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Estate Planning in Riverside, California

Assisting Clients Looking to Safeguard Their Legacy

Most of us live busy lives and spare little time to think about what would happen if our families had to go on without us. While that is an unpleasant thought that many would rather avoid, making plans for the future is the best way to protect your legacy and ensure your loved ones will do well financially if something unexpected happens to you.

The attorneys at the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, discuss the importance of estate planning and explain how an experienced attorney can help you navigate the process of putting together your estate plans and protecting your legacy. Contact our law firm at 909-675-1545 for all your estate planning needs.

What Is Estate Planning, and Why Does It Matter?

Estate planning is critical to ensuring financial security for yourself and your loved ones should you become incapacitated or pass away unexpectedly. It involves making plans to distribute your assets after your death and ensuring that your wishes are recorded and respected.

Having an estate plan in place is essential for ensuring your family’s financial security, as it gives you more control over how your assets are distributed instead of leaving it all up to a probate judge who may split up your estate in a manner that differs from the way you wanted your assets to be distributed. In addition, an estate plan can have several other advantages – for example, you may set up a trust to avoid probate or shield your beneficiaries from receiving a tax bill for their inheritance.

It is important to understand that planning your estate should be fully customized to your particular wishes and goals, meaning every estate plan is unique. In other words, what works for a friend or relative may not be the right choice for you. Be sure to work with an estate planning attorney who can help you understand the process and create a plan that meets your needs.

What Should Be Included in My Estate Plans?

The documents and assets that should be included in an estate plan depend on the individual and their specific needs. Generally, a comprehensive estate plan should include different documents and tools, such as a last will, a living will, and trusts. An estate planning attorney can help you decide which documents should be included in your particular estate plan.

One of the most important documents everyone should have is a last will and testament. A last will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death. It usually includes information about your beneficiaries (the people who should receive your assets), as well as how and when they should receive them. It can also appoint a guardian for your minor children and even a new owner for your pets. A last will and testament only works after you pass away.

In contrast, a living will is a document that outlines your wishes for medical care while you are still alive. It allows your doctors and caretakers to know your preferences in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. This document can specify who should make medical decisions on your behalf and what treatments you do and do not want to receive.

Trusts are estate planning tools that can be used to manage your estate assets and give you more control over how your assets are distributed and when. Trusts can also be used to provide for minor children, disabled family members, or other beneficiaries who may be unable to manage a large sum of money on their own. While a last will needs to be probated, and all assets are distributed to its beneficiaries immediately after the estate is probated and closed, a trust allows you to make stipulations, such as only releasing the money to a certain beneficiary after that person turns 18 or graduates from high school, for example.

Your estate plan can also include information about any assets you own and any debts or liabilities. This includes real estate, investments, financial accounts, insurance policies, or other valuable assets. It is important to provide detailed information about each asset so that your family or executor of your estate knows how to access the asset and what to do with it.

How Can Estate Planning Help Me Protect the Future of a Loved One With Special Needs?

If your estate planning needs include providing for a loved one with special needs, you may want to talk to an attorney to learn if a special needs trust is right for you. Special needs trusts (or SNTs) are designed to help provide for a beneficiary with special needs without affecting their eligibility to receive government benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. The assets in the trust can be used to pay for the beneficiary’s medical care, living expenses, and other needs not covered by the money they may receive from government benefits.

This is just one example of ways estate planning can help you gain more control over your family’s financial future should something unexpected happen. An estate planning attorney can help you set your estate planning goals and take the right steps to protect the future of your loved ones.

Is Estate Planning Just for the Wealthy or Senior Citizens?

Besides avoiding estate planning because of its unpleasant association with death or illness, many people have the idea that estate planning is not for them because they believe they are not at the right age for it or think that they don’t need estate plans because they don’t own a lot of assets.

These are common misconceptions. However, estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of age or financial status, because it allows you to make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your death. Additionally, estate planning can help to minimize tax liabilities and other costs associated with the transfer of assets after your death. As mentioned previously, it can also help you be sure your children will be taken care of by the right person instead of letting the state decide it for you. So, even if you don’t think you have enough assets or are too young, having a few basic estate planning documents, such as a living will and a last will, can make all the difference for yourself and your loved ones.

Why Should I Receive Guidance From an Estate Planning Attorney?

Getting started with your estate plans can feel overwhelming and confusing. By working with a professional such as the estate planning lawyers at Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, you can have greater peace of mind knowing you are getting professional legal services and guidance to make the process easier and ensure your estate plans will work for you and your family. If you are considering estate planning, have questions, or are unsure where to start, call the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, in Riverside, California, at 909-675-1545.