Estate planning in California looks different for every client. Are you single or in a partnership? In a blended family with step-children? Are you in the “third act” of your life and want to proactively name someone to carry out your decisions in the event of incapacity? Do you have high net worth and wish to minimize estate taxes for your beneficiaries, or have a modest estate but nevertheless want to ensure your intended disposition is honored?
We are all in different places in our lives and often have very different decisions to make about estate planning that are relevant to our own unique lifestyle and experience.
Whether it be to name a child’s guardian for peace of mind, an agent to manage our finances and carry out our health care wishes (and avoid a conservatorship) during a period of incapacity, plan bequests to family, friends and charities, or reduce tax, estate planning can be advantageous in any lifestyle or income level.
Trust Your Agents
For elders in particular, naming a third party to make decisions in your place during critical times is one of the most important decisions, and something to think through carefully. When planning, you want to be completely certain your named agent will act only in your best interest. A parent may worry that naming the “responsible” child may cause friction with his or her siblings. Some clients may consider a professional licensed fiduciary over naming an adult child or other relative as agent to minimize potential problems down the road.
Customized Plans For Your Particular Needs
At Stebner Gertler Guadagni & Kawamoto, we believe there is no cookie-cutter approach to estate plans. Each client’s plan will look different depending on the assets, beneficiaries, and needs of the client.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced lawyer to discuss your particular estate planning needs, contact us at 415-362-9800.