San Jose Estate Planning Lawyer Helps Clients Preserve Wealth for Future Generations
You have worked hard to build your family’s wealth. Make sure it will be passed on to your loved ones in accordance with your wishes and as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Turn to San Jose estate planning lawyer Marc David Freed at The Freed Law Firm for an estate plan that is custom drafted to meet your needs, whether your estate is substantial or modest.
Why Estate Planning Is a Must for Everyone
Estate planning allows you to choose how your assets will be distributed after your death. If you fail to plan your estate, the state will do it for you through its intestacy statute. The plan in the state intestacy statute is the same for everyone; it may not work very well for you. For example, you cannot rely on the state’s plan if you want to:
- Leave unequal shares to your children because their needs are different or you already provided for one during your life.
- Ensure that property left to a second spouse will go to children from a first marriage on the spouse’s death.
- Leave your estate to a life partner to whom you are not married.
- Leave a gift to a grandchild, more distant relative, or friend.
- Leave a contribution to charity.
Nor will the state’s plan allow you to:
- Avoid or minimize the delays and expense of probate.
- Minimize estate taxes.
- Appoint a guardian for your minor children and a person to manage their assets.
- Provide for your incapacity.
- Ensure your wishes regarding end of life medical care are followed.
- Allow for the continuation of a family business and its smooth transfer to the next generation.
You need to create your own individualized estate plan to accomplish any of these goals.
Essential Estate Planning Documents
These documents should be a part of every estate plan.
- A living trust. A living trust is the cornerstone of most effective estate plans. A living trust allows you to manage your property while alive, but to pass it on to your heirs without probate. In a trust, you can name a trustee to oversee the distribution of trust property on your death and to manage the trust property should you become incapacitated or until your heirs can manage the property on their own.
- Will or pour over will. If probate avoidance is not a goal (or is accomplished through other devices), then a will may be sufficient. In a will, you can name a guardian for your minor children and an executor to oversee your estate. Even if probate avoidance is a goal you will want to have a pour over will to supplement your living trust to dispose of property that is not in the trust/does not pass through the trust. (Many people do not transfer their automobiles to their living trust due to difficulties dealing with the DMV.)
- A durable power of attorney. This document allows you to name a person you trust to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to do so.
- A healthcare directive. With this document, you appoint a person to make healthcare decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself. In this document, you can also explain what type of care you would like at the end of your life. These directives are often referred to informally as living wills.
Additional documents, such as life insurance or charitable trusts or business buy-sell agreements, may be necessary depending on the complexity of your estate. San Jose estate planning attorney Marc David Freed will prepare whatever documents your estate plan requires, carefully tailoring them to your particular needs.
Contact an San Jose Estate Planning Lawyer at The Freed Law Firm
We will listen carefully to your wishes, help you identify your goals, and then choose the right estate planning vehicles to implement them. In addition to estate planning services, our office can assist your heirs and personal representatives in the probate of your estate, and operate your trust after your death. Call (831) 661-0300 or (408) 354-7403 or contact The Freed Law Firm online to schedule your free initial consultation.