Estate Planning Is a Form of Risk Management
Your estate is basically all the assets you own, including your home, property, cars, bank accounts, and personal possessions. So, it’s important that you protect it by having an estate plan. If you do not have a will, a trust, or a comprehensive list of beneficiary designations, you expose yourself and your loved ones to the rigors of California probate. However, far too few Americans have estate plans. Recent surveys suggest that scarcely half the population has a will.
People delay estate planning for any number of reasons. They might believe the time and money needed to draft a will could better be used elsewhere—or that they still have decades to begin creating a plan. Especially during times of crisis, estate planning is rarely considered a priority and is an often overlooked means of reducing risk.
Risk Management During a Time of Crisis
A life insurance policy, for instance, ensures that your loved ones have the means to sustain themselves and prosper in the event you can no longer provide for them.
An estate planning attorney can help you avoid risk while you are still alive, transferring your assets to a trust or other holding that cannot easily be disrupted by events such as divorce, bankruptcy, or creditor claims.
A comprehensive estate plan could help you reduce risk to your assets and heirs, whether by minimizing beneficiaries’ potential tax obligations or shifting wealth to preserve a loved one’s eligibility for government benefits.
An unavoidable risk, such as a volatile stock, could be incorporated into an estate plan. For example, you could include a closely held investment in an estate to reap the rewards of a stepped-up tax basis.
Estate Planning Helps You Better Understand Your Assets
Estate planning is an involved process that has the potential to help you better understand the nature of your assets. An estate planning attorney can provide guidance about that process.
How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help
- By identifying and categorizing different threats to your estate, including taxes, asset mismanagement, disability, and premature death
- By assessing your vulnerability to different forms of risk
- By determining the level of risk you face
- By identifying and suggesting different strategies to reduce your risk.
- By considering ongoing crises to prioritize relevant risk reduction measures
Common Estate Planning Protection Strategies
Your estate plan could help you minimize the possibility of short- and long-term loss by providing the opportunities and tools you need to appraise and address current risks while anticipating future problems.
Making Informed Decision About Your CA Estate Plan
While a simple will cannot help your family escape the rigors of California probate, it protects your assets from the travails of an intestate succession.
Your estate plan provides an opportunity to designate a guardian for your minor children, ensuring they are raised by a trusted loved one who shares your values.
An advanced health care directive lets you leave detailed care instructions in the event you are ever incapacitated due to physical injury, cognitive decline, or old age.
Ideally, your estate plan should not only provide an intergenerational legacy but offer some benefit while you are still alive. A carefully considered revocable living trust, for instance, could not only shield your assets and property holdings from future creditors but reduce your existing tax obligation.
Do You Need To Speak With An Attorney About Estate Planning?
If you need to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer please contact us online or call us directly at 800.756.5596 to first register for one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a special discount for our estate planning services should you decide to make a free appointment at the conclusion of the seminar and choose to proceed with us. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in Torrance, Newport Beach, Orange, Woodland Hills and Pasadena.