It would seem obvious that each of us would benefit from going through the estate planning process with a knowledgeable and caring San Diego estate planning attorney. After all, who among us does not love our families, does not want the assets we have worked a lifetime for to pass to whom we want in the way we want and does not want to make things as easy as possible for our family upon our death? No one of course, however, far too many people put off their estate planning.
Some of the most common reasons are:
Too many people put off estate planning because they assume that they are not old enough, they think they have plenty of time to do it, they assume they don’t own enough assets, or they are busy. If you don’t have a plan, the state of California has one for you (for better or worse). Whether you become incapacitated or pass away suddenly, your family members will be the ones left behind to grapple with the difficulties of managing your estate. You cannot come back to address these issues after the fact, and you need to have a smooth transition of your assets and your wishes carried out as soon as possible so that your loved ones can focus on grief and the healing process.
A comprehensive estate plan is more than deciding where your belongings and property go after you die. It provides for the management of your assets when you are alive and well, designates who makes financial and healthcare decisions when you become incapacitated, who cares for your children if you pass away, and beyond.
To have a successful estate planning experience, you need the right attorney on your side. Not one with the slickest marketing or sales pitch, but rather finding the right San Diego estate planning attorney means finding someone with both a deep understanding of the issues and how to solve them as well as someone who can relate to you, your concerns and goals on a deep personal level. Your estate planning lawyer needs to tackle complex topics such as finding ways to minimize estate tax liability, protecting your assets both during your life and post your death, helping to ensure your children are raised by the right people in the way you’d like, that your heirs receive their inheritance in a beneficial manner, and so on.
The right San Diego estate planning lawyer will take the time to understand your wishes, work through various planning structures with you until you are 100% satisfied with the direction in which your estate planning will proceed, and ultimately document them in a well-drafted and maintained estate plan. Your estate planning attorney needs to be someone you can trust with your family’s long-term financial well being – not a role to be decided upon based on a lawyer’s slick marketing.
A comprehensive estate plan says more than “here’s who gets my stuff after I die” – rather, it should include strategies designed to structure what will happen to you and your assets while you’re alive and healthy; who will manage your financial and healthcare decisions should you become incapacitated, what asset protection and income tax benefits are available to you, in addition to what happens upon your death. Building on that, asset protection planning and business succession planning can assist you if you have specific concerns relating to your assets during your life and how they should be treated upon your death so that matters are structured in the most tax-efficient and asset-protective structure possible.
If you do not have an estate plan in San Diego, things that you would certainly want to decide for yourself will be decided by the State of California. Furthermore, this can complicate the grief and other aspects of managing your estate that your loved ones now have to deal with.
If you don’t have an estate plan in place, the decisions will be taken out of your hands and decided by the State of California. In an already grief-filled time, this can utterly destroy your family. If your wishes are unclear, or worse unstated, your family might be scrambling to make the best choices only guessing as to what you’d want to have happen. Grant them the peace of mind they deserve by planning ahead and taking care of your estate planning today.
Estate planning is not pulling a template document off the shelf and filling in the blanks a la LegalZoom or the Suze Orman Trust Kit. Your family deserves better than that. They deserve an attorney expert with not only the law but different personal and financial situations and how best to mesh the law with your goals and concerns so your dreams are realized. This is nuanced work accomplished only through appropriate legal counseling between client and lawyer. Modern comprehensive estate planning does not mean filling in the blanks in a last will and testament. Rather, it involves irrevocable and revocable trusts, asset protection, and custom drafting. An attorney has to be able to identify risks in your personal situation as well as potential estate planning concerns, communicate those challenges to you, and find an approach to minimize risks while achieving your goals.
Are you wondering or worrying what would happen to your family and your assets if something unexpected or unfortunate happened to you?
The scary part is that if you don't have an estate plan, your state has a plan for you and they'll have the final say in what happens to you, your assets, as well as who cares for your minor children if you're incapacitated or die without an estate plan. The good news is that by putting in place an estate plan now you can regain the upper hand and have the final say in what happens to your family and assets.
