Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Expert Offers Advice on Estate Planning: Why You Should Plan Ahead and What Can Happen If You Don't

If you've postponed doing any advance planning, such as organizing your records, making health care decisions in advance, or doing estate planning, you're not alone. In fact, about 70 percent of all American adults have done no estate planning, such as drafting a will, setting up a trust, or establishing powers of attorney.

Why is estate planning so important? What happens if you don't prepare an estate plan? To arrive at answers to these questions, I sat down for an interview with Attorney Heather Reynolds, an Alameda, California-based estate planning attorney. Her practice solely focuses on Trust and Estate Planning, including the preparation of wills and living trusts, powers of attorney for financial management, and Advance Health Care Directives.

Martha Laham (ML): Many people feel that estate planning is just for the rich. Is there any truth to this?

Heather Reynolds (HR): It doesn't matter how much money you have--avoid probate court. Who do you think is filling up the probate courts? It's not the wealthy. The wealthy can afford to hire lawyers to keep them out of the probate court. It doesn't matter how much money you have when it comes to health care decisions.

ML: So what happens if a person has a health crisis and is unable to make his or her health care decisions?

HR: If you don't have an Advance Health Care Directive, then the probate court judge will supervise your care for the rest of your life while you are deemed incapacitated. It's called a conservatorship. To learn more about the pitfalls of conservatorships, read The Con Game by T.S. Laham.

ML: In the same vein, what happens if someone can no longer handle his or her financial affairs, perhaps in the event of disability or incapacity?  (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
Expert Offers Advice on Estate Planning: Why You Should Plan Ahead and What Can Happen If You Don't

1 comment:

StandUp said...

Good article NASGA