The ultimate goal of a good estate plan is to protect all of your assets and ensure that they are distributed the way you want them to be distributed.
What Goals Should Your Estate Plan Accomplish?
The main goal is to make sure that you are able to support the people or charities you want to support after you die. To make an effective estate plan, you need to ask yourself a few questions, such as: “Do I want to leave a legacy?” and “What will my legacy be?”
Once you’ve answered those questions, you have to decide if you simply want your estate distributed or if you want to establish an ongoing trust. Some people will set up a trust so that the beneficiary doesn’t get the money until a certain date, or until the children are in college, or whatever the terms may be. There are many different ways to set up a trust. Ultimately, the goal of an estate plan is whatever the client wants it to be, and to make sure they can distribute their assets to the beneficiaries that they choose.
I Don’t Have Much For My Children To Inherit. Do I Still Need To Plan For My Death?
It’s not really that you’re planning for your death, because no one can really plan for that. What you are really doing is planning for the distribution of whatever assets you have at the time of your death. The sad fact is that even if you think you don’t have anything, your heirs could fight over the silliest little thing. As long as you have at least a will, it solves all those disputes because your wishes are in writing.
When Is The Best Time To Start Planning For Your Estate?
I always think it’s best to start as soon as you have any assets – even if you’re young. I have a young pregnant couple as clients now, and the trust specifies their unnamed child as the beneficiary. Even though they’re young, they own two homes, so they do have assets. The great thing about a living trust is that it can be amended throughout your life right up until the day you die and so that way it grows with you. As you gain new assets you just put them into the trust.
Some people ask me if it’s ever too late to make an estate plan. The answer is no, I have a lot of older clients who come in to discuss their needs after the death of a friend, a relative or a spouse because they will suddenly realize they need to get their affairs in order.
It’s never too late, and it’s never too early as long as you have assets of some kind. Obviously, if you’re a high school student or even a college student, you may not have anything of value, but if you have anything and you want it to go somewhere then go ahead and write it down.
The State of California recognizes “holographic” or handwritten wills. The will must be in your own handwriting, you have to state that it is your intention for this to be a will, the writing must be dated and signed by you. That’s it. You cannot type it and it cannot be computer generated because then it gives the impression that you might be under undue influence. Contrary to what many people think, you don’t need witnesses on a holographic will because again that can look like undue influence. You just need to write it out by hand, stating that this is your last will and testament, and make sure that it is dated and signed by you.
What Exactly Is A Will?
A will is simply a document that distributes whatever your assets are at the date of your death.
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