An Estate Plan is a Detailed Roadmap for Wealth Transfer.
A well thought out and competently prepared estate plan isn't just for the wealthy. You don't need to own a massive estate to benefit from creating a sound financial plan and to realize the advantages that were once reserved for the richest Americans. If the combined value of everything you own is greater than $150,000, you need to have a written estate plan, whether it be a Will, or a Trust. Today, that threshold is easily met.
Whether or not you realize it, you already have an estate, which is merely a way of describing your total assets. The wealth you've accumulated so far, and that which will be added in the future, can be subject to a wide array of forces and laws. While careful investing and money management can help you attain wealth, changes in the tax laws can expose your assets to many vulnerabilities that a qualified estate planning attorney can anticipate and help you avoid.
California estate planning attorney Dan Sullivan will guide you
through the maze of available plans and options available, no matter your wealth level. With the price of homes and other assets far higher than they were when your parents were your age, you probably have more wealth than your grand-parents ever dreamed possible. Securing your family's future by protecting those assets should be a high priority.
A sound estate plan addresses both your desire to protect your assets and your plan for successfully transferring them to others after your death. You don't need to be listed in Fortune Magazine to be concerned about making sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
The perfect estate plan, above all else, is personal. An experienced estate planning attorney does far more than simply listing your options, or giving you a "cookie cutter" plan. Knowing which plans and methods can best help you achieve your personal objectives and how to implement them separates merely functional plans from excellent ones. You may already be familiar with Living Trusts, Wills, and Federal Gift Tax laws, but knitting them all together in a plan that meets your needs is best handled by a competent, experienced estate planning attorney. No plan of this type can come about by accident. There are non-attorney "trust services," internet forms and self-help software that some people believe will give them a good plan. We've probated and administered those types of plans and have yet to see one that didn't end up costing the client extra in fees and costs, along with added delay and in some cases intestate Probate even in the presence of a Trust. A well trained and well qualified California estate planning attorney can help you achieve your goals and provide a solid plan to retain your assets to make sure they will be distributed according to your wishes.
Each estate plan is different, as is each client. We use creativity and imagination when designing each plan, according to our clients needs. On the day you sign your estate plan documents, you should be not only satisfied with your plan, but also confident that it will successfully direct the transfer of your wealth to your beneficiaries the way you want them, rather than the way the state legislature decrees by way of the Probate Code.
An increasing number of people each year in Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties will be subject to Federal Estate Taxes, and there is ever-increasing family squabbling, contention and litigation following a death. Because you won't be here to personally direct the distribution of your estate, your estate plan must be crafted to make sure that your assets are secured, and that your assets will go to those you choose to receive them.
Dan Sullivan is conveniently located in the City of Napa to provide estate planning services to clients in Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties. We meet with clients, provide estate planning counseling and prepare comprehensive estate plans, many times on a fixed fee basis, so you know in advance what your estate plan will cost.
For additional information, or to schedule a confidential consultation, contact us, or call us at 707-251-3979. Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 8 am until 5 pm, and we are available by appointment in the evenings and on weekends. Our 1st Floor office at the corner of Coombs and Pearl is ramped and handicapped accessible. We are across the street from free public parking, and on the diagonal from Kohl's Department Store in downtown Napa.