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What does estate planning involve?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning could help anyone who wishes to direct their assets toward chosen beneficiaries. Some may leave assets to charity or even put them in a trust. Others might learn estate planning in California may include other steps not related to asset transfers. Ultimately, the planner must think through various elements of estate planning to arrive at a comprehensive strategy.

Basic estate planning

Writing a will allows a testator to designate assets to specific beneficiaries. The document must be legal under California state law, or the probate court would likely reject it.

Probate could be costly and lengthy, but the process might be unavoidable in many situations. Therefore, choosing an executor of the estate who is qualified for all the duties may move things forward more efficiently.

Those interested in having more say in managing an estate’s assets could set up a trust. A trustee would oversee the trust’s administration.

Also, consider it beneficial to review tax matters when engaging in estate planning. Sometimes, there could be steps that save beneficiaries money by taking advantage of legal estate tax avoidance strategies. Moving a life insurance policy into a trust might be a workable strategy for some.

Further estate plan considerations

Estate planning in California is not always about designating decisions after someone passes away. A living will could allow someone to state their medical directives if they become incapacitated. Also, a healthcare proxy would establish a representative to make decisions on the incapacitated person’s behalf.

A financial power of attorney might be beneficial since the document with support allow someone to represent an elderly or otherwise preoccupied person with their financial matters. A trustworthy and knowledgeable person could take over many daily affairs for the grantor, possibly taking some burdens off their shoulders.

Estate planning is comprehensive. Following several steps may cover various aspects of the process.