Whether you need an estate plan depends in part of what stage of life you are in, your financial situation, and other factors unique to you. If you are young and just starting out with no home and few assets, a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive may be all you need. If you own a home, are married and have children, your situation changes drasticlly and you need to consider a trust. Here are some situations that make an estate plan something you need to consider:
1. You have minor children. If you have minor children, you need to think about who would care for them and manage the assets they inherit from you if you and your wife suddenly pass away. Who should be their guardian and how would you want the assets held and distributed to them as they grow up.
2. You have a disabled child or a disabled adult beneficiary. If you have a child or an adult beneficiary that is on public assistance, you need a special type of trust called a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust so that they can receive assets as an inheritance and not lose their eligibility for public assistance such as SSI and Medi-Cal.
3. You have no heirs. If you have no heirs, you need an estate plan, whether it be a will or a trust because otherwise your estate will go to the State of California.
4. You have a blended family with children from previous relationships. Most spouses in a second marriage want to be able to provide for their surviving spouse but also leave somethin to their own children. Creating a specific type of trust will enable you to do this.
5. You want to disinherit an heir. If you have heirs that you do not want to inherit your estate, you must create a will or a trust and specify who you do want to inherit your estate. If you die intestate (without a will or trust), your estate will go to your heirs at law.
Whatever your stage in life, we can help you create an estate plan that is right for you and will be flexible to grow with your family. Call us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporationto schedule an appointment.