Estate Planning: What You Need To Know
Without an estate plan, a person’s estate will be distributed after death according to California’s laws. This means that the deceased person’s estate could transfer to someone they barely even knew. You can prevent this from happening to your assets by creating a thorough estate plan. At Panitz & Kossoff, LLP, we can help you build one.
Wills Versus Trusts What’s The Difference?
Your last will and testament is just one part of an estate plan. If a person dies without a will, the state will determine how and to whom the person’s assets will be distributed. In order for your assets to go where you want, you must create a will. It is also a good place to name the guardians of your minor children. If you leave this to chance, you could be setting up a family battle.
Trusts come in different styles. It all depends on what works best for your situation. At the most basic level, a trust is a legal entity with at least three parties involved: the trust-maker, the trustee (trust manager) and the trust beneficiary.
Depending on the situation, there may be many advantages to establishing a trust, including avoiding probate court. Certain trusts also may result in tax advantages. We can help you look at your options and discuss what is in your best interest.
Health Care Directives And Why You Need One
When you are unable to make decisions, such as in a situation where you are severely injured and incapacitated, it’s important to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. One solution to this is selecting a power of attorney. This gives another person the legal right to do certain things for you. What those powers are depend on the terms of the document.
An advance directive, also called a health care proxy, is similar but handles different situations. This document will specify your medical and personal care wishes so they may be honored should you lose the ability to make and communicate your own decisions. We can help you fill out the proper paperwork, which will make your decisions legally binding. You can rest assured knowing that someone will be speaking up for you.
Call Today To Learn More
Estate planning involves a lot of steps, so it’s important to talk to a trusted attorney. We can meet you wherever you’re at in the process. Contact our office in Westlake Village today at 818-865-0766 or fill out an online contact form.
We serve clients in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.