Benefits of an estate plan
Talk with a Sonoma County estate planning lawyer to learn your options
Estate planning is an involved process that takes into account your spouse, family, other individuals and in many cases charitable organizations that are important to you. It also involves your assets such as your investments, savings and checking accounts, automobiles, jewelry, and real estate.
Estate planning addresses your long-term goals and your future needs and sets a plan into effect which will have legal force upon your incapacity or death. We encourage you to contact Gullotta Law Group to speak with our Sonoma County estate planning lawyer.
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An estate plan can determine:
- Exactly how and by whom your assets will be managed for your benefit if you ever become incapacitated.
- When and how your personal belongings and assets will be distributed after your death.
- Who will be named the guardian of your minor children should you become incapacitated or if you die.
- How and whom will make your health care decisions if you become incapacitated.
- Which life insurance policies will be established for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
- Which other beneficiaries you wish to inherit from your estate that wouldn't otherwise benefit without a will.
- If you would benefit from Medicaid planning, you can plan accordingly so your assets are protected and you qualify for benefits without being subject to the 5 year look-back period.
An estate plan is far more than writing a will or a trust. Estate planning can involve asset protection, as well as medical, tax, and business planning. While a will is at the core of an estate plan, it is merely a part of the planning process, and you will need other components such as the advanced health care directive and the power of attorney, which we like to refer to as " airbag documents," documents that you put in place that spring into effect once you need them.
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If you die without a plan, a judge will appoint someone to handle your assets and your assets will be distributed according to California's intestate succession laws and this can involve even the most remote heirs depending on your family's structure. Since such heirs may not be your choice, an estate plan will give you control over who stands to inherit your hard-earned assets upon your death.