Steps You Can Take to Create an Estate Plan
The most important thing you can do to plan for your family’s financial future is to create a will. Your will determines who gets your property and who should care for your children. Additionally, you can name an adult to manage your property for your children until they are old enough to do so.
If you want more control over your estate’s future, you can create a trust in addition to your will. Most trusts allow you to maintain use and rights over your property while making the distribution process easier for your family after your death. Another way to make the probate and distribution processes easier is to name loved ones as beneficiaries on specific bank accounts or other financial assets.
Your will determines what happens to your assets, but it does not determine what happens to you in case of an emergency. In California, an Advance Health Care Directive allows you to give someone power of attorney to make decisions for you in case you become incapacitated. The same document will also let you give instructions about what to do in specific medical circumstances, such as whether you want to remain on life support. You can also give someone power of attorney to handle your finances should you become incapacitated.
If you have more complex assets, an experienced estate planning attorney can help you create a business succession plan and deal with tax issues. While relatively few estates are large enough to be subject to an estate tax, it is important to speak with an attorney to determine how the law will apply to your estate.
If you are concerned about your family’s financial future, you can take out a life insurance policy. You can also create a bank account with money to pay for your funeral expenses and have the account pay out at your time of death. This will prevent your family from having to suddenly come up with a large sum of money to provide for your funeral arrangements, making things easier for your family members.
Another way to make things easier for your family is to have all your documents in order. Putting your will, trusts, insurance policies and financial information all in one location can save your family a tremendous amount of work and hardship in the aftermath of your death.
The Law Offices of Eugene Alkana provides estate planning services to clients in the Pasadena area. If you have questions about wills, trusts or probate, attorney Eugene Alkana has answers. Our firm provides free phone consultations. Call us today at 626-788-3952 or contact us online.