When do you need advanced estate planning?
You probably already understand the need for an estate plan that includes your will, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. However, that may not be enough. You may need to consider advanced estate planning strategies.
Several factors can come into play when determining whether or not you need advanced estate planning. By understanding them, you can be better prepared to make decisions about your financial future.
An Advanced Estate Plan Goes Beyond the Basics
The goal of an advanced estate plan is not only to distribute assets but also to minimize taxes and protect assets from potential creditors or lawsuits. It can be especially beneficial for someone with complex financial situations or a high net worth because it provides additional tools and strategies to help preserve and protect their wealth.
Advanced estate planning may involve setting up trusts or creating a business succession plan to ensure the smooth transfer of ownership and management of a family business. Trusts can also be used to minimize taxes by allowing for tax-free gifting or using charitable giving strategies to reduce taxable income.
An advanced estate plan can also address complex family dynamics and ensure that assets are distributed according to the individual’s wishes. This may involve setting up trusts with specific instructions for their allocation or creating a prenuptial agreement that protects them in case of divorce.
Proper planning can keep your estate from going into probate, which can be costly and time-consuming. In a traditional probate process, someone must file paperwork with the court and provide legal notice to creditors. This process typically takes six to eight months – or longer – before any assets can be distributed. Anticipating potential scenarios is part of an advanced estate plan that ensures your beneficiaries receive their inheritance exactly how you intended.
Finally, an advanced estate plan can address long-term care costs by incorporating Medicaid planning strategies. This may involve setting up living and irrevocable trusts to protect assets while still qualifying for Medicaid benefits. Or, it could be creating a special needs trust to provide for a loved one with disabilities without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. It ensures that the individual’s needs are met without putting undue financial strain on the family.
Creating an Advanced Estate Plan
If you are looking to go beyond the basics with additional tools such as trusts, charitable giving strategies, and tax planning, then you will want to consider an advanced estate plan. Our attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri are experienced estate planners and can help you create a plan that fulfills your needs. And afterward, we will work with you to ensure it is kept up-to-date in the face of ever-changing complex tax laws.
Now is the time to start planning for the future financial security of your loved ones. The peace of mind you get from knowing that your affairs are taken care of is invaluable. If you live in San Jose or the greater Bay Area, contact us for a free 30-minute consultation. Fill out the online form or call us at 408-553-0801.
Disclaimer: this article does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.