A Quick And Easy Guide To Estate Planning With Your Lawyer In LA

Life doesn’t often turn out the way we think it will. Sometimes, things happen unexpectedly, but we can always make preparations in the event they do.

As any good Scout knows, it’s important to be prepared. For many of us, that means getting our affairs in order to ensure peace of mind for ourselves and our loved ones. It might seem daunting to consider, but ultimately, planning your estate is one of the best decisions you can make.

With a solid estate plan, you’ll be able to rest easier knowing your legacy and wishes are carried out in the event of your untimely demise. It will also be a comfort to your grieving family and friends, sparing them from difficult decisions in a time of grief.

If you’re living in Los Angeles, there are plenty of estate planning services in LA. Here are a few tips for how to plan your will, according to an estate planning attorney:

TIP 1: Create A Last Will And Testament.

Basic estate planning begins with the creation of a last will and testament. Should you pass away without a will, you will be deemed intestate. This means that the local government will decide what to do with our assets based on the laws of your state. This might not be how you would like your asses to go.

Thus, the first and most important step is to draw up your will. Make a note of all of your assets and decide who you would like to receive them. They will be your beneficiaries.

TIP 2: Consider Your Beneficiaries.

Who do you want your assets to go to after you die? When considering your beneficiaries, think about how to protect your assets and your family in the event of an untimely demise.

If you have small children, ensure that you are able to include a plan for them in your estate. You can use your will to name a guardian for them, and stipulate what can be done with your assets to provide for them. You might also want to consider investing in life insurance.

Make sure to review your beneficiaries and ensure that you have the proper names for them assigned to your assets, to avoid any confusion or anything that can be contested in a court. For example, if you’ve remarried or want your assets to go to your children instead of your spouse, ensure that you have put down the right beneficiary’s name.

TIP 3: Establish Your Directives.

An estate plan also includes legal directives.

Some examples of these are:

A trust. A living trust allows you to assign portions of your estate to go toward certain things while you are still living. Should you become ill or otherwise unable to function, a selected trustee can take over. The assets from the trust can be transferred to your beneficiaries after your death.

A trust allows you to bypass the court probate that might distribute your assets otherwise. You might also want to consider setting up an irrevocable trust, which you yourself cannot change or revoke.

A living will. This is also known as a medical care directive. A living will allows you to set up decisions for your medical care should you be incapacitated by illness. You can even include instructions regarding life support if necessary. You may also assign power of attorney to a trusted individual who can make decisions for your healthcare for you.

Power of attorney. Apart from medical care, you can also assign power of attorney to someone to handle your finances and other assets. Limited power of attorney allows you to set limits for the individual who is to represent you.

You must be careful about whom you choose to award power of attorney to.

TIP 4: Learn About Your State’s Estate Laws.

Estate planning is one way to minimize the estate and inheritance taxes levied on your assets. Different states have different laws, but on a federal level, only exceptionally large states are subject to estate taxes.

Consider what types of taxes your beneficiaries might have to deal with in Los Angeles.

TIP 5: Hire An Estate Planning Lawyer.

While your estate is yours to do with what you will, having a legal consultant ensures its validity and that it will be executed accordingly.

If you’re searching for an estate planning attorney in Los Angeles, consider reaching out to The Law Offices of R. Grace Rodriguez, a local probate and estate firm that can ensure you and your loved ones are adequately prepared for the future. Contact 818-734-7223 or 805-364-0884 to learn more.

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