Happy New Year, 2016! Every new years, San Diegans create exciting resolutions to improve their lives. This tradition of creating resolutions has been known to exist during Babylonian time as we all want to live quality lives and improve our lives with a new calendar year. Some resolutions are very attainable while others are short-lived and last only a calendar month or so; trust me, we’ve all made those short-lived ones meant to improve our lives radically. Resolutions usually include:
- Improve well-being;
- Think more positively;
- Upgrade wardrobe;
- Put more money in savings;
- Pay off all credit cards this year;
- Improve finances; and
- Spend more quality time with friends and family.
However, there is one resolution that often gets overlooked and that is to take care of your loved ones through planning. This is a resolution that should be handled in the next three calendar months to avoid having it become a short-lived resolution. Taking care of your loved ones can be handled through creating a Last Will and Testament and/or a Revocable Living Trust. Most consider these documents are something the elderly group should concern themselves with, but this belief is entirely incorrect. These documents are beneficial to anyone over the age of 18. Essentially, these documents describe what happens to your cars(s), money, belongings, and possibly children, if you become incapacitated or die. These documents are created to have just in case anything were to happen to you. Of course, even though documents are created, we hope you live a great 2016 and many more years to come. The documents described above are created in case of the unexpected and persons of all ages, especially after 18, should have one.
As life moves forward quickly in 2016 and you earn a pay raise, grow your family with new children or nieces and nephews, buy a new home, experience changes in your network of friends and family, it is a good time now (at the beginning of a new calendar year) to consider what Will or Trust you have in place. If you do not have anything in place, you should consider establishing one. If you have a Will or Trust in place but have not revisited the documents in years, it is a great time to reconsider the contents of the documents you have established.
As a courtesy reminder, do not mark your current Will or Trust with pen or pencil to note any changes. Doing so may invalidate your documents and really complicate your probate administration or trust administration. If you are considering making changes to your Will or Trust, speak with an attorney to learn about the process. Depending upon the amount of changes you desire, different steps will be necessary to make those changes legally effective.
Crush this resolution by giving yourself a deadline. Over the next 3 months, consider establishing or revisiting your Will or Trust. Now that we’re already in the new year and you are soon going to be in the mind frame of handling your finances and taxes this upcoming tax season, it would also be a great time to add “estate planning review” to your list of goals to accomplish this year. In doing so, you’d crush your new years resolution of taking care of your loved ones in case of your absence. Leaving your loved ones without such planning could cost them plenty of time and more importantly, money.
Call to schedule an appointment to discuss any of the following points involved in the process of estate planning. These are a list of commonly asked questions covered during an initial consultation about estate planning:
- Should I create a Will or a Revocable Living Trust?
- What does a Revocable Living Trust do?
- Is a Revocable Living Trust better than a Will?
- How much do you charge to establish a Will or Revocable Living Trust?
- How long does it take to establish a Will or Revocable Living Trust?
- Can I make changes to my Will or Revocable Living Trust over my lifetime?
- How do I plan things so that upon my death, my wife/husband and our kids receive my money and property?
- I have been divorced and remarried, are there any special provisions I need to include in my Will or Trust?
- I do not have much, do I still need to create a Will or Revocable Living Trust?
- What happens to our minor kids in case my wife/husband and I die simultaneously?
- I have property in different states, how do I plan for that?
- I want to plan for my children’s well-being after my death, what options do I have?
- What happens to my debts when I die?
- What provisions should I include in my Will or Revocable Living Trust.
Knock out an estate planning review in the next three months and rest easily for the rest of 2016 knowing that you have then cared for your loved ones with proper planning. Ryan-Cruz Law, APC offers free 1-hour consultations concerning estate planning. Let us help you accomplish this task.