People often put off estate planning because thinking about death is uncomfortable. But waiting to make important decisions until you are faced with a health scare or crisis can be a serious mistake. If you become incapacitated or die without a plan in place, you leave your family to guess or squabble about what you would have wanted. And dying without a plan takes money meant for your heirs and instead gives it to lawyers for their fees to probate your estate. A well-tailored estate plan prevents this wasting of estate assets and the delay caused by the probate process.
What does an estate plan include? An estate plan is not just a specific document, like a will. An estate plan should be comprehensive and provide for death or incapacity. Depending on your circumstances, an estate can also:
(1) Designate who cares for your minor children and with what financial resources.
(2) Determine what happens to your assets.
(3) Designate who you want to make healthcare or financial decisions for you.
(4) Specify what kind of medical care you want if you become ill or incapacitated.
(5) Save you time and money. If you don't have a will, the probate process can be lengthy and expensive. A properly prepared estate plan will simplify or even avoid the probate process, which means your loved ones can get access to your assets faster and without spending a lot of money on legal fees.
At Laguna Law, we balance affordability with effectiveness and your individual goals in tailoring an estate plan just for you and your family.