What is an “Estate Plan”?
A comprehensive estate plan is made up of a group of documents. A lot of times when people hear “estate plan” they assume it is just a Will or a Trust. But, an estate plan is actually a group of legal documents designed to address two scenarios: Incapacity and Death.
What is included in an estate plan?
A comprehensive plan will include a living trust, which is the backbone of the estate plan. The living trust allows assets to be handled outside of a court room. If the person has become incapacitated, the living trust will allow loved ones to access trust assets and maintain finances without seeking a court conservatorship. If the person has passed, the trust allows loved ones to carry on the person’s wishes without involving the probate court and its extraordinary fees.
Also included in the estate plan is a pour over Will. A lot of times people believe that if they create a trust, they don’t need a will anymore. On the contrary, a comprehensive estate plan will include a Will as a backup plan to ensure that in the likelihood that you forget to put something into your trust and it is still in your name when you pass, your loved ones will be able to utilize your Will to make your wishes happen. The Will may also include guardianship nominations if you have minor children.
Powers of Attorney documents are also included in your plan. The Powers of Attorney will be utilized if you cannot act for yourself. So, they are used not after your death (on the contrary, they expire at your death), but rather, they are used should you become incapacity and need assistance with your finances, health, digital assets, or whatever the case may be.
Also included are various other documents designed to minimize taxes and maximize the amount you leave your loved ones.
So, how much does all this cost? It depends. Each estate plan is unique and created specifically for you and your needs. Contact our office at (818) 649-9110 to schedule a free consultation and find out what your estate plan will cost.