You’re raising a family, so you know that failing to plan is indeed planning to fail. One forgotten sunscreen bottle or a mishap in scheduling after-school activities, and the whole thing goes belly-up. That’s why when it comes to your family’s future, you want to put a fail-safe plan in place that ensures they’ll be taken care of no matter what.
That’s the power of estate planning.
It ensures that everything falls into place in your absence, reducing the chance of arguments and financial issues down the road. It’s the final act of love should anything happen to you, and it ensures that everything and everyone you care about is secure. Book a planning session with a Long Beach estate planning attorney today.
Good estate planning ensures that in the event of your death, the things you own go to the right people, in the right amounts, with the least cost and delay. And since your family is one of a kind, your estate plan will be too—which is why we offer a variety of quality estate planning services that help you put your family first.
Here’s what may be included in your plan.
When you think about estate planning, you probably think of a last will and testament. That’s because a will is one of the most basic legal documents you can have—and a good starting point for those who are brand new to estate planning. It’s a list of instructions about your final wishes—beneficiaries, guardians for minors, funeral arrangements, etc.—but since it doesn’t provide many functions outside of that, it won’t be sufficient to meet all of your estate planning needs.
Like a will, a revocable living trust also names beneficiaries. When you put your money into a trust, you transfer ownership of those assets to the trust—but can still maintain control over those assets while you are living. A trust also avoids that long and expensive court process known as probate, and allows you to transfer your assets upon your death privately and efficiently to your beneficiairies without court intervention.
Long-term care costs are increasing every year, and a plan that maximizes resources like Medi-Cal and VA benefits is a must. Elderly and disabled individuals can quickly find themselves draining their hard-earned assets trying to keep up with these bills. Our estate planning lawyers can help you use various estate planning tools—like a Medi-Cal Asset Protection Trust or VA Asset Protection Trust—to ensure you don’t go broke paying for long-term care.
When you have a child with special needs, many variables must be considered for their future. Special needs planning ensures that—should something happen to you—your child will be cared for according to your wishes and receive the assets you set aside for them without disqualifying them from vital government benefits.
Efficient tax planning keeps more money in your estate and, therefore, your family’s pocket. Why hand over your hard-earned money to the government when there are ways to reduce or eliminate your tax bill? We can keep you abreast of the most current and effective tax strategies for your specific financial situation and help you shelter that wealth with a customized tax strategy plan.
It’s not about what you have but what you keep. Even after doing all the right things—working hard, investing, planning—it could all be lost to litigation, divorce, probate, etc. Though it may seem unlikely, you must plan for the unthinkable. Wealth preservation and thorough asset protection allow you to keep what’s yours regardless of what happens.
The true test of an estate plan is what happens when you’re no longer here—like whether or not your assets go through probate. Probate is the court-supervised process that settles a person’s estate after death. It is an expensive and extremely time-consuming process that can quickly drain your assets.
Think about it—when you pass away, your loved ones will be in a state of grief. They’ll be going through the motions, trying to piece together life after your death and the last thing you’d want is to have them hassling with the court over what you would have wanted, how your assets should be distributed, or, worse, have to deal with estate litigation. With thorough planning, you can avoid probate court, saving your family time, expense, and heartache.
Estate planning isn’t all gloom and doom. If anything, it’s the greatest act of love you can extend to those you care about. Between making sure your family is taken care of, keeping your head on straight, and juggling all of your other responsibilities, it’s amazing that you still find time to think ahead. Congratulations on taking the first steps toward a better tomorrow for your family—you’re making the right call. Let us take it from here, starting with a free consultation with our Long Beach estate planning attorneys at Meier Law Firm. Book a planning session or drop by our office at 450 Newport Center Dr. #625, Newport Beach, CA 92660, for a chat.
Our overall experience was one of satisfaction as well as a learning experience. The people at The Meier Law Firm are extremely knowledgeable within Family Trust planning. They did a good job of explaining each step of the process in a manner that we could understand. They were always punctual when meeting with us, and the meetings were always concise and comforting. They were also pleasant and friendly.
My brother had lost his living trust documents. Suddenly, we found out he has stage 4 cancer. We called Meier and they were able to put together an updated trust in less than a week. Everyone at the firm was wonderful and caring. Melanie was our attorney. If you are looking for a caring, honest law firm, Meier is the one for you!
Our experience with the Meier Law Firm was positive from our first meeting with Jessica, through the final product we received last week. Very professional yet personable. Every question was answered & suggestions made to simplify our Trusts. Their attention to detail gave us confidence in their work.
We were introduced to Meier Law Firm through a learning session at our daughter’s school district. We eventually decided to establish a family trust, as well as a special needs trust, through their firm. The team at Meier Law Firm were professional and incredibly responsive to our family’s needs. I highly recommend their legal services.
Just thinking about creating a trust or a will can be overwhelming. But Meier Law Firm makes it easy. They tell you what you need to know, ask all of the right questions, & provide great practical suggestions along the way that go far beyond the legal checklist. Highly recommend them for personal, professional service to deliver what you need in a timely manner.
Not only do they provide expert guidance; they will walk the journey with you step-by-step to help with your family trust. They execute at high levels, are very responsive, and deliver the optimal results within difficult situations. You definitely want Meier Law Group on your side of the table. I give my highest recommendation!
Join a live webinar, register for an in-person event or invite Laura and Josh to speak at your company event.
In Good Parents Worry, Great Parents Plan, estate planning attorney and mother Laura Meier shows you the legal and practical steps you must take to protect your children from temporary foster care, courtrooms, loss of inheritance, and other turmoil most kids experience when their parents pass away.
“Laura Meier’s The Family Nest Egg gives parents the tools they need to find confidence, stop worrying, and secure the financial future for their loved ones. Laura’s real-life stories and actionable advice make this read a trustworthy resource for budgeting, investing, and preparing for a financial crisis.”
Estate plans often fail for one reason: You didn’t update them. Whether an outdated beneficiary designation, forgetting to add new assets to a trust, or individuals named as power of attorney or successor trustee are no longer around, out-of-date estate plans can lead to legal issues. Your plan needs to change as your life changes.
In California, estates valued at more than $166,250 are subject to traditional probate proceedings. The best way to avoid probate is by establishing a revocable living trust which allows you to transfer your assets upon your death to your chosen beneficiaries privately and efficiently.