-Protecting currently held assets, such as retirement funds, and insurance policies are important reasons for parents to have an estate plan. The Law Office of Mary Ann Tardiff, the Atascadero estate planning attorney recently released the top reasons parents need an estate plan.
Estate planning is an important aspect of financial and family planning that helps parents ensure their assets are managed and distributed according to their wishes after their passing. Here are 10 reasons why parents should have an estate plan:
- Asset distribution: An estate plan allows parents to specify how their assets, including property, investments, and personal belongings, should be distributed among their heirs or beneficiaries.
- Minor children: Parents can name guardians for their minor children in their estate plan, ensuring that their children will be cared for by trusted individuals if both parents pass away prematurely.
- Avoiding probate: Estate planning can help avoid the often time-consuming and expensive probate process, allowing assets to be transferred more efficiently to heirs. An estate plan and avoiding probate are not reserved for the wealthy. In California, when someone dies without a trust, and they have assets worth more than $184,500, the estate is subject to probate proceedings. In today’s economy, the family home alone can surpass that threshold. The Atascadero estate planning attorney helps inventory assets and appropriately declare them in an estate plan.
- Tax efficiency: Estate planning can help parents minimize estate taxes, ensuring that more of their assets go to their chosen beneficiaries rather than being consumed by taxes.
- Healthcare decisions: Parents can use estate planning tools like a healthcare proxy or living will to outline their medical treatment preferences and appoint someone to make healthcare decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated.
- Financial management: Parents can appoint a financial power of attorney to manage their financial affairs if they become unable to do so themselves due to illness or incapacity.
- Charitable giving: Estate plans can include provisions for charitable giving, allowing parents to support their favorite causes or organizations even after they are gone.
- Business succession: If parents own a business, estate planning can ensure a smooth transition of ownership and management to the next generation or a chosen successor.
- Peace of mind: Perhaps most importantly, having an estate plan provides parents with peace of mind, knowing that their wishes for their family and assets will be respected and followed even after they are no longer able to make decisions.
Mary Ann Tardiff, Atascadero’s experienced estate planning attorney, can advise on the most successful ways to achieve estate planning goals. Through detailed analysis, Mary Ann can:
- Inventory all assets
- Assist with retitling of assets and preparing deeds
- Transfer those assets so they are properly held in trust
- Establish guardianship for minor children, dependent adults who rely on your care, and even beloved pets
- Assist with setting up college funds
- Make sure favorite philanthropic causes are included in the estate plan
- Draft a will
- Assist in preparing a living will
- Provide guidance for power of attorney related to wills, living wills and trusts
- Establish trusts and other legal entities beneficial to your estate
Whether you are a young person starting out, a family, or a senior citizen, rely on Mary Ann Tardiff to help set up a trust that is appropriate to your circumstances or make changes to an existing trust.
Law Office of Mary Ann Tardiff
6907 El Camino Real, Ste A
Atascadero, CA 93422