McCoy Fatula, APCMcCoy
Fatula
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Estate Planning Archives

Estate planning may help California families avoid stress

One thing all California residents can be certain of is that no one lives forever. While many people avoid the topic of their own mortality, they do think about their loved ones' futures and how best to help them avoid stress once they are no longer with them. For some, careful estate planning is a chosen means to that end.

Helping your family avoid future stress through estate planning

Many people in California and throughout the nation avoid topics that involve their own mortality. Some say they like to focus on living rather than waste time discussing the inevitable. However, stories abound of people who have died without having made any effort toward careful estate planning prior to death, resulting in contentious debates and stress among family members later.

Will online estate planning companies remain secure?

Though the following story doesn't necessarily relate to the Sacramento, California area, the geographic location isn't the defining trait of this story. A man in Phoenix has developed a company that digitally stores estate planning documents on your behalf -- and then the site's algorithm searches the web for information about you to confirm or deny if you are alive. If you aren't, the company will forward your critical estate planning documents to your loved ones and family members.

Why guardians and conservators are crucial to estate plans

Imagine that you suffer a horrible injury or medical condition that prevents you from functioning like you have your whole life. How would your financial matters and personal responsibilities be handled? Or what if you had a child, but you and your spouse passed away unexpectedly. How would your child be cared for? What if you are responsible for taking care of someone -- but you unexpectedly are disabled or unable to fulfill your duties?

When should you update your will?

Updating a will is a critical part to your estate plan. It ensures that all of the provisions are correct and that your assets would be passed on to the correct people and entities when you die. Under this context, the mere passage of time is a reason to check your will to make sure that everything is correct and that if certain aspects are incorrect, that they are corrected and updated quickly.

What information should I include in my estate plan?

Estate plans are a comprehensive collection of documents and information that make up your assets, your property, your promises and, indeed, your whole life. As such, it is absolutely vital that anyone who is planning an estate collects all of the relevant information that is necessary to construct their estate plan.

Talking about your estate plan, and remaining calm while doing so

Given the vast amount of financial information that estate plans contain, and given that estate plans require the grantor to make a lot of personal decisions about how that wealth is distributed and why, it is only natural for someone to feel uncomfortable about discussing their estate plan -- even with family members. Hanging over the entire topic is the prospect of the death of the grantor, which only makes it more difficult to talk about.

How can you reduce the amount of taxes your estate faces?

Taxes will be one of the biggest challenges that your estate faces. This is why avoiding probate is such a big piece of the estate planning puzzle. This can help with many financial costs and taxes that are applied to an estate. But avoiding probate isn't the only thing that you can do to protect your estate.

What are some common estate planning mistakes?

Estate planning is an important process, not only because of what it protects but because of the possible mistakes that can be made. Anyone who is new to estate planning would be prone to making a mistake here and there, and those mistakes can be major factors in the way your estate is handled.

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