Who can you trust to manage your property when you are gone?
Research shows that nearly 75% of adults have no plans ready if something tragic were to happen. However, if you don’t make plans for your property now, your loved ones will have to go through a legal nightmare, and they risk losing a good deal of everything you have worked for. This is why you need Estate Planning.
Estate planning is one of the things you must do before you die. It is not just an ordinary will. It is the process of deciding what happens to your property if you die, become ill, or sustain an injury. With the help of an attorney, you can ensure that your asset is transferred seamlessly to the people or entities you wish to give them to.
Proper planning of your assets saves your loved ones and property from the grips of the law. Because if you die without a will, the law will have to determine what happens to your property and your family (if any) will have to go through rigorous paperwork and legal bills. You also risk losing your asset to the wrong person or entity.
To determine the value of your assets, you need to do an asset valuation. This can be done by making a list of both your tangible and intangible assets. You can also think about any member of your family or entity you would like to have the items after you’re gone.
Make sure your family will be comfortable even after you’re gone. Do this by ensuring you have adequate life insurance and a trusted guardian for your children in case issues arise during the court proceedings.
A complete estate plan must include legal directives like a trust, a medical care directive, and a power of attorney to represent you and manage your finances. These legal directives will make decisions for you and take charge of your property in the event of your death or incapacitation.
At Next Chapter Real Estate, we highly recommend that you have a living trust so that, if anything happens to you, your trustee can take over and manage your assets on your behalf. Your trustee also prevents your heir from squandering your assets. Probate is the legal process your assets will go through if you do not have a trust. It can take up to 6 months to 2 years to recover your property and can lead to the loss of some of your assets, which is why we highly recommend that you get a living trust.
Having an estate plan is not enough, also ensure you update your estate plan once every two years or after a major life-changing occurrence like marriage, divorce, etc.
Would you like to know more? Read Basic Estate Planning Checklist Here
No, estate planning services are not tax deductible if you are paying a lawyer to draw up a will for you or to set up a living trust. But if your lawyer will be working on an investment property that will generate income, then that is tax deductible.
Here is an estate planning checklist of the documents you need:
Final will and testament
Financial power of attorney
A living trust
Advance healthcare directives
The estate planning CA total package, which contains all the documents you need, typically costs $2000 - $2500 for a trust package, and $500 - $1000 for a will package.
An estate planning attorney will educate you about the state and federal laws that affect your estate and will help you prepare the necessary documents you need to set up a trust and protect your assets.
You don’t have to be rich to get an estate plan. You can get an estate plan as soon as you become a legal adult, and you can update it every three to five years.