Although it’s important for almost every adult to have an estate plan in place, you must give estate planning an adequate amount of your time and consideration. A poorly-conceived or hastily-drafted will or living trust can generate an acrimonious legal dispute filled with emotions and recriminations. Generally speaking, a will transfers your estate to your beneficiaries after your death, and if you are the parent of a minor child or children, it can name their guardian in the event of your death. A living trust includes your directions for your care if you are incapacitated, and it enables trustees to handle your finances in that event. A trust also transfers assets after your death but avoids probate court. If you need to create a will or a living trust – and almost everyone does – or if you need more information about your estate planning options, speak at once with an experienced Orange County estate planning lawyer.
An estate plan isn’t – or shouldn’t be – just a blank form where you fill in some names and amounts. Your estate plan is a document that should benefit your loved ones and should express and reflect your values, your goals, and your wishes for your loved ones after you are gone. Take the time to create an estate plan that does not needlessly generate resentments. If your estate plan seems unfair to anyone, explain to that person now why your choices were made. You can do a great deal now to reduce the likelihood of a full-blown legal battle over your estate.
With your estate plan established and with everyone who’s involved understanding your motives and intentions, you can relax, and if you need to, you can modify your estate plan as your life and family change and as the years go by. If you have loved ones who depend on you, today is not too early to begin the estate planning process. You can – and should – call right now to schedule a consultation with an experienced Orange County estate planning lawyer. It’s the wise move to make.