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Estate Planning is the process by which you can control who will inherit from you upon death. There are numerous estate planning devices that may be drafted and utilized during your lifetime to protect your assets. They may used to provide for your medical care in case of illness or incapacitation, protect your business interests, be used to donate funds to favored charities, and pass on your assets after death to named beneficiaries.
Estate Planning is crucial to provide for your personal care, protect assets from high taxation, and in case of business ownership, provide for your loved ones into the future.
The primary estate planning devices include wills, trusts, advanced medical directives and life insurance trusts.
December 15, 2019
2. The Use of Wills
While many think of wills when beginning the estate planning process, there are several drawbacks to leaving your assets to your heirs and beneficiaries via a will. Whether a holographic (handwritten will), an attested will (signed and witnessed), or a statutory will (a fillable form that must be signed and witnessed), all must be filed with the probate court upon death.
All probate filings are in the public record, resulting in a loss of privacy for not only the decedent, but for the heirs and beneficiaries as well.
Probate is costly in both time and money. Several legal procedures must take place before assets may be distributed. The larger the estate, the more costly it will be as the probate court fees are based on a percentage of the total value.
Based on the complexity of the will and any litigation which may arise, wills may take months to years to fully settle.
December 1, 2019
3. Why Choose Trusts?
Trusts are Estate Planning tools that hold and distribute assets in numerous ways. In addition to providing maximum protection against high taxation, they are not required to be filed with the court. This ensures that the terms of all trusts are kept confidential from the public.
Whereas wills typically serve a singular purpose – the distribution of assets upon death – trusts may serve numerous purposes.
Well drafted trusts allow for the protection of assets for future generations. They may be set up to contribute to charities, provide for the education of loved ones or other beneficiaries, protect beneficiaries by doling out funds as needed or on a set schedule, and provide for you in case you become ill or incapacitated.
November 15, 2019
4. Why Business Succession Plans are Necessary
Should you hold a business ownership interest, whether as a sole proprietor, a partnership or a corporation, business succession plans are crucial. These allow for your business to continue normal operational procedures in case you become unable to carry out your duties on behalf of the business.
By setting forth the details for a smooth transition of power, you are protecting your business and financial interests for future generations. While litigation is not always preventable, establishing a comprehensive business succession plan will drastically reduce friction between parties and help alleviate the possibility of litigation.
November 1, 2019
5. The Importance of Trust Administration
When choosing a trustee, it’s crucial to consider familial relationships and take into account how these relationships may devolve and result in litigation. Many choose family members to act as trustees on their behalf. California law imposes fiduciary duties and restrictions upon trust administrators.
Failure by the trustee/trustees to carry out their duties in a manner which maximizes the benefits for all beneficiaries may well result in litigation based on a breach of fiduciary duty. Trustees found in breach may be held personally (financially) liable for harms caused.
As a result, it’s generally preferable to name a professional trust administrator who understands the duties that must be fulfilled to avoid litigation. Please discuss this option with your estate planning attorney.
October 15, 2019
6. Probate Introduction
Probate is the formal term for the legal process that requires filing a will with the court so it may be validated, debts paid, and assets distributed. When a will is found to be valid, the executor will carry out his or her duties which will be overseen by the probate court.
All cases filed with the probate court are public record. This results in a loss of privacy, as anyone may access these records.
Another downside of probate is the fact that it may be extremely expensive, based on the valuation of your estate, the number of financial and real estate holdings, and the oversight by the court.
Wills also take much longer to wrap up than trusts, in light of the fact that they are managed according to court scheduling. The larger the estate, the longer it will take for probate to be completed.
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Pregunté por Marielena ó Abogado Mccutchan