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Agoura Hills Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Attorneys

Do your New Year's resolutions include estate planning?

Providing Peace of Mind One Estate Plan at A Time

The untimely deaths of some celebrities (Paul Walker, James Gandolfini and Cory Monteith, to name a few) in 2013 underscore the need to create your estate plan now.

So is one of your 2014 resolutions to create your estate plan? If so, here are 4 simple steps to creating the estate plan that's right for you:

Step 1: Decide who will take care of you.

If you are unable to communicate with your doctors, who will do it for you? Who will decide where you'll live, and what medical treatments you'll receive? This person -- usually a close family member or friend -- should be someone you trust with your life, because, after all, this person could literally be making life-and-death decisions for you.

Step 2: Decide who will handle the money.

Most estate plans include a Will (that appoints an Executor) and/or Trust (that appoints a Trustee). Either way, your Executor/Trustee will generally be responsible for investing your money, paying your bills, balancing your checkbook, and ultimately distributing the balance of your estate to your heirs.

Step 3: Write down your objectives.

Sure, everyone wants to avoid probate and reduce taxes. But how old should your children be when they receive their inheritance? Do you want them to keep the house or sell it? Should you give money to the children's guardian? Are there certain heirlooms that should remain in the family? What about charity? Or special assets like literary rights or the family vacation home? Writing down what you want done makes it more likely that these key ingredients will make it into your finished estate plan.

Step 4: Consult a professional.

No one does their own dental work. Okay, almost no one. Estate planning is no different. The best work is left to professionals. Better yet, a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust law.

Still got questions? Call us today (818.707.8200) to start your own estate plan.

[For information only; may NOT be relied upon as legal advice.]