Estate planning tends to be a complicated topic that leaves many people with more questions than answers. Do I need a trust? Is a will necessary? What exactly is a power of attorney? Many times we are afraid to ask these questions because they center on the topic of death. However, estate planning is one of the most important steps a person can take to ensure that the assets and property you have worked a lifetime to earn gets passed onto future generations.
Once you are ready to begin the estate planning process, the first step is to visit a licensed attorney and start transferring your assets and belongings into a Living Trust or Will (both documents will do, but Trusts have distinct advantages over a Will). Legally anyone can create their own documents, however, having an experienced attorney take care of the process will save you time and money down the road. Wills and trusts are complicated and any mistake or improper wording will only cause headaches and lead to the probate process.
What Happens if I Die WITHOUT a Living Trust?
The pressing question many people without an estate plan ask is, “what happens if you die without one?” Unfortunately, the answer is a lengthy court process that will take time and money to resolve any estate issues, and the biggest problem is that you will not have any say in who gets to keep your assets and other “stuff”. Here are a few examples of what might happen if a person passes away without an estate plan.
Example 1: Relatives are in disagreement on how to distribute your assets. Without an estate plan, this can be a messy and expensive situation for your family. Many times the principal’s assets will be used to pay for the court process and costly legal/attorney fees will eat up the value of the “stuff” that you worked a lifetime to obtain.
Example 2: An unmarried person wants their significant other to receive a portion of their assets. If you are not married and want your significant other to receive some of your assets, it would be wise to get an estate plan in place now. Under the state’s law, your assets will only go to blood relatives.
Example 3: A married person with kids wants the spouse to receive all the assets: If you are married and have adult children, your spouse will not necessarily receive all those assets. Your children are legally entitled to receive their share of those assets, which means your spouse may not receive enough to live on.
If you are interested in the drafting a living trust, at Elder Law Services of California, we offer a comprehensive living trust package that will be tailored and specified to meet your unique situation and needs.
Our package includes:
A custom drafted living trust.
A “Pour-Over” Will that transfers overlooked property and assets into your living trust.
A Durable Power of Attorney for property and health care management in the event of incapacity.
A “Quitclaim Deed(s)” to transfer your real property into a trust.
Instructional letters as required for “Funding” your trust.
Ongoing counseling at no additional charge
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A living trust will provide maximum control over your personal matters and financial affairs, both while you are living and after you pass away. A trust also offers a quick, easy, and cost-effective way to distribute assets to family members and heirs while also allowing you to decide who will administer the estate during the entire process. A living trust will only make your family’s lives easier in the event of a sudden death or emergency situation, and being prepared now is much better than having to fight through the court system to resolve a matter involving your own assets.
When you are ready to provide a bit of security and peace of mind over your finances and family’s future, give our team of experienced estate planning attorneys at Elder Law Services of California a call at ✆ (855) ELDER LAW or (855) 353-3752 for a FREE consultation today! We look forward to working with you to secure your assets for future generations.