The late King of Pop, Michael Jackson made us cognizant of the importance of having a living trust; and the importance of designating guardianship for ones children. If you are single and you should die today; have you designate someone to oversee and provide for your children? Michael Jackson even made preparation for back-up guardianship for his children. Don't leave it to the state to make decisions about what happens to your children upon your death. THINK and ACT NOW!
If there was ever a time that families needed each other, it is now! Families are alienated forever due to their parents or loved ones lack of estate planning. If your estate is worth $100,000 or more it must go to Probate Court. There are fees in Probate Court such as: appraisal fees, attorney fees, court fees, and sometimes a bond fee. This is money that could pass to your loved ones. In California, it takes a year or longer to close probate. I have witnessed probate proceedings that lasted five years and more.
Who will pay the mortgage during these extensive procedures? Who will occupy the house? Do your loved ones have enough money to pay the probate cost, or will they be required to sell the property below market value?
In hard times, this should be a concern for all of us. If you have a Living Trust, all your valuables, home, monies, cars, etc., will be available for your loved ones after a 40-day period. Which makes more sense, a one-year plus, waiting period, or for them to wait 40 "hassle free" days to settle the estate?
If your estate is worth less than $100,000, you do not need a Living Trust. However, you will need a Power of Attorney for healthcare and financial affairs. I promise that if you do not designate a specific person, the one you would not have chosen, will take charge of your life.
I have included an explanation of estate planning and estate planning documents. Powers of Attorney for both healthcare, and financial matters are also discussed.
What is Estate Planning?
Instead of allowing the State to make the choice, Estate Planning is your opportunity to decide what happens to your property after death.
Estate Planning Documents
Living Trust: The Living Trust allows you to retain full control of your assets while living. After your demise, your trust property is quickly transferred to your beneficiaries, avoiding the agony, expense, and delay of Probate Court.
You can also use the Living Trust to avoid or reduce Federal Estate Taxes; provide for your surviving spouse's needs during their lifetime; leave the remaining assets to the beneficiaries of your choice. This is especially helpful if you have children from a previous marriage.
Last Will and Testament: A Will allows you to choose who would receive your assets after your death, rather than leaving it up to the state to decide for you.
Durable Power of Attorney - Health Care: When you are unable to make medical decisions the Healthcare Power of Attorney names the person who acts on your behalf.
Statutory Financial Power of Attorney: The Statutory Financial Power of Attorney names someone to handle your financial affairs should you become incompetent or incapacitated. This person is called your agent, and the power may be effective immediately or only if you become incapacitated, whichever you choose.
Living Will: When there is no reasonable hope for recovery, a Living Will enables you to decide if you want to be kept alive by life support equipment.
Let's not lose any more real estate for lack of knowledge. Estate Planning; do it for your loved ones.
Call and make your appointment today. Take care of your business while you are in your right mind! (323) 750-3592-Ask for Dr. Rosie Milligan