This is the third in a series of articles on what to expect when you work with your Orange County estate planning lawyer. Each article will cover several of the topics that you will need to consider to make a plan that works for your needs.
In the previous to editions of this series, we looked at some of the items an estate planning lawyer in Orange County, CA will want you to consider in preparing for your incapacitation or death. These are some of the more typical items that you will want to highlight. In addition, of course, your attorney will work with you on how to manage your assets in your estate plan. There are several areas of consideration, some of which will include:
- Retirement Plans and Pensions: Should you pass away, your retirement plan or pension will likely pay out to your beneficiaries. To ensure that this happens the way you intend, you’ll want to work with your Orange County estate planning lawyer to determine its value and how you envision it being used. Do you want the money to go directly to your spouse? Will it be used to fund some sort of trust for your children? Perhaps you want to leave it to a nonprofit organization? Each of these choices has different ramifications, and you will need to look into how your retirement plan is set up.
- Insurance: There are so many kinds of insurance policies, but the one most often thought about during the estate planning process is life insurance. Again, you will want to determine the beneficiary or beneficiaries of your policy. It’s also a good idea to keep up to date on what your policy offers, as term life policies will expire at a certain age.
- Bank and Other Accounts: As with your retirement and insurance policies, you may choose to name a beneficiary on these accounts. On the other hand, you may choose to have someone who manages the funds for specific purposes. Your Orange County estate planning lawyer will help you create a list of these accounts with directions on what should happen to them.
- Real Estate: From your personal residence to income property, you need to have a plan in place for what is to become of these assets after your death. There are a variety of tax implications that come with passing on real estate or even in having it sold off, so a Orange County estate planning lawyer will be able to help you develop a plan that will benefit your estate according to state laws and avoid probate in California.
- Taxes: As you likely know, there are a variety of taxes that come along with the inheritance process. You may not be aware, however, that there is still a need to pay taxes on assets after your death and before they are bequeathed. Your estate plan needs to be set up in a way that can provide for these taxes. Likewise, your regular income and other taxes will need to be paid up to your death, so having all of your current documents in order will help the executor of your estate to comply with California state and federal laws.
So far, this series of estate planning articles has covered some distinct areas of planning. Our last piece will hold a few tips on other considerations that you may want to keep in mind when working with your estate planning lawyer in Orange County, CA.