Sacramento Estate Planning Attorneys
Estate planning can benefit anyone, no matter what the value of your the assets total. Though it can seem daunting, planning ahead will save your family future grief. Documenting your final last wishes and arranging for the liquefaction of your assets upon your death saves your family additional emotional strife and makes the grieving process less complicated. For help with this, contact an experienced Sacramento estate planning attorney.
What Is Estate Planning?
Your estate is comprised of everything you own: financial holdings like checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, or other investments, and physical assets such as cars, real estate, and other personal possessions. Estate planning is more than just the allocation of assets. A Sacramento estate planning lawyer can help you make any final arrangements for your estate, including:
- Disability/ or durable power of attorney. In the event that you become mentally incapacitated or unable to make important decisions for yourself, name a person you trust to make them in your best interest.
- Guardianship of minor children. If you have children, you need to make provisions for them in the event of your death or permanent disability. Choose a trusted family member or friend to care for them and manage their inheritance until they reach an age where they can handle the responsibility on their own.
- Contingency planning. If you have loved ones that have trouble managing their assets, prepare stipulations for their portion of an inheritance. An attorney can work with you to draft an arrangement that works for everyone.
- Transfer business or corporate assets to another party.
Why Is Estate Planning for Me?
Too many put off estate planning because they think they have more time or that their assets are too trivial to be allocated in a legal document. If you do not take a proactive stance with estate planning, your loved ones will have to pick up the pieces if the unexpected happens.
Your state has a default plan for your estate, but it likely wouldn’t align with your ideal wishes if you had planned ahead. Here’s what happens to your estate in the event of your death or permanent disability:
- Disability: The court will appoint someone to control your assets. More commonly than not, the court will control your estate, not your family. Even if you recover, regaining control of your estate can be lengthy and costly.
- Death: Your estate will go into probate in accordance with the rules of the state of California. With proper estate planning, it’s possible to avoid probate altogether, which can be an expensive process that lasts about 18 months.
Beginning Your Estate Plan
Your estate plan begins with the establishment of a will or trust. A will is the most common type of estate document, and when drafted by an experienced attorney, it effectively determines how your estate is allocated amongst your heirs upon your death. It also makes provisions for your minor children or other loved ones.
A trust performs these essential functions as well, but with a trust it is easier to avoid probate. The state of California requires probate for wills totaling over $150,000 in assets. If you’re allocating a larger estate, a living trust might be the best option for you, but an experienced attorney can help you make a final decision.
The first step in establishing an estate plan is meeting with a skilled attorney to discuss you and your family’s specific needs. The Boyd Law Firm in Sacramento with expertise in estate planning law can help you determine the best plan. Contact Boyd Law today to set up a meeting with one of our associates. We offer free initial consultations, so get in touch with us to set up your appointment.