8 Things You May Not Know About Estate Planning

Does your estate plan ensure your assets go to your intended beneficiaries and help them avoid the probate process? Consider the points below:

1. If you die before establishing a proper trust, your beneficiaries may spend thousands of dollars and years in probate court to receive your assets.

2. If you do not properly designate a beneficiary, the State of California will determine who inherits your assets.

3. If you have not designated a guardian for your minor children, after your death a Superior Court judge will assign a guardian without your input.

4. If you become incapacitated and lack proper documentation, your family may pay thousands of dollars to have the right to manage your medical care.

5. Just because you’ve established joint tenancy with your spouse doesn’t mean you’ll avoid probate court over your shared property.

6. If you hold a property title as a joint tenant, you may have to pay thousands of dollars in capital gains taxes when your partner dies.

7. Check your beneficiaries on your retirement accounts – your spouse should be #1, then your Trust.

8. Is your estate planning up to date?  Has your circumstances changed since you completed your estate plan?  If so, amendments or restatements may be necessary to avoid problems after your death or that of your spouse.

Don’t get stuck paying thousands of dollars in probate court. Refer to the chart below to see how much you can save by having an attorney work on your estate planning.  (Please note there could be additional fees for work outside the normal scope of probate, including but not limited to: asset sales, filing fees, tax preparation and litigation.)

Contact us today to learn how we can help preserve your wealth and transfer your assets to your designated beneficiaries.

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