Although some consider estate planning something that happens in the later stages of life for an individual, it’s actually best to consult and plan at regular intervals throughout life in order to ensure success.
Far more than simply drafting a will, estate planning encompasses planning for taxes, medical planning and business planning. It takes an experienced estate planner to walk you through the right decision-making stages.
Setting up kids’ college funds, career planning, after the birth of a child, contemplating future retirement, prior to marriage, after a divorce are all good milestones to seek the help of a trusted estate planning attorney.
“Clients frequently come in with an estate plan that is 15 or 20 years old and totally out of date because people have died and the value of their estate has changed,” said Jim Ward. “If the person would have died with the out-dated plan, they would not have achieved their intended outcome.”
In preparation for a meeting with an estate planning attorney, its advised to take an inventory of your current assets and intentions for estate planning.
The following are some basic estate planning questions to think about before you see an estate planning attorney:
*What is the approximate value of my assets?
*Which assets are a part of my estate?
*If I were to become incapacitated, who would I choose to manage these assets and make decisions concerning my care?
*If I were to die, who would best handle my assets for the benefit of my loved ones?
*If something were to happen to me, who would I choose to take care of my children?
Through the estate planning process, an individual is given the choice to decide how his assets will be managed in order to ensure the future of one’s spouse or children, and provide for care in the latter years of one’s life.
Personal care can also be predetermined – to some extent – if health care decisions become necessary.
Regardless of assets and income, estate planning is appropriate. There should be someone who is in charge of managing assets and making decisions for you. This person should also be able to make any medical decisions with your physician.
In the case that the estate is large, an individual may wish to explore how to preserve his assets for loved ones, as well as look at ways to reduce or postpone estate taxes.
The Law Offices of James A. Ward can help you at any stage of life, with office locations in San Jose and Gilroy, Mr. Ward covers nearly every corner of Santa Clara County. Contact us today so that we can discuss your unique situation and goals.