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Understanding California Estate Planning

Most people think of estate planning as something wealthy people do. The reality is that an “estate’” is not an expanse of land with an heirloom-filled castle on it. An estate is a house, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and life insurance. An estate plan can contain your wishes for yourself, your children, and your assets.

At Norton Basu LLP, we know that estate planning is essentially a guide for your loved ones to follow on your behalf. We work with you to create clear directives that are flexible enough to allow for unforeseen circumstances.

What A Typical Estate Plan Includes

The beauty of working one-on-one with an estate planning attorney is that you are able to craft a personalized plan that is as detailed and comprehensive as you want it to be.

  • If you’re a parent, your estate plan can include who you want to raise your children should the unthinkable happen.
  • Your plan can detail the medical procedures you want to take place should you become seriously ill, injured, or otherwise incapacitated.
  • You can provide detailed instructions as to “who gets what and when.” We advise you on how to handle your retirement accounts and life insurance policies as well.
  • You may also want to create a living trust (also called a revocable living trust). This can help your estate avoid the prolonged and expensive probate process. Because the trust is revocable, you can terminate or change the trust should the circumstances of your estate or relationships change. Anyone with an estate worth over $166,250 can benefit from a trust.
  • We will also ensure that sentimental possessions are addressed so that your loved ones know your wishes and future discord can be avoided.

An estate plan allows you to bypass many hurdles. By planning well you can avoid probate, avoid paying estate taxes, and avoid putting your loved ones through an expensive and emotionally grueling conservatorship process if you become disabled or incapacitated.

I’m Not Married And I Don’t Have Children. I Don’t Need An Estate Plan, Right?

Wrong! You definitely need an estate plan. If you are single with no children, California probate law will pass your assets to your closest blood relatives when you die. Your assets will be distributed to more distant relatives if your immediate family members are not alive at the time of your death. But most people have friends, specific relatives, or charities to whom they want to leave their estate. A comprehensive estate plan can make sure the right people or charities receive your assets and continue your legacy.

Get The Personal Guidance You Need To Create A Custom Estate Plan

We know that it’s not your favorite thing to think about, but estate planning is important. It really is the greatest gift can give to your loved ones to alleviate stress and uncertainty. Still have questions? We offer a free consultation so you can clearly understand the process and what you might need. Call 408-520-1712 to set up a free consultation. You can also reach us via the website.