We live in a world where being sued is all too common and those who have accumulated wealth or had professional achievement are likely to find themselves on the wrong end of a lawsuit at some point.
What can you do to protect what you have worked a lifetime for? Thankfully there are estate planning options, such as a domestic asset protection trust, that will allow you to protect your hard earned assets. The key with this sort of planning is to work with an attorney well versed in the space and to do such planning proactively because once you're facing a creditor it's typically too late.
Probate is the court process whose purpose is to prove the validity of a Will and distribute assets in accordance with the Will.
If you've lost someone close to you, probate is the last thing you want to deal with. I understand this and it's why guiding my client's seamlessly through probate is so very important to me. In most states, probate averages 9-18 months and can quickly get very expensive if managed improperly. It's important to work with a lawyer who's able to smoothly and efficiently navigate through everything involved in probate.
Medicaid is one of two government-operated health insurance programs in America. Medicare is the other. While most seniors know they can get Medicare benefits and understand what it takes to qualify, there is more confusion and uncertainty when it comes to Medicaid.
While Medicaid can be a financial lifesaver when you or a loved one needs nursing home care, the problem is a lot of seniors have saved money or have paid off properties. The assets seniors own could be disqualifying until they are spent on nursing care. Fortunately, Medicaid planning provides a way around this rule to allow seniors to keep their legacy.
It has been a pleasure working with Gabriel and his team. He is deeply Knowledgeable, service-oriented,prompt and makes a tough topic very accesible. I feel at easy knowing Gabriel will be ongoing support to me and my family to ensure our estate plan is effective and our wishes are carried out.
Gabe came highly recommended to us from some close friends who had a great experience working with him on setting up their family trust.In many ways, Gabe is a unicorn — he is an attorney who a) knows their stuff inside-out, b) has a strong work-ethic and incredibly fast turnaround times, and c) actually cares about his clients and takes the time to listen to your concerns and thinks about how to best address them. Usually you can find someone who possesses one or two of those traits but to have all 3 made the process that much more enjoyable and worthwhile. Despite having a busy schedule with clients, Gabe took the time to answer many typical questions via a video that we found helpful to review before setting up time to speak with him about our situation. His schedule is online and is always updated, making it easy to book some time on his calendar so you know that your time will be respected and devoted to you.
Estate planning seems a bit daunting, but Gabe and his team eased all our concerns within minutes of our first consult. Not only is Gabe professional and smart, he is corteus, thorough and listens carefully before offering up suitable options. He prepared wills for my husband and me, and turned them around in short order. We live in NY , and met up in his office to finalize signatures . One and done. After having such as pleasent experience , I thought it’d good to set up my elder aunties in NJ up with their wills as well. It was during the Covid and the experience it was just easy.
I needed an estate plan and reached out to KLG after reading the reviews . Couldn’t have been happier with the experience. Through a series of informational emails, a webinar and the initial consult, I became confident that Gabe was the right person to do this for us: he is knowledgeable, patient, and responsive. Through the process, I learnt more about the intricacies of proper estate planning than anyone should ever have to know – which is why I’m doubly glad to have Gabe steer our ship to safe harbor.Gabriel was very knowledgeable and efficient, yet patient in understanding my specific circumstances to come up with a solid plan right for me. I would definitely recommend working with him, as I plan on doing so again in the future. Added bonus was being able to doing all of our meetings over Zoom.
My husband and I needed to get our affairs in order for our family–two trusts and wills (property, retirement funds, etc.). Gabriel handled everything clearly, carefully, comprehensively and answered (and anticipated) all of our questions. He is transparent and upfront about the work ahead, cost and efficient ways of handling what at first seemed like complex issues. Also attentive to any email query. Less than 2 months to get it all done, we have complete paperwork and next steps to finalize transfers, and *no surprises* about costs. Would recommend with full confidence.
