July 22, 2021

Do you have an estate? Yes, you do! Everyone has an estate! What is an estate? It contains all of your belongings: your personal possessions, bank accounts, pets, jewelry, your car, real estate, and even furniture. No matter how big or small, you cannot take these possessions with you when you pass away.

Before you pass away, you would more than likely want to be in control of how the above possessions are distributed to your loved ones, charities, or organizations. You will be able to give instructions for your wishes to be carried out. These instructions can include when they receive the distribution, what they receive, and who receives it. Also ensure that court costs, legal fees, and taxes are minimal. You will be in absolute control, and can rest easy!

There you have it! Estate planning involves being able to plan in advance, choosing who gets what after you die, and making moves now to make your plan easy and smooth for when the time comes. Estate planning is extremely considerate and thoughtful for your loved ones.

  1. Minimize unneeded legal fees, taxes, court fees, by funding and aligning your assets with the plan.
  2. Add instructions for your personal care and even finances, in case you’re not able to take care of yourself before you die.
  3. If you have loved ones who are not responsible with money or need protection from divorce, or creditors, you can provide appropriate measures for their distribution.
  4. You can say who will be the guardian of any minor children of yours, and work out the inheritance of the children.
  5. You can arrange for your business to be transferred in case of death, disability, retirement, or illness.
  6. Arrange for disability income in case you become disabled and can no longer work. You can also arrange for long-term care insurance in case you have an extended illness.
  7. Arrange for life insurance to provide for your loved ones after you pass.

Estate planning is not one and done. It can be a life-long process. Your estate plan should be reviewed, with changes made as your circumstances and related laws evolve.

Everyone Should Get an Estate Plan

People of all ages, not just when you’re older, should think about getting an estate plan. We cannot predict an illness, injury, or how long we will stick around. Estate planning is not just for the rich. As a matter of fact, estate planning benefits people with modest assets, as it saves time and money as opposed to lack of or poor planning. If you think you’re too young, or do not have enough possessions, think you can always do it later – you might be leaving a painful process for your family to experience.

If You Do Not Have A Plan, Your State Sure Has One Waiting For You – And You May Not Be Happy About It

If you become disabled, the courts will dictate how your assets are distributed, by using a conservatorship, which is time-consuming and costly.

If you die without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to state laws. It would be too late to dictate who gets what, and could leave a spouse behind that receives too little to live on. Any children could also go to guardians that you may have not consented to had you been alive.

These are matters that should be handled by you, not the court system.

If you do not know how to start, what to do, you can contact us https://cannonlegalfirm.com/contact-us/

for a free personalized consultation.

About the author 

Dana Cannon

Dana M. Cannon has many years of experience with Probates, Conservatorships, Trusts and Estates. During that time she has advised clients on multi-million dollar trust administrations; handled complex litigation; performed estate planning; and represented clients in contested and uncontested conservatorship, guardianship, probate and trust matters. She has been a volunteer at the Los Angeles Superior Court Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program since it began.  She understands that these matters may not just involve money. They are often fueled by emotions and because of that this isn’t just business, it’s personal. She looks forward to assisting you with your legal needs.

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