3 Reasons You Need an Estate Plan

While estate plans are commonly associated with the wealthy or elderly, they can actually benefit anyone who has assets or a family. Many people choose to put off estate planning until it’s too late. When you call the Law Office of James A. Zakasky, our Santa Rosa estate planning attorney can help you by crafting a comprehensive plan that will benefit you and your family in life, and after you’re gone.

1) In Case You Become Incapacitated

Life brings many surprises, and unfortunately not all of them are positive. While none of us plan to be incapacitated in our lives, car accidents, disease, and other conditions can make it difficult or impossible for you to manage your assets. In a comprehensive estate plan, you can appoint a trustee to manage your assets while you’re incapacitated. You can also give a specific person the power to make medical decisions on your behalf.

2) To Ensure Your Children Will be Cared For

If you have minor children, an estate plan will give you piece of mind knowing they will be cared for according to your wishes. Your attorney can help you name the guardian of your choice.

For parents of children with special needs, an estate plan can include a supplemental needs trust, which allows your child to continue receiving Medicaid or SSI benefits. Without an appropriate estate plan, your child is at risk of being disqualified from these benefits, in which case they must pay for care and other expenses out of pocket.

3) To Protect Your Family from Probate

Probate has a bad reputation, but it is a necessary part of the legal system for people who do not have comprehensive estate plans. The probate process can be exceptionally lengthy, often lasting multiple years for more complex cases. While the true expense of probate is often overstated, the costs can definitely eat into the value of your estate. With a properly designed estate plan, your assets will automatically transfer to your heirs upon your death, allowing your loved ones to avoid this hassle during an already difficult time.

These are just a handful of the advantages of an estate plan. Learn how an estate plan can benefit you by calling (707) 595-1148.

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