Mistakes that Occur when the Proper Estate Planning Has Not Been Done

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27th Nov 2012

Do you truly understand the options available to you when it comes to estate planning in California? Even more importantly, are you 100% certain that your family will be taken care of financially when you are no longer around?
A qualified estate planning attorney is a truly valuable asset to families that have any sort of assets; it does not matter whether your personal wealth is small or large. The reality is that any amount of personal wealth is at risk if you do not have an estate plan in place when you pass away.
In the majority of cases, when you pass away without the protection of an estate plan, will, or trust, the state gets decide how to allocate and distribute your assets to debt collectors and your heirs.
When the state decides how to allocate your wealth, this may not always be in the best interest of your loved ones and they may not receive the amount that you would have wanted them to get. You’ve worked hard all of your life to take care of your loved ones – and be able to provide a solid and secure financial future in the face of much economic uncertainty, so it would be a tragedy to not be able to be there for them in the same manner that you could have if your affairs were in order.
Complicated estate planning and tax laws, combined with the ever-changing nature of these laws, create a lot of room for error for the average person hoping to secure the assets of his or her estate in the event of death on their own.
Below are some common mistakes people make when they take estate planning into their own hands.
– Not having an estate plan formally created.  A proper estate plan will clearly dictate who your assets are to be distributed to and how much.
– Not understanding estate tax laws. Depending upon your net worth and where you are located, estate taxes can reduce your assets by as much as 70%. There are also additional taxes that you may not have accounted for, like the generation-skipping transfer tax, in which you are taxed for leaving your estate to your grandchildren.
A qualified estate planning attorney, who is well versed in estate tax laws, can offer you and your family guidance concerning the estate taxes you should expect, as well as possible ways to avoid them legally in the first place.
The benefits of having someone well versed in estate planning help you in your planning are obvious. When it comes to the law it is very easy to make mistakes if this is not something you practice day in and day out.  Especially with how much the laws change, it is best to have something as important as this be looked at and handled by a proper attorney.

If you would like more information on how to protect your assets and make your family is protected, contact attorney Dwight Tompkins for more information.

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