Estate Planning Services In San Diego
There are many reasons why people put off estate planning. Some people think they don’t have enough assets for it to matter. Others think they’re too young and won’t need an estate plan for a long time. And many don’t know where to begin the estate planning process. However, setting up wills, trusts and health care directives isn’t just for the wealthy and the elderly. San Diego Estate Planning Attorney Anton Georghiou will explain why you need an estate plan below.
What Is Estate Planning?
Your “estate” is everything you own, including real estate, your checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, and personal possessions (all the way down to your car and furniture). Estate planning helps ensure that all of your assets are transferred seamlessly to your heirs upon your death.
Advance Health Care Directive
A thorough estate plan not only helps protect your assets, it also includes provisions to ensure your wishes are carried out if you’re unable to make healthcare decisions or manage your assets due to a disability. Such provisions are outlined in an Advance Health Care Directive (also known as a “living will”). Should you become disabled, the Advance Health Care Directive would allow someone you appointed and trust to make medical and personal care decisions on your behalf. When it comes to estate planning, the term “disabled” means that you are mentally or physically unable to take care of yourself or make your own decisions regarding your medical care or finances.
Revocable Trusts & Living Trusts
Transferring your assets into a revocable trust, also known as a “living trust” allows you to name the beneficiaries who will receive such assets at your death. With a revocable trust, you can also name who should not receive anything.
While you are still alive, you are the “grantor” of the trust and control taking things out and putting things in as you please.
When you pass away, the assets in your living trust will usually pass to heirs sooner than they would with just a will or no estate plans at all. These trusts can help save time, legal fees, and taxes.
Creating A Will
Everyone should have a will, even if they have a revocable trust already set up. That’s because most trusts deal only with specific assets such as property or life insurance, but not the sum total of your holdings.
For people with young children, a will is especially important because it is the best way to transfer guardianship of minors.
Do You Need To Update Your Estate Plan?
It’s important to know that estate planning is not something you should set up once and never look at again. Life circumstances can often change over the years. People get married or divorced, have children or grandchildren, retire, or have beneficiaries pass away. You should update your estate plan every time these major life events happen.
Contact a San Diego Estate Plan Lawyer
If you’d like to speak with an experienced attorney in San Diego regarding estate planning, wills, trusts, and advanced health care directives, please contact The Law Office of Anton L. Georghiou for a free consultation.