Question: Who can benefit from a living trust or will-oriented estate planning?
Answer: The shortest answer is– nearly every adult and child can benefit from some kind of estate planning. Whether it’s financial or healthcare-related planning, child protection planning, special-needs planning, or business succession planning, most people can benefit.
After all, estate planning is not just about leaving behind property, although that can definitely be part of it. Estate planning is about having the right kind of plan for your particular needs, to manage important life and death decisions. To put it simply, it’s about making clear and informed decisions now, while choosing from an open menu of options, rather than waiting until an eventual day when a court of law will have to make those decisions for you and your family in a process known as probate.
Probate is a long (and often dreaded) process. It is also costly, and not uncommon to result in bad outcomes. Unfortunately, it is the last and only option for the loved ones of a decedent who did not plan ahead.
If you avoid estate planning, the law will plan for you– and you might not like the outcome.
Question: Who can benefit the most from having a living trust?
Answer: If you are in one or more of these groups, you may benefit from setting up a living trust:
- Parents and grandparents
- Recipients of governmental needs-based support
- People with a disabled family member eligible for needs-based governmental support
- Blended families (i.e., remarriages)
- People who wish to disinherit a legal heir
- People who want to avoid probate
- People with estate tax concerns
Let’s start with the most obvious answer– homeowners. If you own a home in California– what are you waiting for? You and your estate are almost certainly going to benefit by having a living trust-based estate plan. Accordingly, this group is the most obvious candidate for a living trust.
As for a parents or grandparents– if they own any assets and wish to make sure that their assets will pass to their heirs without having to go through probate, then once again, trust planning is something to seriously look into.
As for those who either receive governmental needs-based support or those who have a family member eligible for such support, then trust planning is likely going to be of great benefit. Simply put, these people may benefit from a special needs trust (also known as supplemental needs trust).
Families with remarriages (or concerns about a spouse remarrying in the future, after the other spouse’s death) are ideal candidates for trust planning, especially if one or both parents want to preserve assets for their children.
Estate Planning is About More Than Property
Estate planning is not just about leaving behind property, although that can definitely be part of it. In the most general of terms, estate planning is about having the right kind of plan for your particular needs, to manage important life (and death) decisions. It’s about making clear and informed decisions now, while choosing from an open menu, rather than having the law (and possibly the courts) make the decisions for you.
Anyone who wants to control their property while alive and well, as well as provide for their own care and the care of their loved ones in the event of incapacity or death, should consider a living trust-based estate plan.
Anyone who wants control over how their assets will be managed during life, and given away upon death, while minimizing every tax dollar, attorney fee, and court cost possible, should also consider estate planning.
To know what kind of estate planning is right for you, it’s best to speak with an experienced attorney.
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL.
Please contact us directly to set up an initial estate planning consultation.
You can call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.
What can estate planning do for you?
- It can help you maintain control of your property (while alive and well).
- It can also plan for your care or the care of loved ones (upon death and incapacity).
- Provide for a plan in case of incapacity.
- Manage the risks if you should ever become incapacitated.
- Articulate your health care and end-of-life wishes.
- Delegate health care decisions
- Provide for the needs of a surviving spouse (if applicable).
- Provide liquidity at death.
- Specify inheritances.
- Fulfill your charitable wishes.
- Provide “back up parents” for young children.
- Plan for children (including those with special needs).
- Provide incentives and promote education and a strong work ethic for your children or other loved ones, even after you are gone.
- Minimize the risk of children being hurt by “affluenza”.
- Protect your assets.
- Avoid the time and expense of probate (whenever possible).
- Minimize tax liability, attorney fees and court costs.
- Plan for the succession of a business (if applicable).
Types of Trusts, Wills, and other Estate Planning Solutions:
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Pour-over Wills
- Healthcare Directives
- Living Wills
- Financial Powers of Attorney
- Childcare Powers of Attorney
- Special Needs Trusts
- Family Limited Partnerships and LLCs
- HIPAA Authorizations
- Incentive Trusts
- Special Purpose Trusts
- Retirement Distribution Control Trusts
- Dynasty Trusts
- Generation Skipping Trusts
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Offshore Asset Protection Trusts
- Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
- Lifetime Spousal Gift Trusts
- Business Continuity Trusts & ACP Trusts
- Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Lead Trusts
- Inheritor’s trusts
Ultimately, we all face the challenge of resolving our assets in a way that is fair to the ones we love. Many of the inherent obstacles in estate planning are not so apparent at the outset. Consequently, these obstacles are usually best addressed by professionals trained to recognize and mitigate risk.
Our experienced team will help you build the right plan according to your family structure, to best execute the transmission of your estate.
Koza Law Group Welcomes All Walks of Life
We do not discriminate based on race, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion (or non-religion), belief, or political affiliation. As such, if you prefer to work with a law firm that discriminates based on any of these factors, then we are probably not the law firm for you.
We are proud of our diverse clientele.
KOZA LAW GROUP understands the value of the collaborative process and the powerful benefit this type of service can deliver to our clients. As a result, our strategic directive has placed significant focus on building a robust assembly of accountants, financial planners, stockbrokers, insurance professionals and specialized wills and trusts attorneys ready to serve the independent needs of both individuals and families alike, should it be necessary. We strive to maximize the core talents of these professionals to benefit you the most– with the parallel goal of bettering the legal profession as a whole. Collaborative planning can help our clients make the best choices.
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Please contact us directly for an initial estate planning consultation. You can call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.