Estate plan attorneys will assist you in determining the distribution of your assets and advise you on what documents are needed to fulfill your wishes. They can also assist with the creation and maintenance of documents for the patient when he gets sick.
Whether you are an individual, part of a married couple with no children, have minor children, or a married couple with a blended family, you can benefit from the estate planning process, and sitting down with a lawyer sooner rather than later will open your eyes to the various tactics and strategies available to you. Believe it or not, large or small, you have an estate that needs to be planned for.
Practically everyone has an estate because this includes everything you own:
No matter how big or small, everyone has an estate, and they all share one crucial aspect; that you cannot take these assets with you when you pass away. To ensure that your wishes are appropriately followed, you need to have a clearly articulated estate plan tidat.
Far too many estate planning conflicts emerge after a loved one passes away because things were not appropriately addressed during life. Having a clear understanding of how your estate plan is structured will make things easier for your loved ones during the most difficult of times.
The Katzner Law Group Difference
There is a reason Katzner Law Group has over 150 and counting 5-star public and verifiable reviews and is so well regarded in the San Diego estate planning community. We practice exclusively in the interrelated areas of estate planning, asset protection (including Medi-Cal planning), and probate/trust administration post death. We have the right experience, which is essential when choosing which estate planning lawyer to entrust with your family’s long-term well being. Estate planning, if done right, needs to be a lifetime engagement between attorney and client, not a one-off LegalZoom type transaction. If you opt for a general practitioner, or choose your lawyer based solely on price, over an experienced estate planning lawyer, you might cause long term damage to yourself, your family, and your finances. What’s more, working with someone inexperienced in estate planning can cause you to lose money or not even end up with a valid estate plan.
Estate planning also requires a certain level of empathy and compassion to work with families and individuals preparing for the time when they will no longer be around. This is why Katzner Law Group is dedicated to this area of the law. We provide you with the experience needed to build a nuanced and comprehensive estate plan so that you don’t have to worry no matter what the future may bring.
Your estate plan encompasses many more issues though, including:
If you fail to take the necessary planning steps, you are putting everyone in your family in a difficult position and dramatically increasing the chances that your loved ones will have to deal with conflicts after you have passed away. You can avoid this situation by finding an estate planning lawyer sooner rather than later, one who can walk you through every aspect of the estate planning process in a clear and concise manner, and provide you with the information you need to make a fully informed decision as to what’s best for you and your loved ones.
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Losing a loved one can be heartbreaking and all the more difficult to deal with when the estate planning wasn’t done well, which can lead to fractures in families and considerable stress. Following are a number of common questions concerning estate planning to help you understand the process, so that your family doesn’t have to worry about anything during their time of loss.
When you pass, a will helps clarify who will get what so that your loved ones are not left to guess and argue over how things get processed. A will also designates the executor of your estate, so there should be no arguments in court about who should be in charge.
If you pass with minor children and their other parent is not alive or capable of caring for them, you can clarify which family member you would like to have guardianship in your will.
For higher-value estates, estate planning with related taxes in mind is a complex process. We can determine how to position your assets in special trusts or other mechanisms to ensure your family receives as much of your estate as possible.
You decide how your beneficiaries receive your assets, whether in a lump amount all at once through your will or in a structured way over time through a living trust.
When you pass, there is a person who is given the responsibility to distribute your assets in line with your wishes. If you do not identify someone in your will, you risk the courts assigning the task to someone you might not prefer.
Establishing a power of attorney for healthcare makes it so that if you are unable to make your own healthcare decisions, there is someone who has the authority to do so on your behalf. You can also communicate your wishes so that the choices align with your wishes.
You can include in your will whether you would like to be kept alive through machines if you are incapacitated, or for, as the saying goes, the plug to be pulled. This is a difficult decision and something you can identify and express your preferences through the estate planning process.
If you are incapacitated and unable to make sound decisions, you can identify a financial power of attorney you would like to have the authority to make them for you through your estate planning. Connect with a local estate planning now to learn more about how to manage your estate.
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