Are you looking for a qualified law firm to assist you with your estate planning needs? BPE Law has been serving the residents of the greater Sacramento area for nearly 15 years. We provide efficient and cost-effective estate planning services to each and every client.
Working with An Estate Planning Professional
Estate planning can be a complex process. Most of the decisions you will make while deciding upon the future of your estate will be recorded in legally binding documents. As such, it’s essential that you work with a qualified attorney to complete estate planning tasks. Your BPE Law attorney will guide you through this process and will answer any questions you may have about estate law in California.
Why is Estate Planning Important?
At its heart, estate planning is designed to protect the precious assets that you have accumulated during your lifetime. Good planning will help to protect these assets and ensure that they are distributed as you wish after you pass away. If you do not complete estate planning activities before you pass away, your family may face the probate process. During probate, a judge and an executor chosen by the court will decide what to do with your assets. This poses substantial costs and time-delays to parties looking just to distribute the assets. And probate is all public and open to other persons to look at what estate assets exist and who is getting them.
Solid estate planning also allows you to rest assured that you will be well cared for if you become very ill or are unable to make important decisions for yourself. Your attorney can help you determine how your finances will be allocated in case you become incapacitated. Your attorney will also draft important documents that provide chosen individuals with the power to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot.
What are The Components of Estate Planning?
Estate law can be very complex. However, estate planning need not be overly difficult. When you meet with your attorney, you will discuss several different components of estate planning. You will then work with your attorney to craft a plan that best meets your needs and the needs of your family. Your BPE Law attorney can discuss all of the following with you.
A last will is a document that details how your assets will be distributed after you have passed away. You will choose an executor, or someone to oversee the distribution of your assets. In your last will, you may also list information about how you would like your memorial services to be handled. Having a last will in place will help your loved ones avoid probate and will prevent arguments about how assets are to be distributed.
A living trust is similar to a last will, but is put into force while you are still alive. When you create a living trust, you will transfer all of your assets to yourself or another party that you know and trust, known as a trustee. That person will be responsible for taking care of the financial aspects of your estate. In some cases, you may act as your own trustee. For most people, the key advantage of a living trust in probate avoidance with its high costs and long delays. Another of the chief advantages of a living trust is tax avoidance. Your BPE Law attorney will explain how you can use a living trust to guard assets from certain taxes.
Related Documents Typical estate plans will contain additional documents such as Powers of Attorney and Advanced Health Care Directives as well as any deeds for real property being transferred to the trust.
Overall financial planning is an important part of the estate planning process. This includes making projections for the state of your finances in the future so that you have a good idea of what your loved ones will inherit. While your BPE Law attorney can assist you with some financial planning tasks, you may also want to work with a financial planner during this portion of the estate planning process.
Estate Tax Considerations
One of the primary components of estate planning and financial planning will be weighing your options when it comes to estate taxes. Planning for taxes and ensuring that you pay all money currently owed in taxes on time can save your family from serious headaches when it comes time to execute your will or distribute assets as designated by your trust. Your attorney will explain the various estate taxes to you and will provide guidance as to what can be done to avoid some of these burdensome taxes.
Working with Your Estate Attorney
You should view your estate attorney as a trusted advisor. After all, your attorney is going to help you make crucial financial decisions that may affect your family for generations to come. If you have questions about your estate or need assistance with estate planning, please call us today at 916-966-2260.