Now that the new year has begun, it is time for many people to get a fresh start. It is also a great time to accomplish some goals that you may have been putting off for a while. One step you can take to benefit not just your own future but the future of your family and loved ones is to get started with creating your estate plans.
Experienced California Estate Planning Attorneys
The estate planning attorneys at Galanti & Copenhaver, Inc. are here to help you with your estate planning needs. If you are not sure how to get started with this process, give our office a call. We can help to guide you in the right direction.
Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help you begin the estate planning process. We are happy to help our clients get started with estate planning or make changes and adjustments to existing estate plans as their goals change over time.
What Is Estate Planning and Is It Really Necessary?
Making estate plans gives you the opportunity to establish what will happen to your estate—your finances, property, and possessions—when you pass away. Additionally, there are other aspects of estate planning that you should consider that can help you and your loved ones even when you are still around.
For example, estate planning can also include drafting power of attorney documents and creating an advance health care directive. With power of attorney documents in place for health care and financial matters, you can designate someone you trust to make any necessary health care and financial decisions for you if you are unable to make those crucial decisions for yourself, because you have become incapacitated in some way.
What Are Some Other Estate Planning Tools to Consider?
Creating a will is often one of the first steps a person takes when estate planning. You are likely already familiar with the concept of a will.
By drafting a will, you can set forth the terms that will be followed to distribute your assets when you pass away. You can also choose the beneficiaries that you want to be the recipients of your estate assets and property. If you choose to, you can also opt to donate some or all of your estate to charity.
Another estate planning tool is called a trust. There are two main types of trusts—revocable and irrevocable trusts. Each of these types of trusts has some benefits and some drawbacks, so be sure to go over your goals with your estate planning attorney if you consider making a trust.
How to Get Started with Estate Planning
Estate planning can sound like an overwhelming task, but the new year is as good of a time as any to tackle it head-on. Once you are ready to begin the estate planning process, the first thing you should do is review your finances, assets, and property and get an idea of how you want things to be handled upon your passing. You should also think about who you would like to include as beneficiaries of your estate.
When you have a general idea of how you would like to proceed with your estate plans, it is time to contact an experienced estate planning attorney to schedule a consultation.
Meeting With an Estate Planning Attorney for the First Time
Your first meeting with your estate planning attorney could be very productive if you prepare for the meeting ahead of time. Of course, your lawyer expects that you will have questions about the process and may not know exactly what estate planning tools you want to use to reach your goals.
However, if you go into the meeting with a clear idea of what your goals are and the things that you would like to accomplish with estate planning, you will likely save some time and money. At the meeting, your estate planning attorney will listen to your goals and what you have in mind that you would like to take care of.
Your attorney will then be able to give you some options and explain what estate planning tools might best suit your needs. Be sure to be fully open and honest about your finances, including any outstanding debts and tax concerns. Your estate planning attorney may be able to help you structure your estate plans in a way that is beneficial to you, as well as to your loved ones and beneficiaries of your estate.