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You Owe it to Your Loved Ones to do Estate and Inheritance Planning in Alta, CA

You Owe it to Your Loved Ones to do Estate and Inheritance Planning in Alta, CA


It never dawned on us that life is unpredictable, that one day, one of us could suddenly cease to exist and what then? What would be the joy in having left so much unsaid? With what memories would we fill the empty silence?
 
- Isabel Lopez


A good goal for parents is to make sure they have up-to-date estate plans in place. No matter what life stage you're in, as long as you have loved ones that depend on you, a solid plan is something you need. It doesn't have to be too complicated - a fairly simple will should ensure that your heirs don't have to grapple with the Government or each other after you pass away.

Not all family battles stem from questionable estate plans, but rather from the dysfunction that already permeates an existing family, whose members refuse to acknowledge a perfectly legitimate will. However, a nonexistent or sloppy will or trust can make things much worse.

Why Do People Avoid Estate Planning?

• Ignorance: people don't realize how important estate planning is. Many don't understand the true expense or pain of probate.

• Fear and Denial: people put off getting their estate plan done. It's a tough subject and some folks just don't want to deal with it.

• Indifference: people don't care enough. They have too many other things to worry about. Or they don't really care enough about their legacy.


• Hassle: people think it's too much work.

• Expense: people think it'll cost a lot of money. Not really. You'll spend an inconsequential amount relative to the outlay your heirs will face if your estate goes to probate.

• Procrastination: There's always tomorrow. You are not at death's door. Waiting another day won't hurt.

Getting Started on Estate Planning

Ask yourself these questions:

• Do you have any assets?

• Do you care who gets them?

• Does it matter to you who becomes the guardian to your children?


If you do care, then you should check out the will and estate planning documents available at 1-2-Law. Keep the communication lines open among members of your family, especially when your heirs are old enough to understand what a will or trust is. If your family doesn't take to the communication well, try sharing your basic philosophy on finance and succession with them regardless. It's tempting to leave it to your lawyers and executors to do the communicating when the time comes, it's much better to avoid big surprises down the road. Give your heirs the opportunity to ask questions and understand your decisions while they can still talk to you.

Some basic housekeeping tasks:

• Set up checks and balances among executors, trustees and administrators who are involved in your estate

• Give your beneficiaries some authority over the assets they are entitled to. Allow your beneficiaries some recourse if there are issues about a particular fiduciary or trustee

• Review and update your estate plan on a regular basis (for every life change and every few years). Keep everything up to date!

• Seek a regular accounting of assets that are involved in your estate

• Read up on estate planning and to become familiar with the concepts and changes in the laws

Your goal should be to get your final wishes documented and in legal order. Tackle these things now while you are in full command of your faculties and are in a happier and secure place in your life.

Get started today!

 
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