Most people are familiar with wills, a document which outlines one’s posthumous wishes for their property and loved ones. What many do not know, however, is that a will is just one of many types of estate planning documents. While many believe a will is sufficient for their needs, a comprehensive estate plan may be more beneficial.
Who Needs an Estate Plan?
Generally speaking, the purpose of estate planning is to prepare for the future. How exactly to plan for your future and whether it requires an estate plan depends on many factors. If any of the following situations apply to you, contact our Palm Desert estate planning attorney to learn more about your options.
You Have a Child or Multiple Children
The birth of a child warrants the consideration to create an estate plan. A comprehensive estate plan will outline your wishes for your child in the event that you pass away. This includes naming a guardian for your child if he or she is under 18 years of age. Appointing a guardian will ensure that your child or children will receive care in your absence.
If children are receiving an inheritance, then establishing a trust is ideal for managing the assets. Additionally, a living trust can protect adult beneficiaries from mishandling his or her inheritance.
You Have a Complex Estate
The term ‘estate’ refers to anything of value that a person owns. This can include:
- Land and other real estate
- Possessions (tangible personal property)
- Other assets and entitlements
If you own anything, then an estate plan can help you protect it. However, if you have multiple assets, it is important to have a comprehensive estate plan for many reasons.
With the right plan, you may be able to avoid or reduce applicable federal estate and inheritance taxes. Further, some estate planning documents may protect your estate from seizure through lawsuits. Additionally, a living trust estate plan may allow your estate to avoid the probate process. Doing so may save your beneficiaries a lot of time and money.
You Want to Prepare for Special Circumstances
Another purpose of estate planning involves preparing for personal adversity. For example, some estate planning documents make provisions for you in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. To prepare for this possibility, you may want to appoint a medical and/or financial power of attorney. A medical power of attorney will name the person who has the power to make medical decisions for you. A financial power of attorney will name the person who has the power to manage your finances if you are unable to do so yourself.
Speak With Our Cathedral City Estate Planning Lawyer Today
If you have questions concerning the estate planning process, consider contacting our office today. Our estate planning attorney in Palm Springs can help you determine which documents are right for you. Call us today at (760) 202-5939.