Whether you own a home at the top of the Hollywood Hills or deep in the heart of suburban California, you should arrange for the management of your estate when you are no longer around to do so for yourself. An estate is the accumulation of your assets, real property, and finances. Everyone has an estate, and everyone should create a detailed plan for how they would like it managed.
Here are the 4 main reasons to create a plan for your estate:
While not every type of estate plan will allow you to avoid probate completely, a will can help decrease the probate process significantly. If you have a large estate, the absence of a will could prolong probate while the court attempts to divvy up your assets to creditors and benefactors. A small estate could face setbacks as the result of this as well, but it is less likely to go on longer than 1 year.
Trusts allow you to avoid the probate process completely while also giving you more control over your assets. The drawback of this type of document is that it usually will not allow you to touch the assets in a trust once you have created it.
Decrease Estate Taxes
Certain types of trusts can ensure your beneficiaries don’t end up paying taxes on your estate. This is because once an asset goes into a trust it is no longer technically part of your estate but rather an eventual gift to the trustee. This reduction in estate size can also reduce the amount of money your estate will owe in taxes.
Ensure Your Estate Is Distributed According to Your Wishes
The absence of an estate plan means the state could have complete control over your property. A California court will most likely determine where and/or to whom your assets will end up. If that idea doesn’t sit well with you, you should strongly consider creating an estate plan.
Estate plans allow you to remain in complete control over your assets even after you pass on. They allow you to distribute all aspects of your estate exactly as you see fit.
Increase the Ease of Estate Management for Your Beneficiaries
If you die without a will, the likelihood your beneficiaries will either fight over your estate or be confused as to how to distribute it increases. If you have never had a discussion with your loved ones over where you would like your assets to end up, they could be unprepared to distribute the assets.
Couple this unpreparedness with any stress and grief they may be experiencing, and your beneficiaries could be in for a difficult probate period. An estate plan can ensure the process of dividing your assets goes as smoothly as possible.
Compassionate Estate Planning Lawyers
Our attorneys understand the importance of estate planning. We will do everything we can to help you ensure your estate is properly handled.