbersome. You have to get court permission to do anything of significance, such as borrowing money, selling assets, or moving you. The government’s plan when it comes to your demise is probate administration. That is also another court proceeding, typically takes about nine months to a year to process, and costs about four to eight percent of the gross value of your assets to pass them through a probate administration process. In the end, not planning is significantly more expensive for your family, significantly more time consuming, and an easy opportunity to cause delay and heartache. If you don’t have a plan, the government has one for you, but I can guarantee you that you will not like it.