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Have you made things clear in your estate plan?

Posted On: Oct 02, 2015, Posted By: Velasco Law Group

You might say yes to the question or you might say what on earth is an estate plan. In many cultures and families speaking about death is something that is simply not done. Some say it is bad luck and we respect those with such believes. However there are families who openly speak about death invest in burial plots and put money away in the event of a funeral. It is a tough topic all round. Wealth preservation and your final wishes are ultimately what this article is all about. The hard reality is in today’s world to preserve any form of last wishes you may personally have and/or to retain your wealth for the family, it is absolutely necessary to have an estate plan, be it single, married, divorced, separated, LGBT, disabled or mentally ill – everyone needs one.

The composition of an estate plan can be done and is proclaimed to be done by many types of individuals, law firms, notaries and online law groups. You may pay less for some and more for others but at the end of the day you pay for what you get. The ultimate bottom line is the care in crafting your estate plan, the way you want it in light of it potentially being litigated in court.  Imagine your family fighting in court after you have gone where nothing is set clearly or statements made which may have meant one thing and interpreted a different way in court, seeing thousands if not millions of dollars disappear from your hard earned work and savings.

Stepping out and making your wishes clear in an estate plan is essential. Regardless of what stage in life you are in, it is always time to talk things through with your trusted advisor about what your wish is for a variety of reasons from distribution of money to your dying wishes. In California the right-to-die bill has been passed by legislators awaiting final approval from Governor Jerry Brown. If Governor Brown does nothing, by default this will go into force mid-October 2015. Governor Jerry Brown has a tough call to make but the people’s voices have been heard! The right-to-die is deemed by the media as a form of “assisted suicide” and if this is your wish it may be clearly stated in your estate plan.

If you were in support of the right-to-die bill or not, it is always good to take a step back and reflect on how you have communicated to and with your family on what exactly you want prepared and implemented upon your death. If things aren’t clear, some educated guesses may have to be made and if that is what you – a guessing game to happen so be it. It could end up being nasty and the family less rich for it. For example, if you are chronically ill and wish to have your life taken, this has to be clearly spelt out in any medical directive concerning you. This can be clearly stated in an estate plan and a good estate planning attorney will also review this in the event your case ends up in litigation. Lets face it, taken ones life is a serious conduct and if you want this done with the help of your medical professional at the time, it has to be clearly communicated in black and white. No one will implement such a decision without your consent.

If you are not in favor of the right-to-die also known as “assisted suicide” by the media, it is important you make this very clear in your estate plan. Various religions do not support this new ruling but at the end of the day this falls into your hands, it is your decision and your right to have your wishes expressed clearly. So lets discuss what clear really means in this context.

You may think writing down your wishes on a piece of paper will suffice – it may or it may not! Will the state get involved? Will your family and/or blended family members get involved? You may think that talking to your loved ones is enough! Remember at best we communicate in writing and it does not mean everyone understands what you are trying to say. Text messages are hard to understand at the best of times, hand written notes can be difficult to read and open to interpretation. Ambiguity can see your final wishes clearly misunderstood! Why would you risk all of this when an estate plan can provide the correct language legally to protect you and your family from more grieve. It is more than a will, it is more than just having your death wishes made clear, it keeps you out of probate court and it creates a very clear directive for your family members as to what your wishes are at the end of the day.

The Velasco Law Group is made up attorneys who not only walk you through the planning, but can also litigate on matters when needed. We have a caring team who can also execute estate administration matters. We speak both English and Spanish and have offices in Long Beach and Downey, in California. Find out what your options are, to protect yourself and your family members – especially on how to make things crystal clear about what your wishes are, legally.

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