Common estate planning objectives are:
- Survivor Care: You may want to provide income or specific funds to help your survivors after you are gone.
- Control: If you don’t decide who gets your assets the State will.
- Conservation of assets: Your heirs could lose a sizable chunk of your estate to settlement costs. A skilled estate planning attorney can help you reduce estate shrinkage through trusts, gifts and other options.
- Liquidity: If money is not readily available to pay final expenses, your assets may have to be sold, perhaps at bargain prices. Ensuring that liquid assets are available when needed is a crucial part of estate planning.
While it is possible to do your own estate planning, and perhaps even prepare your own estate planning documents, it is risky business. This is a job for a skilled estate planning attorney and the money you spend on legal fees may be the best investment you ever made for your heirs.
Recommended Reading: The State Bar of California http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Pamphlets/EstatePlanning.aspx
Posted by C. Thomas Thames