Unfortunately, estate planning tends to be something that many people avoid thinking about or talking about. It can be an uncomfortable conversation to have with family, let alone an estate planning attorney in Solana Beach. The process of developing an estate plan focuses on you making decisions regarding who will settle your estate and receive your assets after you pass away. These are important decisions and they are not ones that should be made lightly, but we strive to make this process as easy and stress free as possible for our Solana Beach clients.
At Jenkins & Jenkins, Estate Planning Attorneys, we develop a personalized plan for Solana Beach residents that will protect your family and your wealth, while also ensuring that your wishes are followed out both during your life and upon passing. Our estate planning attorneys in Solana Beach have the trust and knowledge to create a plan that is right for you. Whether it’s a modest estate or expansive, we ensure that not only will your estate be legally sound, it will also provide peace of mind in knowing you’re in the right hands.
Tips for Making the Most Out of Working with an Estate Planning Attorney in Solana Beach
Oftentimes, we receive phone calls from clients in Solana Beach that have never thought about making an estate plan before. They have numerous questions about the process and what they can expect along the way. Here are some tips of steps that you can take to make the most out of collaborating with our estate planning attorneys in Solana Beach:
Make a list of your assets
Your assets will be a key factor in putting together the best estate plan for you. A good rule of thumb is prior to your consultation, you make a list of all of your assets and bring it with you to your meeting with our estate planning attorney in Solana Beach. The biggest thing here is what type of assets make up your estate, and the general value of each. This gives your Solana Beach estate planning attorney a better understanding of what devices and techniques need to be a part of your estate. Working with a firm that has flat fee pricing (like ours!) can help ease the apprehension in this discussion as your assets will not be used against you in pricing your plan – it is only to ensure you are left with the right plan for your family.
Our estate planning lawyers encourage our Solana Beach residents to ask any questions or raise any concerns that they have during our initial consultation. Remember, you will also receive a draft of your documents before you formally sign them so you have a number of opportunities to make any changes to ensure that your documents clearly dictate your exact goals. Always feel free to ask questions along the way to ensure you actually understand the plan and how everything will work together to benefit your family.
Opt to develop a complete plan
Unfortunately, over the years we have seen many clients make the mistake of picking and choosing which documents they think they need without taking into consideration the guidance that an experienced estate planning attorney in Solana Beach can provide. This could result in holes in your estate plan which can make things more difficult for your family members either when you can no longer care for yourself or after you die. We strongly recommend that you never attempt to create your own estate planning documents and always take the advice of one of our estate planning lawyers in Solana Beach. Something as simple as two words buried in the middle of a living trust can completely flip your intent on its head, so let us work to avoid those nightmare scenarios for your family.
Terms That You May Hear Our Estate Planning Attorney in Solana Beach Use
It’s important to remember that estate planning is a nuanced field of law. As a result, there may be certain terms that you hear our estate planning lawyers in Solana Beach use that you may not have heard before. Some examples include:
Power of attorney
Appointing a power of attorney is an important decision in your estate planning. Your power of attorney is the person that you appoint to act on your behalf if you’re unable to do so during your lifetime. This person will be able to make financial decisions for you so it’s critical that you make this choice carefully. We’ll guide you during the course of establishing your plan whether this power of attorney should be immediate or only during periods of incapacity based upon your family dynamics and wishes.
Your executor is the person that you appoint to settle your personal estate once you pass away. You will see this term in your Last Will & Testament. The term “executor” should not be confused with the term “administrator”. Administrator is the title given to the person appointed to settle your estate in the event that you do not execute a Last Will & Testament before your passing.
Many of the estate plans that we create include a trust. Whether the trust is revocable, irrevocable or a testamentary trust, you will likely see the term “trustee” in one of your documents if this is part of your estate plan. A trustee is the person that will oversee the workings of the trust. If you create a revocable trust, there is a strong possibility that you will be trustee of your own trust during your lifetime. However, once you pass away, a successor trustee will be appointed to formally settle the trust according to the guidelines that you created. There are many different ways to customize this one topic within your trust, so we’ll guide you on what works best given your family dynamics and wishes.
Medical power of attorney
A medical power of attorney is the person who will make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so as a result of incapacity. By executing a health care directive, you will name a friend or family member to serve in this role. Your health care directive will also indicate your health care wishes so it’s essential that you appoint a medical power of attorney who you can trust to follow these wishes.
There are many more legal terms that you may see throughout your estate planning documents. Our estate planning attorneys in Solana Beach are always happy to take the time to speak with you in more detail regarding these terms at any point so that you have a clear understanding of their meaning. Since nearly all of our plans are done on a flat fee basis, you should never feel hesitant to ask questions. There will never be a ticking clock driving up cost on the other end of your phone call or email.
Get in Touch With Our Estate Planning Lawyers in Solana Beach
Our estate planning attorneys in Solana Beach understand the uncertainty and misgivings that many people may have regarding the estate planning process. When you make the decision to work with the estate planning lawyers of Jenkins & Jenkins, Estate Planning Attorneys, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your estate plan is legally sound and drafted according to your wishes. To learn more about what you can expect during the estate planning process or to schedule an appointment for a free consultation to meet with one of our estate planning attorneys in Solana Beach, please get in touch with us today.