Planning for the future can be a sensitive and potentially complex process, and many people put it off simply because the thought of estate planning seems unnecessary or too complicated. If you do not have an estate plan in place, you may not have control over certain important matters, such as your health care in the event of incapacitation. It is important for every California adult of all ages and income levels to have certain legal and financial protections in place.
Your estate plan can be custom-tailored to your individual needs and objectives. Whether you want to ensure your assets go to the right place or you want to outline your medical preferences, estate planning documents allow you to accomplish these goals. You will also find that having an estate plan in place provides you with peace of mind for the future.
Why do you need a plan?
Besides having the ability to have the final say over what happens to your property, there are many benefits to having an estate plan in place if you do not already have one. Some of the benefits one may gain from careful and thoughtful long-term planning include:
- You will be able to protect the interests of your heirs and beneficiaries by outlining exactly who should receive assets from your estate.
- Careful estate planning may help your heirs and beneficiaries avoid certain estate tax penalties when receiving assets after your passing.
- If you are the parent of minor children, an estate plan allows you to outline your preferences regarding their care and provision in case of your passing.
- Your estate planning efforts may reduce the chance for family fighting over your property after your passing or over your medical care in case of incapacitation.
Every estate plan is different. You can create a plan that suits your individual needs and allows you to have the final say over certain important matters.
Where should you start?
If you do not have an estate plan in place, there is no time to lose in creating the legal and financial protections you need to feel confident regarding your interests. Life is unpredictable, but estate planning gives you a measure of control over things that are important to you. If you are unsure of where to start with this process, you may benefit from first seeking an assessment of your individual case.