It’s the phrase we’ve all heard on the news, on TV, in our daily conversations. These are uncertain times and things are changing daily. There’s no better time to start thinking about your future, your family’s future, and the legacy you’ll leave behind for them.
Did you know that you don’t need to be “rich” to have an estate plan, or to create a trust? It’s unclear if America will soon face a recession, and many are unsure about their financial situation. But it makes sense to start planning today for the future so you’re not leaving your family behind without a plan.
What’s an Estate?
Estates and trusts aren’t just for the wealthy. An estate is everything that you own. This includes your home, furniture, car, and life insurance policies. Even though you may have a plan in your mind of who should receive what after you pass, it’s important to build an estate plan now so your wishes can be executed to your loved ones once you’re gone.
Many people tend to think of an estate plan as their will. But it can include a lot more than just figuring out where your property will go after you die. Creating an estate plan means you can also create a trust, you can document your wishes regarding your medical treatment if at any point you can no longer communicate to your doctors, you can decide who will make medical and legal decisions on your behalf once you’re no longer able to, and perhaps most importantly, who will become the legal guardian of your children if you can no longer take care of them.
The Probate Process
Whether you do or do not have an estate plan after your passing, your estate will go into something called probate. If you do not have an estate plan, your property, money, and belongings will be distributed according to the law of intestacy based on your state of residency.
In California, this means your estate will be passed onto your heirs based on the probate code of our state. This process will also cost your family and loved ones. It’s not a free service, and having an estate plan in place ahead of time can help alleviate those costs.
If you have questions or would like to start the paperwork for your estate today, we can help. Contact our offices today to learn more or schedule your consultation with our team.