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February 19, 2020

What should I know about estate planning?

Posted in Uncategorized

What should I know about estate planning?

Are you preparing to plan your estate? In advance of meeting with an estate planning lawyer, it may be helpful to have a general understanding of some of your options. After a review of your goals and current assets, an estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, CA, can make specific recommendations that reflect your needs. Below is a brief overview to get you started.

What is included in my estate?
As a general rule, an individual’s estate includes everything that they own, regardless of an item’s assessed market value. In your case, that may be the following:

  •  Jewelry and artwork
  • Home and property
  • Vehicles and boats
  • Checking and savings accounts, as well as retirement accounts
  •  Miscellaneous personal possessions

Though some of your possessions may not have any significant market value, you and your loved ones may consider them invaluable because of their sentimental value. For instance, it may be very important to you that a teacup set that has been handed down through the generations of your family go to one of your children or grandchildren, rather than end up in a second-hand thrift store or at the local dump. An estate plan can make provisions for priceless heirlooms, as well as one’s home and other assets. 

What can I accomplish by having an estate plan?
With the assistance of an estate planning lawyer, you can create an estate plan that includes all of the following, and much more:

  • Outline instructions for how you should be cared for, should you become disabled in the future and unable to care for yourself.
  • Designate the individual or individuals who should be appointed guardian of your minor child or children.
  • Make arrangements for how your company ownership should be transferred to another individual or company if you are a business owner.
  • Minimize or eliminate estate taxes and legal fees so that your heirs can receive your gifts without penalties.
  • Set aside funds and other resources for your disabled loved ones and others who are currently financially dependent upon you.
  • Provide personal thoughts and explanations to those you left behind about why you have made these particular estate planning decisions.

If I’m not rich, is it necessary for me to plan my estate?
As an estate planning lawyer may tell you, it’s not only the wealthy who may benefit from leaving behind a legally-binding will or trust. As mentioned above, there are a number of concerns that an individual may have about what happens to their assets after they pass away.

Life is uncertain, which is why it’s never too early to establish an estate plan. Having one in place also provides peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be carried out even after you are no longer present to make those decisions in person. It also makes it easier for grieving family members and friends who will have a clear-cut understanding of what needs to be done.

To learn more about how estate planning can be beneficial, contact an attorney today.

Thanks to Yee Law Group, PC for their insight into what people need to know about estate planning. 

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