You already have an estate plan, you just may not know it yet.
The California Probate Code provides default rules that govern who your property goes to on your death, how it is managed if you become incapacitated or if it is left to a minor, and what court processes are required before property can be distributed from your estate. Some of these rules are helpful while others are burdensome.
Individuals often avoid estate planning on the mistaken belief that it is only necessary for high net worth individuals that need sophisticated estate tax and gift tax planning. However, even if someone does not own a home or substantial assets, complicated issues arise when a family member becomes ill or passes away. To help ease these life transitions and protect your loved ones, there are simple estate planning techniques that can provide certainty and control. These include advance healthcare directives, simple wills and guardianship designations, durable powers of attorney, testamentary trusts and living trusts, beneficiary designations, and joint tenancy titling.
Planning for young families
Young families often desire to plan for who will take care of their children in the event something happens to both parents. Concerns regarding where children will live, who will serve as a guardian, and who should manage money are all issues that need to be addressed. Unfortunately the cost of discussing such issues with an attorney can be a large deterrent to crafting a formal written plan. I take great pride in assisting young families with creating their first estate plan and keeping that simple planning affordable so that parents can protect their children and the assets they have worked so hard for.