Why estate planning?

Estate planning is one of the most important steps any person can take to make sure that their final property and health care wishes are honored and that loved ones are provided for in their absence.

Though often overlooked or put off in favor of more immediate concerns, a comprehensive estate plan can resolve a number of legal questions that arise whenever anyone dies: What is the state of their nancial affairs? What real and personal property do they own? Who gets what? Does a personal guardian need to be appointed to care for minor children? How much tax will need to be paid in order to transfer property ownership? What funeral arrangements are appropriate? (source: FindLaw.com)

For more important information about estate planning, please contact Everest Estate Solutions for a consultation. (949) 468-0446

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is a process. It involves people—your family, other individuals and, in many cases, charitable organizations of your choice. It also involves your assets (your property) and the various forms of ownership and title that those assets may take. And it addresses your future needs in case you ever become unable to care for yourself.

Get in the driver’s seat.

Through estate planning, you can determine:

  • How and by whom your assets will be managed for your benefit during your lifetime if you ever become unable to manage them yourself.
  • When and under what circumstances it makes sense to distribute your assets during your lifetime.
  • How and to whom your assets will be distributed after your death.
  • How and by whom your personal care will be managed and how health care decisions will be made during your lifetime if you become unable to care for yourself.

More than just a will.

Many people mistakenly think that estate planning only involves the writing of a will. Estate planning, however, can also involve financial, tax, medical and business planning. A will is part of the planning process, but you will need other documents as well to fully address your estate planning needs. (Source: The State Bar of California)

For more important information about estate planning, please review Do I Need Estate Planning by The State Bar of California and contact Everest Estate Solutions for a consultation. (949) 468-0446

What’s involved in estate planning?

There are many things to consider when creating an estate plan. Some questions you should ask yourself are:

  • What are my assets and what is their approximate value? Whom do I want to receive those assets—and when?
  • Who should manage those assets if I cannot—either during my lifetime or after my death?
  • Who should be responsible for taking care of my minor children if I become unable to care for them myself?
  • Who should make decisions on my behalf concerning my care and welfare if I become unable to care for myself?
  • What do I want done with my remains after I die and where would I want them buried, scattered or otherwise laid to rest?

Once you have begun answering these questions for yourself, you are ready to seek the advice and services of Everest Estate Solutions. With a strong background in the intricacies of estate planning and a network of qualified legal advisors, we will help you create an estate plan.

For more important information about estate planning, please review Do I Need Estate Planning by The State Bar of California and contact Everest Estate Solutions for a consultation. (949) 468-0446

Who needs estate planning?

You do—whether your estate is large or small. Either way, you should designate someone to manage your assets and make health care and personal care decisions for you if you ever become unable to do so for yourself.

If your estate is small, you may simply focus on who will receive your assets after your death, and who should manage your estate, pay your last debts and handle the distribution of your assets.

If your estate is large, your lawyer will also discuss various ways of preserving your assets for your beneficiaries and of reducing or postponing the amount of estate tax which otherwise might be payable after your death.

If you fail to plan ahead, a judge will simply appoint someone to handle your assets and personal care. And your assets will be distributed to your heirs according to a set of rules known as intestate succession.

Contrary to popular myth, everything does not automatically go to the state if you die without a will. Your relatives, no matter how remote, and, in some cases, the relatives of your spouse will have priority in inheritance ahead of the state.

Still, they may not be your choice of heirs; an estate plan gives you much greater control over who will inherit your assets after your death. (Source: The State Bar of California)

For more important information about estate planning, please review Do I Need Estate Planning by The State Bar of California and contact Everest Estate Solutions for a consultation. (949) 468-0446

What’s included in my estate?

All of your assets. This could include assets held in your name alone or jointly with others, assets such as bank accounts, real estate, stocks and bonds, and furniture, cars and jewelry.

Your assets may also include life insurance proceeds, retirement accounts and payments that are due to you (such as a tax refund, outstanding loan or inheritance).

The value of your estate is equal to the “fair market value” of all of your various types of property—after you have deducted your debts (your car loan, for example, and any mortgage on your home.)

The value of your estate is important in determining whether your estate will be subject to estate taxes after your death and whether your beneficiaries could later be subject to capital gains taxes. Ensuring that there will be sufficient resources to pay such taxes is another important part of the estate planning process. (Source: The State Bar of California)

For more important information about estate planning, please review Do I Need Estate Planning by The State Bar of California and contact Everest Estate Solutions for a consultation. (949) 468-0446