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Basic Estate Planning vs. Advanced Estate Planning in California

Rich or poor, everyone has an estate. For some, this can mean real estate, bank accounts, business interests, and more. For others it could be as simple as the clothes on their back. Either way, what you leave behind when you pass is considered to be your “estate”.

You should plan, because even if you’re just leaving behind the clothes on your back, who will inherit it? Will it be your spouse? Children? Is it theirs? Should it go to just one of them, or be split between them? This is what estate planning is all about. Estate planning determines how your money and assets (property – both real and personal) will be distributed after your lifetime.

Who needs estate planning? If you die without an estate plan, your family could face major legal issues and (possibly) bitter disputes through the California Probate process. Therefore, everyone should do some form of California estate planning. Your estate plan should include Wills and California Revocable Trusts, a Financial Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Directive.

Will a simple California Will do? PROBATE! A Will does not avoid probate. A will simply lets the world know your wish. However, a Living Revocable Trust will assist your family in avoiding probate, control your assets for immature children and allow a successor trustee to make sure the money is properly spent on the children and ultimately distributed to the children .

What is “advanced” estate planning? Advanced estate planning is phase II of Estate Planning.  It is generally utilized to avoid Estate Taxes for high net worth families. For example, if you are single and your net worth exceeds $5.49 million, or if you are married and (as a couple) your net worth exceeds $10.98 million, you should consider advanced estate planning. The main purpose of advanced estate planning is to reduce estate taxes. There are many strategies within our California Estate Planning field which can be implemented for your family, such the use of Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Children’s Trusts, Dynasty Trusts, Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, California Limited Liability Companies, and other gifting strategies.

To understand whether you need Basic or Advanced California Estate Planning, contact Fremont Living Trust Attorneys at The Singh Law Firm to assist you and your family at (510) 742-9500.

Contact a Fremont Estate Planning Attorney
if you would like to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a revocable living trust.
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