Upland Estate Plannig Attorneys
Planning your estate includes figuring out and determining:
- How your assets will be managed for your benefit if you are unable to do so
- When certain assets will be transferred to others either during your lifetime, at the time of your death or after your death.
- To whom you will leave your assets to
- Your own welfare and needs
- Your personal and health care if you are no longer able to care for yourself
Prior to planning your estate, you should have answers to the following questions. Once the following questions and their answers are clear to you, estate planning will be much easier and organized.
Questions to ask yourself prior to planning your estate:
- What are my assets and what is their approximate value?
- Whom do I want to receive those assets – and when?
- Who should manage those assets if I cannot, either during my lifetime or after my death?
- Who should have the responsibility for the care of my minor children if I become incapacitated or die?
- If I cannot take care of myself, who should make decisions on my behalf concerning my care and welfare?
Your estate consists of all of your property or interests in property that you own. Examples of items that are considered your estate are bank accounts, real estate, stocks and bonds, furniture, furnishings, jewelry. The simplest items of a person’s estate are those which are in your name alone. Joint tenancy is common and may void your control over them in your will or trust. The value of your estate is equal to the “fair market value” of the particular asset, minus any debt owed on that particular asset. For example, for your real estate, the amount owed on your mortgage would be subtracted from the “fair market value” to determine the worth, while with a vehicle, the amount owed on your auto loan would be subtracted from the “fair market value” to determine it’s worth.
A will is a legal document which is only effective at the time of your death. A will is necessary to:
- Name individuals or charitable organizations that are to receive your assets upon your death
- Nominate an executor to manage your estate, pay debts and expenses, pay taxes, and distribute your estate according to your wishes
- Nominate the guardians for your minor children
The requirements for drafting and having it considered legal and valid are complicated and stringent. For the utmost care and excellence, please call California wills and trusts lawyer Eliana Phelps for your free consultation.
Your Revocable Living Trust:
Also known as a revocable inter vivos trust, a grantor trust or a living trust, it is a written agreement between the individual creating the trust (Trustor, Grantor or Settlor) and the person named to manage the assets held in the trust (Trustee). A revocable living trust can be revoked by the trustor at any time during the trustor’s lifetime, as long as they are deemed competent. Upon the trustor’s death, the trust is irrevocable.
A trust contains provisions for the proper distribution of your assets on or after your death and is a substitute for your will. Trusts eliminate the need for the probate of your will with respect to the assets that are outlined in your living trust.
It is highly recommended that you draft a will even if you have a living trust. In the event of your death, your will can provide for the transfer of any assets in your name to the trustee of your living trust.
For questions or for your free consultation with a Riverside wills and trust lawyer, please call Eliana Phelps today.