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Most people have an idea of what they would like to happen to their money and property after they pass away, whether it be that their loved ones inherit or that they donate some or all of their wealth to a charitable organization that’s important to them. However, having an idea and having a solid plan that will be recognized by a judge as legally valid are two entirely different things, and unfortunately, unless you make your ideas a matter of fact, they likely won’t be acknowledged. 

This is why it’s crucial to work with a skilled attorney to build a comprehensive estate plan. Without one, you lack a great deal of control over many aspects of your life. At Karpel Law Firm, we simplify the process so that you can feel confident, not overwhelmed. Our team has over 50 years of experience in serving clients and helping them achieve their goals. Contact our Sacramento estate planning attorneys today to get started!

Sacramento Estate Planning Attorneys

What Is Typically Included In An Estate Plan?

Estate plans are highly versatile, which means you can pick and choose what elements you need and want. If you aren’t quite sure about some parts, that’s okay too! Our knowledgeable Sacramento estate planning attorneys can lead you in the right direction based on your unique circumstances. However, we recommend that you consider including:

  • A will, which is the traditional document that lists the individuals you want to inherit your property and assets
  • A living will, also known as an advance directive, which allows you to express your preferences for medical care, to be used in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself
  • A trust, which is a financial entity that you transfer your assets to for the benefit of your heirs
  • A power of attorney (or multiple powers of attorney), which allow you to name a trusted individual who is able to make legal, financial, and/or medical decisions on your behalf
  • Beneficiary designations, which are instructions to organizations such as financial institutions, insurance companies, and retirement account holders specifying who should receive the assets or benefits upon your death
  • Guardianship designations, which allow you to name a guardian to care for your minor children if you become unable to
  • And more!

How Does An Estate Plan Give Me And My Family An Advantage?

Having an estate plan puts you in control, whether it be over how your hard-earned life’s wealth is divided and distributed after your death, who looks after your children if something unexpected happens to you, or what type of medical care you receive in the event of a tragedy. All of these things will be clear and explicit, leaving little room for others to question – or even bicker – over what you would have wanted.

An estate plan that includes a trust (or multiple trusts) also saves your family from having to work through legal complications, as trusts bypass the complicated California probate process. While probate isn’t an inherently “bad” thing, it is long (can last for up to a year in some cases), expensive (court costs and filing fees significantly deplete the wealth of the estate), and burdens the executor or administrator with a hefty load of responsibilities. It can be a particularly stressful thing to deal with, especially following the death of a loved one and the onset of grief and mourning. 

Can I Create My Own Estate Plan?

You may have seen advertisements online that offer promises of “DIY” estate planning kits which allow you to do everything yourself, without needing the help of an attorney. While this may sound like the more favorable option, these online kits are often very general and do not comply with each state’s individual laws and guidelines. It is in your best experience to allow our adept Sacramento estate planning attorneys to walk you through the process, so that there will be no question about whether your documents are legally valid or not, or whether they will be recognized by a judge. You will have the advantage of his experience and knowledge of California law on your side, putting you in the best position for success.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Attentive Sacramento Estate Planning Attorneys Today

Don’t wait until it’s too late to get your affairs in order and protect your legacy! Our lead attorney, Darin Karpel, will explain your options in a language you’ll understand, so that you can make the empowered decisions regarding your and your family’s future. Call today and learn more about our services!

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