This is the first post in a series which will address the importance of estate planning in San Bernardino and elsewhere in California. I am writing on this topic because many people believe having an estate plan is something they can “take care of later.” It is a mistake to think about an estate plan like that. The goal of my coming posts is to help people understand the need to get their affairs in order. If you have questions about the process, or wish to schedule a consultation, then contact my office today to speak with an estate planning attorney.
I will be discussing multiple topics over my coming articles. Issues which I will analyze include:
- The importance of having a will
- The importance of creating a Trust
- Things to consider when creating an estate plan
- The importance of keeping your estate plan up to date
- The problems with “self-help” estate plans
There are several reasons why residents of our area should understand these topics. First, if one dies without a will then their estate will be subject to California’s intestate laws and their assets may be distributed in a way inconsistent with their wishes. Second, having a Trust creates a level of flexibility in terms of how one’s estate will be managed after their death. Third, there are many issues (such as taxation and the best interests of heirs) which must be considered while creating an estate plan. Finally, it is crucial that your estate plan be kept up to date so that problems are not created for your eventual beneficiaries.
One point I cannot stress enough is that you should consult with an attorney to understand all of your options. While there are many self-help alternatives for those who wish to plan their affairs, the fact of the matter is that everyone’s situation is different and you may have specific needs that would not be covered in a pre-prepared “fill in the blank” will or Trust document. As a San Bernardino estate planning lawyer, I regularly handle such matters. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also service Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Ontario, Victorville, Rialto, Hesperia, Chino, Upland, Apple Valley, Redlands, Highland, Colton, Yucaipa, Montclair, elsewhere in the Inland Empire, as well as Los Angeles.