What Is An Estate Plan?
An estate plan may contain several documents, which will vary depending upon your specific needs. An estate plan for people living in California often includes some or all of the following documents:
- Revocable Living Trust: A trust is a legal document that provides direction about how you want your estate to be managed and distributed upon the incapacity or death of you or your spouse. A trust can help avoid the need for costly and time-consuming probate or other court involvement should you become incapacitated.
- Will: A Will is a legal document that names one or more persons to manage your estate upon your death and provides for the transfer of property to beneficiaries. The type of Will that you have depends upon whether or not you have a trust.
- Durable Power of Attorney: A Power of Attorney document allows you to designate an agent to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.
- Advance Health Care Directive: An Advance Health Care Directive allows you to designate an agent to make medical or end-of-life decisions for you if you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
- Guardian Nomination: This document allows you to nominate a guardian of your minor children if you become incapacitated or pass away.
- Property Agreement: If you have and your spouse have separate property as well as community property, you may need a document to clearly identify how your property is characterized. This is particularly important in blended family situations to avoid conflicts after a spouse passes away.
Shape Your Estate Plan To Fit Your Needs And Secure Your Family’s Future
Estate planning is for everyone. Regardless of how small or large your estate is, you still need a plan to decide who should receive your personal property when you die, who should take care of your finances or make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated, who will take care of your minor children if you become unable to, and how your loved ones can be provided for if you pass away.
An estate plan is a comprehensive plan for:
- Managing your assets during your lifetime
- Appointing someone to make financial and health care decisions for you should you become unable to make decisions for yourself
- Nominating someone to care for your minor children
- Managing and distributing assets after your death
How An Estate Planning Attorney Can Help
The Law Office of Carol A. Fauerbach will work with you to develop an estate plan that fits your needs to provide the following:
- Control: You decide who will be your agent to make decisions on your behalf while you are alive. You choose who will receive your personal and real property when you die. Speaking with an attorney will help you develop a plan to manage and distribute your assets according to your wishes.
- Protection for you, your family and other loved ones: Attorney Carol Fauerbach will help you develop a plan to provide for the health, education, maintenance, and support of family members and other loved ones who may have difficulty providing for themselves after you are gone. Estate planning documents communicate your wishes as far as who would raise your children should you die before they reach adulthood. She will even help develop a plan for your pets’ care if you are no longer there to care for them.
- Reduce family conflict: Attorney Carol Fauerbach will work with you to anticipate and plan for areas of likely family conflict regarding control and distribution of your assets and decisions regarding your personal care and medical treatment should you become unable to make those decisions for yourself. By anticipating, planning for and providing clear instructions regarding these areas of concern, you can reduce conflict. This is particularly true in cases when there are estranged family members or blended families where spouses have children from prior relationships.
- Cost savings: Developing an estate plan will help your heirs to avoid a costly and time-consuming probate process. California law regulates probate fees. These fees are often far more expensive than the cost of administering a trust outside of court. Beneficiaries typically receive their inheritance far quicker if probate can be avoided through estate planning.
- Privacy: A trust instrument is a private document. Administration of a trust is typically without court involvement. This means the terms of your trust may be kept private rather than being made part of the public court record.
- Charitable bequests: Develop your estate plan to make your wishes known regarding charitable bequests made from your estate during your lifetime or after your death.
- Provide for your pets: Attorney Carol Fauerbach can work with you to develop a pet trust to provide for your dogs, cats, horses, or other animals should you become incapacitated or pass away.
Schedule A Free Initial Phone Consultation
Call or email to start developing an estate plan that is right for you. Send an email or call The Law Office of Carol A. Fauerbach in Folsom at 916-302-0285 for a free initial phone consultation or to schedule an appointment.