Palm Springs Law Blog

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Other Reasons for Estate Planning Aside from Distribution of Assets

You’ve probably heard of the importance of estate planning, but you still may not know its real purpose. It is certainly true that estate planning is used to ensure that your loved ones receive your assets and are cared for after you pass away.

When you die intestate (without a Will), you have no control over who will receive what. This is left entirely up to the state and is dependent upon whether you are married and have children or other close blood relatives. Even if your property would go to the individuals you would want anyway under intestacy, there is a good chance that it may not be distributed in the percentages that you prefer.

However, there are some other good reasons for estate planning aside from the distribution of your assets.

Avoid Probate

One of the most important reasons for estate planning is to avoid the probate process. Probate is the legal process of distributing your assets when you die. These assets will be distributed depending upon what your Will says. However, if you do not have a Will, you have passed intestate. Intestacy means that your assets will be distributed per California law.

The probate process is not ideal for many reasons. It can be quite lengthy and expensive, not to mention your loved ones have no control over the process, which can even go on for years. Additionally, fees associated with probate equal about 3-5% of your estate and will generally take a minimum of 12 months to complete. With the courts shut down for so long due to COVID-19, it’s likely that the process will now take even longer.

Decide who is in Charge

Additionally, estate planning allows you to control which person is in charge of your estate. Dependent upon the type of estate planning documents that you execute, this individual is in charge of following what you have laid out in your Will, Trust, or other legal documents.

Choose a Guardian

For those with young children, another important reason to establish an estate plan is to select a guardian to raise them should you pass prior to their adulthood. You have the opportunity to think about whose values align best with your own and who you would want to serve in your place.

Avoid Taxes, Protect Assets, Protect People

Individuals who have larger estates can utilize estate planning to avoid income and estate taxes, while professionals can use it as a means of protecting their assets. Others who wish to provide for individuals who are financially irresponsible or unstable may use estate planning to protect such beneficiaries from misusing the assets.

While your main reason for estate planning may vary, it is extremely important for everyone to create one that best serves their interest and the interest of their loved ones.

Heritage Legal, PC Helps Those in California to with Their Comprehensive Estate Planning Needs

To ensure that you and your loved ones are protected when you pass and that your assets go to the individuals you desire, it is wise to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced California estate planning attorney. They can work to ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the manner in which you desire.

At Heritage Legal, PC, we understand the importance of protecting the very things that you care about the most. We can help you to establish a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs and the needs of your family. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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