Many people assume only wealthy families should have a proper estate plan. However, most of us with ‘typical’ or middle-class estates need to plan to protect our estate, ourselves, and our families. Estate and trust planning lets you ease the worry surrounding what will happen to your legacy and your family when you are no longer around.
Estate planning is an essential tool to guide a person’s family on what to do should they become incapacitated or pass away. While you may not want to dwell on these situations, unexpected events occur all the time and it’s best to be prepared. There are several estate planning options you may need to consider:
Trusts: In California, trusts are critical estate planning tools as they are used to ensure assets are inherited when a loved one dies. Trusts help avoid the probate process which takes years to navigate. When someone dies, it’s difficult enough for the family to grieve and heal. It should not be made more problematic by adding costly and time-consuming legal matters in the mix.
Wills: One of the most familiar terms you may have heard is a last will and testament. However, a will does not provide as much value and versatility as trust and is often not the right route for many Californians to take. Discuss your options with your San Luis Obispo estate planning attorney to determine the pros and cons of wills.
Revocable living trusts: This type of trust can be changed as life circumstances change. What’s contained in a revocable living trust can differ on a case-by-case basis. One, but not the only, benefit of a revocable living trust is that your family and loved ones will not have to slog through probate court upon your passing.
Power of Attorney: This document entrusts another person to manage their property, finances, healthcare, and more should someone become incapacitated and can no longer handle their needs on their own and now need assistance. A durable power of attorney remains in place when a person becomes incapacitated. A non-durable power of attorney will end when a person becomes incapacitated or passes away.
We never know what tomorrow will bring. The sooner you and your family are prepared for the unexpected, the better it will be. Not planning will allows the court system to decide what happens to your assets, potentially leaving your loved ones out in the cold with nowhere to turn.
Andrew Cohen takes the time to get to know you and your family. Listening to concerns and goals is critical to properly provide a well-crafted, personalized estate plan. Andrew Cohen has been a licensed attorney since 1997 and also has experience working in real estate development and marketing. Combining these skills allows him to give you a clear picture of what lies in your future. Contact the San Luis Obispo estate planning attorney from the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen at 661-481-0100 today.