Typically, people start putting together their affairs—estate, will, legal documentations, etc.—after a health scare, or when they are ready to retire. But putting off estate planning may prove to be detrimental, especially when faced with life’s unexpected complications. If you should suddenly lose the ability to handle your own finances or make your own decisions, whether through a loss of ability or an incapacity, you want to make sure that you have already accounted for the most important decisions—those involving your estate, your loved ones, and your legacy.
With the help of an Alameda County estate planning attorney at the Evans Law Firm, Inc., you can ensure that your loved ones are provided for, even after your death. And the time to start making plans is now—when you are able to talk through your options with your attorney, and make sound and legal decisions. This way, your finances and possessions will be distributed the way you want, and your family members will not need to spend weeks and months in probate court, trying to figure out how best to handle everything, and will not have to bear the full burden of your funeral expenses and other costs.
Making Your Estate Plans
The Evans Law Firm handles estate planning including: living trust /will packages, powers of attorney, probate matters, Medi-Cal planning, estate administration, trust administration, will and trust contests, specialized trusts including special needs trusts, and conservatorships, and restraining orders. According to our Alameda County estate planning lawyers, thorough estate preparation should include a minimum combination of the following documents and provisions, and should ensure that you have accounted for all of your assets to be divided and your long-term financial needs.
- Living Trusts: Establishing a living trust is the first step in preparing your finances and assets, but often, this is the only one people take. If you leave your estate to your family members using only a living trust or will, you will subject them to a lengthy probate court process.
- Funeral and Burial Arrangements: Although it is a difficult decision to make, you do not want to leave the task of planning out and paying for your funeral to your spouse, children, or other relatives you leave behind. Be sure to detail your last wishes—including an allocation of funds for expenses.
- Debt/Tax Plan: Set aside funds—either in an earmarked account, or through the sale of certain assets and possessions—to pay off any outstanding debts or taxes owed at the time of your death.
Once you have made your final estate plans, you can enjoy long-term financial peace of mind, knowing that you have made plans to take care of those you love, and that your property and assets will be handled the way you intended. No matter what happens in your life, you’ll be prepared.
At Evans Law Firm, we know it is not easy to think forward to a time when you will be gone, and your family members will be left surviving. That’s why we work to make the process as easy as possible, to relieve your stress and worries about what will happen after your death. Contact an Alameda County estate planning lawyer at the Evans Law Firm, Inc. to begin planning for your future, and the future of your family members, today.