Like most family law firms, the firm of McCoy Fatula in Roseville, California, handles a wide number of issues involving families. The firm handles issues like divorce, adoption, abused spouse cases, and estate planning.
Estate planning ranges from a simple legal will to complex family trusts that protect accumulated wealth. Estate planning may include succession planning if a family owned business is involved. If you want to leave anything to your heirs, you need an estate plan.
What Is an “Estate”?
Your “estate” is made up of everything you own at the time of your death. It includes:
- Bank accounts
- Life insurance
- Personal property such as art, automobiles, and jewelry
What Are the Benefits of Estate Planning?
Whether your estate plan is a simple will or a complex document that includes a trust, the benefits of estate planning include:
- An estate plan gives you the opportunity to identify your family members or others that you love to whom you want your property to go to when you pass
- Your estate plan allows for the rapid transfer of your property
- Keeps estate and gift taxes as low as possible
- Explain what your wishes are regarding your funeral
Essentials of an Estate Plan
Making a will is the first step in estate planning. A will is a legal document that becomes enforceable upon your death. A will explains how you want your property distributed after your death. A will also names who will be your estate’s executor. The executor is the person who executes your wishes for asset distribution and pays any taxes or bills you leave for the estate to pay.
Trusts are a companion to wills. People with a high net worth often use a family trust as a way to minimize gift and estate taxes.
Other reasons for creating a trust include naming or directing a professional to handle the management and investments of property owned by the trust and:
- Discreetly and efficiently distributes assets to your beneficiaries quickly, with no expense nor publicity of probate
- With a trust, you can place limitations and conditions on how and when your assets are distributed. For example, you may make a condition for your daughter that she only gets her share of your estate after completion of college. The estate may also pay for her education while your estate manager safeguards her inheritance.
Estate planning includes your Advance Medical Directive that tells your doctors what your wishes are if your condition is terminal, how your minor children should be cared for and gives someone power of attorney when you pass.
McCoy Fatula in Roseville, California, is a family law firm. We have much experience in estate planning. Call us today for an appointment in our Roseville California office at 916-945-2780 or use our online contact form.
Sources: http://estate.findlaw.com/planning-an-estate/what-is-estate-planning.html, http://www.mccoyfatula.com/Estate-Planning/