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Estate Planning Information Sheet

The future planning and management of ones assets and financial affairs is referred to as estate planning. Through the estate planning process, you can make decisions on the way your affairs will be handled after your death or in the event you become disabled. Making these critical decisions while you are able allows you to have control over the distribution of your assets. If you choose to establish a comprehensive estate plan, you will have the ability to decide the way your healthcare is managed while you are living.

Because the decisions made in the estate planning process are numerous, deep consideration should be given to these matters. Choices made now can have a significant impact on you, your family, and your legacy today and far into the future. Decisions about financial matters may also impact your business. The estate planning process can also help you establish plans for the succession of your business. An experienced estate planning attorney can guide you through this process. Attorney Gregory Annigian brings decades of experience while helping clients preserve and protect assets while also minimizing tax liability in the estate planning process.

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The Process of Estate Planning

By establishing an estate plan, you are creating the instructions that will be followed after your death. The estate plan lays out the method for distributing your assets. You can determine the exact way your beneficiaries will come into the inheritance. If your assets are few, it may be a relatively simple process. If your assets are many, you may benefit from significant advantages by having an estate planning attorney involved at the start. An experienced legal professional can ensure proper valuation of your assets. This may minimize the estate and gift taxes for you and your beneficiaries.

In planning your estate, you may choose from more than one method of transferring assets to future generations. You’ll decide when and how asset distribution is handled. The inheritance may take place while you are living, or after your death or incapacitation. Asset transference is mostly done with wills and trusts. Although there are similarities between wills and trusts, these are very different estate planning devices.

There are additional documents that can be included in an estate plan to protect assets for you and your loved ones. Creating a healthcare directive gives another person the ability to manage your health and well-being if you become incapacitated. For managing your financial affairs, you can appoint a person with a durable power of attorney. Each of these documents work together in a comprehensive estate plan to ensure your wishes are fulfilled.

Wills in California

A will directs the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. A will can also name a guardian for children. A person who creates their will is called the testator. The testator must be legally and mentally capable of making these decisions. When a person dies without having created a will, their assets are distributed by the state following a prescribed method of beneficiary hierarchy. The system involves relatives systematically inheriting the assets. The beneficiary hierarchy does not consider the relationship the deceased person may have had with each particular relative. Your will goes into effect only after your death. A will must be filed in court for the probate process to begin. As a public document, the contents of the will cannot be kept private. The State of California sets the fees for probate; this process is known to be lengthy.

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Trusts and Asset Protection

The person who creates the trust is the trustor. A trust protects assets and identifies the way assets will be distributed to beneficiaries. When assets are properly placed inside a trust, the estate is protected from the unnecessary costs and time delays of probate. Numerous trusts exist which are designed to be customized for each unique client. An estate planning lawyer can help determine which trust is the best fit for your needs. Deep consideration must be given to finances, family dynamics and objectives before a trust is chosen. Some of the more common trusts are listed below:

Although a trust can be a complex part of estate planning, all parties benefit when the trust is properly executed. Assets can be protected, taxes can be minimized, and the distribution to beneficiaries can be efficient.

Establish Your Legacy through Estate Planning

Estate Planning Attorney Gregory Annigian has decades of experience helping clients establish and implement effective comprehensive estate plans. Contact the Law Offices of Gregory T. Annigian at (909) 981-9340 to schedule an appointment today. You’ll receive a personalized legal consultation to discuss your estate planning needs.

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The Law Offices of

Gregory T. Annigian

114 North Indian Hill Blvd.

Suite E

Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 981-9340

Fax: (909) 981-5091


Estate Planning Info Sheet.pdf