When Should You Start Your Estate Planning?

For many, having children is a driving factor in starting estate planning. However, you should never wait until you have children to do so.

At any given time, you should have a Power of Attorney in which you appoint an agent to make medical or property related decisions in the event you are incapacitated or unable to make such decisions. In addition, your health directive can indicate burial instructions, your wishes to be an organ donor, and other end of life decisions. These are decisions that you can make so that your loved ones are aware of your wishes and are not left having to make difficult choices.

As for your assets, a Will allows you to indicate who you would like to serve as your executor or conservator and provide for disposition of personal property. Since Wills must be probated, a Revocable Trust may be a better fit for your estate planning.

In California, if the decedent’s assets are worth more than $150,000, then the estate must go through the expensive and time consuming process of probate.  Therefore, if your assets such as real property, stocks, businesses, and/or bank accounts are worth more than $150,000, a Revocable Trust is crucial to avoid probate. A revocable trust allows the Trustor to fund the trust with the assets, specify disposition of assets, designate beneficiaries, and appoint trustees to manage your estate.

Planning before you have children is a necessary step to protect your assets and to ensure that your assets will not go to the state of California. Your estate planning documents can be changed or amended according to changes in your life. To learn how our attorneys can assist you with your estate planning or other legal needs, contact us today.

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