Getting Your Ducks in a Row Through Estate Planning

What Is Estate Planning?


Ducks-in-a-row

            Getting your ducks in a row — that's what estate planning really means!  Depending on the nature of your
assets and future needs, the process of estate planning can be simple or
complex.  Surprisingly, estate planning
involves more (much more) than simply writing a will.  In fact your estate plan, which should include the creation of a trust,  is a dynamic plan
which addresses many issues including

·       
Your
family

·       
Other
individuals

·       
Charitable
organizations

·       
Your
property (assets) and the many types of ownership and title that your property
may take

·       
Financial
planning

·       
Medical
planning

·       
Tax
planning

·       
Business
planning and/or

·       
Future
needs if you’re ever incapacitated or otherwise unable to care for yourself

Why Estate Planning Is
So Important To You

         Who will be in charge of your medical decisions should you suddenly become incapacitated by a heart attack or stroke?  Do you want heroic measures taken or do you NOT want heroic measures taken.  Without an advance health directive, you're leaving your fate in the hands of others (who may be well-intentioned but do not know your wishes).  What if you want to be resuscitated but you don't have the ability to communicate that message?  What if you don't want this sign over your hospital bed?


Do not resuscitate

            Plan, plan, plan.

          It will come as no shock to you when
I say that we live in an uncertain world. 
So while you’re still of sound mind it is important that you plan for
the future.  Through an estate plan, you
can determine many things:

·       
What
if you become incapacitated? Your estate plan will define

o      
How
and by whom will your assets be managed for
your benefit during the remainder of your lifetime

o      
Who
will take care of your minor children

o      
How
you will be cared for

o      
Who
will make your health care decisions with direction as to what those health
care decisions shall be (don’t leave it to chance)

·       
At
what point it will make sense to distribute your assets during your lifetime

·       
Who
will get your assets after your death – and by what means?

·       
How
your assets will be managed after your death

·       
What
happens to your remains after you die

Simply Put: You Need An Estate Plan

Estate tax

            Bottom Line: It doesn’t matter if
your estate is large or small.  You, your
children, your grandchildren and your assets must be protected and provided for
as determined by you.

·       
Small
Estate: Your plan may focus on

o      
Who
will receive your assets after your death

o      
Who
will manage your estate

o      
Who
will pay your final debts

o      
Who
will handle distribution of your assets

·       
Large
Estate:  Your lawyer will discuss plan
and focus on the small estate issues PLUS

o      
Ways
to preserve assets for your beneficiaries

o      
Ways
to reduce / postpone amount of estate tax that may otherwise be payable upon
your death

What If You Don't Have An Estate Plan?

            Wow, not having an estate plan
pretty much leaves it up to a judge to pick someone to handle your assets and
your personal care.  Your estate will go through the lengthy and uncertain process called probate.  Your assets will be
distributed to your heirs per the rules of intestacy (dying without
a will).

            Your assets will not necessarily go
to the state.  In fact, per the rules of
intestate succession your assets will go to your relatives, no
matter how remote
!

            With an estate plan, it is your
choice as to whom your assets go after your death.  You
have control of care of your minor children, your own care, distribution and
control of your assets during your life and after your death, handling of your
remains and a host of other issues.

What's Actually In My Estate?


PiggyBank

            All of your assets are in your
estate.  Those assets may be

·       
Bank
accounts

·       
Real
estate

·       
Stocks

·       
Bonds

·       
Personal
property

o      
Furniture

o      
Jewelry

o      
Cars

·       
Life
insurance proceeds

·       
Retirement
accounts

·       
Inheritance
still owed to you

·       
Tax
refunds still due you

 

For a Free Consultation Call

Attorney Lowell Steiger

We'll Advise You on Your Plan

Create (as needed) Your

Will

Trust

Directives

323) 852-1100

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or
without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect and Understanding That You
Deserve"

 

One comment

  1. OK so I think it pays to lay out a good plan for every thing "failing to plan is planning to fail" this is also applicable in financial.

    thanks for sharing.