Estate planning can be beneficial for anyone who lives in California regardless of their net worth. In addition to making it easier to distribute assets after you pass, an estate plan can also help to create or preserve your legacy. In some cases, you will need multiple tools to transfer your assets in a manner that meets your needs.
The types of estate plan documents you might need
Assets such as an IRA or a life insurance policy are generally held outside of your estate and will pass to a new owner per the terms of a beneficiary designation. It is important to review and update a beneficiary designation often as it can invalidate instructions that you may leave in a will. In addition, it might be in your best interest to create a living will, a durable power of attorney and a trust.
What an estate plan might be able to do for you
When structured properly, an estate plan may help to ensure that your children, grandchildren and other important people in your life are cared for. Furthermore, an estate plan may help to avoid probate or minimize your estate tax bill. Finally, you may be able to dictate the type of care that you receive or appoint a person to oversee your assets in the event that you become incapacitated.
Taking the time to create a will, trust and other estate plan documents may help to ensure that your needs are met before and after you pass. Regardless of how your estate plan is structured, it is important that you take time to review all of its components. This may prevent conflicts among family members, a legal challenge to your will or other issues that may prolong the process of settling your affairs.