WHY YOU NEED A WILL


  • 1. When you pass away, what will happen to your property—those things you have spent a lifetime accumulating? If you die intestate (without a will), it must still be distributed. In such instances though, this distribution will occur according to state law and not your wishes, desires, or even your interests. Is this what you want to happen to your lifetime of hard work?

  • 2. In a community property state, such as the State of California, the surviving spouse only owns a fifty percent share of the community property. If you are married and wish to ensure that your surviving spouse retains your share of the community assets, you must leave it to him or her in your will. Otherwise, that share will be probated in accordance with state law. This can result in your surviving spouse facing unintended financial difficulties that are easily prevented with proper estate planning.

  • 3. The Probate Code is an archaic law that enforces rules of generational transfer of property according to often, outdated notions of familial ties. Thus, if you are in a non-traditional family, there is a heightened need for proper estate planning because the law does not currently recognize them when it comes to the intestate redistribution of property. Unmarried and/or same sex couples, as well as singles, are all vulnerable. A properly drafted will can ensure that your loved ones avoid an unintended disinheritance.

  • 4. Do you have a minor child or children? What will happen to the property that you wish to leave them when you pass away? If you die intestate, you leave your children's well-being in the care of a guardian whom the court decides to appoint. Who knows your child or children better: you or a judge or a court-appointed special-advocate? Ensure that goals that you plan for your child's future have a chance to be realized by planning your estate.

  • 5. Are there any special interests or charities that you believe in? Do you want to remember your alma mater? Perhaps, you would like to begin an endowment. If you would like to see them funded from your estate, then you will need to provide the instructions to ensure that this takes place. One method of doing this is through your will.

WILL A LIVING TRUST WORK FOR YOU?


  • 1. Have you accumulated assets that you wish to pass on to others without the intervention or supervision of the court? Do you have beneficiaries who will are minor children? Are you facing creditors who may seek to attach the assets you wish to pass on to others? Are you in a non-traditional relationship and wish to ensure that your significant other is not left out in the distribution of your estate? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a living trust may be beneficial to you

  • 2. In a community property state, such as the State of California, surviving spouses only own a fifty percent share of the community property. To ensure the smooth transfer of property to your surviving spouse, estate planning, including a living trust, can efficiently meet your needs in a cost-effective manner.

  • 3. The Probate Code is an archaic law that enforces rules of generational transfer of property according to often, outdated notions of familial ties. Thus, if you are in a non-traditional family, there is a heightened need for proper estate planning because the law does not currently recognize them when it comes to the intestate redistribution of property. Unmarried and/or same sex couples, as well as singles, are all vulnerable. A properly drafted living trust can enable your loved ones to avoid disinheritance.

  • 4. Do you have a minor child or children? What will happen to the property that you wish to leave them when you pass away? If you die intestate (without leaving instructions for the distribution of your property upon death), you risk leaving your children's well-being in the care of a guardian whom the court decides to appoint. Who knows your child or children better: you, a judge, or a court-appointed special-advocate? Ensure that goals that you plan for your child's future have a chance to be realized by planning your estate.

  • 5. Are there any special interests or charities that you believe in? Do you want to remember your alma mater? Perhaps, you would like to begin an endowment. A living trust is the vehicle to allow you to accomplish this and more. The property placed in the trust can benefit the organization or cause of your choice, while reducing the potential tax exposure of your estate.

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