Estate Planning 101: The Estate Planning Process
Estate planning is important as it safeguards your property and creates a smooth transition. Without a proper estate plan, such as a Last Testament, the State of California will decide what happens to your property. Furthermore, your Will is required to be probated. Probate is a court process before the distribution of property.
Estate planning is daunting and time-consuming, but at Bazikyan Law Group, we can help you with the process so that you can focus on what’s important. Below, we answer three of the common questions we get to help you know where to start.
1. What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a process of making plans to transfer your estate to another person if you are incapacitated or dead. Your estate is everything you own, including land, investments, houses, cars, and other assets you may have.
The planning should be done when you are legally competent and free of emotional stress, and it is done by an estate attorney in Glendale, CA.
2. What is Involved in Estate Planning?
Your estate planning may include:
Will and Last Testament
A Will is a legal document that gives details of what should be done after your death. As aforementioned, if you don’t have a Will, the State of California will have the mandate of distributing your property.
In your Will, you may distribute to individual beneficiaries, or if you have a living Trust, you may pour the assets into that trust, depending on your situation. The will also includes the guardians of your children if they are minors.
A Living Trust
A Trust is an agreement where you trust your property to a person or an organization. During yoru life, you will play the role of that person (i.e. the Trustee). You will choose who the trustee will be at you death. At your death, your trustee will be responsible for managing the property on behalf of your beneficiaries. You can set up a revocable or irrevocable Living Trust, but don’t worry. Our attorney will guide you to un the process of Trust and Estate Planning.
A Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney gives a person or an organization of your choice the legal power to handle your estate and make the decision of your property. A Power of Attorney is used when you are ill or have a disability. You can set up a power of attorney for different things, from finances to healthcare, to digital assets.
Keep in mind though, the power of attorney is not long-standing and can end if you die or revoke it, or the court invalidates the document.
3. What is The Process of Estate Planning?
Estate planning has numerous benefits, but it involves various steps:
- Doing an inventory of what you own like your property, investments, savings accounts, houses, and everything else that you own. Once you have done an inventory, calculate their value and worth.
- Name your guardians and beneficiaries.
- Find and choose a qualified estate planning attorney. You will need the help of an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. Homemade Wills are a bad idea because the inclusion or omission of a word can change the meaning of a Will. Also, not following the appropriate procedure of signing the Will can invalidate the document. Remember, the law is different in every state, and only a qualified attorney can draft the Will and seal it.
- Think about how your property will be handled after death and the guardian of your children.
- Think about who will make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
- Pay attention to the tax laws such as estate, gift, capital gains, property and inheritance taxes.
- Be flexible to reassess the document often. Revisit your estate plan occasionally, even if nothing changes in your life to ensure everything is covered.
Don’t Take Chances
Estate planning will protect your property and make it easy for your family to transition to a new life. We understand the process can be challenging, and that’s why we offer estate planning, among other services, to take the stress out. Contact us for a discussion on what Trust and Estate planning are and how to start. We offer free consultations.