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Don't Delay Estate Planning: Why It's So Important

November 30, 2020 — by John Conger
Tags: Estate Planning Wills

A file labeled “estate plan”It's nice to believe there will be time later to decide how to pass down heirlooms, property, and other assets. The reality is we really don't know how much time we have left. An estate planning attorney can help create a strong estate plan so that you can have confidence that your assets will be distributed as you wish.

With this in mind, the attorneys of Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP would like to discuss why it's so important not to delay estate planning. If you live in Stockton, Walnut Creek, CA, or surrounding areas, our attorneys can help with your estate planning needs.

Why Start Estate Planning Now?

Life is unexpected and no one knows when they may become incapacitated or pass away, especially now the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, it's important to have an estate plan in place so that your end-of-life wishes are clear. It will ensure your loved ones will be taken care of when you're no longer able to be there for them.

If you still aren't convinced it's time to start estate planning, please consider the following.

You Decide How Your Assets Are Distributed

When no will or living trust exists, assets will be distributed through probate court and in accordance with state law. This can lead to conflict between family members, litigation, and your wishes for who gets what not being met.

Estate planning can help avoid these problems by identifying who you want to leave assets to and how these assets are to be distributed.

Estate Planning Can Save Your Family Money

When the courts have to step in to distribute an estate, it can lead to high probate fees that will need to be paid by the estate. Having a will in place can save your family money by preventing the need for the courts to step in.

Estate planning does more than save on probate fees. Smart and early estate planning will help limit estate taxes when your property is distributed through a living trust.

Deciding Who Will Care for Children

If parents of minors pass away without designating a guardian, the courts will decide who will have legal guardianship over the children. Likewise, without a will, any money or other assets intended for the children will be distributed in probate court.

Making an estate plan now can help you control who will care for your children who are still minors in the event of your passing. It can also allow you to establish how or when your children will receive any money or assets you intend for them.

Estate Plans Can Be Updated or Changed

Some people put off estate planning because they aren't ready to make a permanent decision about how they will pass down heirlooms, property, money, or other assets.

What they may not know is that most estate plans and legal documents can be changed or even revoked if desired. This gives people more incentive to think ahead and plan early.

Are You Ready to Start Estate Planning?

It's never too soon to start estate planning. If you are ready to begin the process and live in our around Stockton, our attorneys can help. We encourage you to schedule a consultation online or call (209) 477-8171.