What is the impact of estate planning upon your retirement and passing as well as the children, heirs and beneficiaries who will accompany you along the way? Why do most Californians delay one of the most important aspects of home ownership and parenting? Let’s begin with the first question. What is the impact of estate planning upon your retirement and how things are handled after you pass away?
The traditional method many people still attempt to follow is a notarized will, accompanied by some health related documents and perhaps a power of attorney. What most people don’t realize is the time, hassle and expense this will place on the shoulders of your children, heirs and beneficiaries, not to mention the executor of your estate. A will must go through Probate Court in California. This process will take a year or much longer, and will tie up most of your tangible assets throughout that period. Up to 20% of your assets could be lost in probate fees and associated costs, and the paperwork and administration associated with probate is a nightmare for most executors.
The least expensive and most productive, controlled and efficient manner to manage your assets and wishes is a revocable trust. You should consider a trust if you are single or married. The benefits far outweigh the modest cost of a trust (it’s much less expensive than most people expect, and far less expensive than probate). In addition, you might give consideration to your long term needs in retirement. If you wish to seek long term care without exhausting every cent of your retirement assets and the equity of your home a solid estate plan and trust strategy must be employed.
With a trust you are able to manage all aspects of distributing your assets, just like with a will. However the process will only take a few weeks and will impose far less cost and hassle upon your grateful children, heirs and beneficiaries. The trust shields your assets from creditors and can affect the calculations of Medi-Cal upon supplementation of retirement home or elder care costs. Most importantly, the trust allows substantial assets like your home and investment accounts to easily and quickly transition to those whom you intend to honor.
Why do most Californians put off estate planning? The majority is probably fear of cost and the unknown. The cost is a fraction of actual probate costs and well within the vast majority of the budgets of California homeowners. Perhaps you are uncomfortable thinking about painful topics such as retirement or passing away. The attorneys and staff at Allen Barron remove these burdens from your shoulder and help to make the process lighter and more easy to complete. The unique combination of tax, estate planning, legal and business expertise provided by the firm ensures all aspects of retirement planning – from business succession planning to a family trust – are handled expertly and accurately.
We invite you to take the first step to learn about the impact of estate planning upon your retirement and passing by contacting Allen Barron for a free consultation at 866-631-3470. Learn about the protections of a trust, and the value of an efficient and well constructed estate plan.