Drafting a living trust is an easy and yet necessary processes that every person with assets will have to go through, but many people put it off sometimes until it’s too late. This is especially important if they do not want their assets to be left to the mercies of the California law courts and they want to avoid the high costs of a probate often incurred by the family of the deceased. With the help of a skilled estate planning lawyer, you will be able to prepare a living trust when you are legally competent and save your loved ones the trouble and legal tussles that come with a probate. Anyone who is over eighteen years old can execute a living trust in California.
Proper estate planning is a process and you need a knowledgeable lawyer to take you through it. Among the aspects to consider in this process will be the estate tax laws as set both by the state and federal tax laws. One will have to learn about generation skipping taxes transfer process and other issues including the exemption level and the tax rate percentage. This information will help one avoid complicated processes once they are gone as they will ensure their next of kin are well taken care of.
How does estate tax impact my estate plan?
Making wise decisions regarding estate tax is very important and especially if one wants their children to benefit from their drafted will. The California law also allows you to create a pour over will whereby you can nominate a guardian to take care of your children after you are gone. Estate tax laws differ from one state to another and one also has to consider the federal estate tax laws in drafting their will. Generally, the current law states that anyone who dies after January 1, 2013, there is an exemption rate of $5.25 million. This means that they will only start paying federal estate tax if their estate is worth more than 5.25 million.
People who want their family members and beneficiaries to have medical information in order to know if and when they are incapacitated will have to get the HIPAA authorization. This will give medical practitioners the permission to release your medical records to third parties if and when they are required, without running the risk of them being sued. This can help tremendously and especially if you happen to be in an incapacitated state at some point in your life.
You can never be too young or too old to put these protective measures in place. Even if all your assets are just a bank account, an IRA, or a car, that is still an asset and there should be a plan in place to know what happens to that asset once you are no longer here.
After all, most people would rather it go to a family or charity rather than just the government. If you are ready to put this plan in place, schedule a free consultation with our Orange County estate planning law firm today.