Estate Planning

What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan is like a map. This map reflects the way you want your personal and financial affairs to be handled in case of incapacity or death. It’s the process of anticipating and arranging your money and other assets.

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

You do. Estate Plans are not just for the wealthy or elderly; without an estate plan, you can’t control what happens to you properly if you become incapacitated or die. An estate plan makes your wishes clear and can alleviate a lot of headache and pain caused by family disputes.

Will vs Trust

Like wills, trusts specify how assets should be distributed, but with important advantages. Unlike wills, trusts are not subject to probate— so assets can go immediately to heirs without the need for court approval. And trusts are private documents, making them more difficult to challenge. You should still have a will, but mainly to appoint guardians for minor children and to take care of other matters not covered by beneficiary designations, account titling, and trusts.

Types of Estate Planning

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Will
  • Codicil to Will
  • Living Trust
  • Do Not Resuscitate Order
  • Medical Directives
  • Power of Attorney
  • Transfer on Death Deed
  • Other Trust (Special Needs, Generation-Skipping, Charitable, Qualified Terminable Interest, Qualified Personal Residence, etc)

Benefits of Estate Planning

You’ve spent a lifetime building your estate, so you should take whatever steps you can to ensure that it will properly be taken care of. Some of the
benefits of estate planning are:

  • Avoid costly probate
  • Make sure your minor children are cared for by who you wish
  • Save your family from making difficult decisions
  • Support your favorite cause
  • Ensure your business is run smoothly
  • Minimize expenses and taxes
  • Ensure property goes to the right beneficiaries
  • Plan for any type of incapacity
  • Establish Trustees over your estate in advance
  • Avoid Medi-Cal estate recovery

Where do I start?

The first part of creating an estate plan is simply getting organized, gathering your documentation and accounting for what you own and owe. Start gathering your documents together and let GoPro Financial help you make the plan. Yours, doesn’t have to be another probate horror story!