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what is estate planning? It’s myth and what we do?

Rijal Law Firm assists individuals and families in creating an Estate Plan custom-tailored to their specific circumstances. An estate plan is a collection of documents that specify how you want your assets, money and property distributed, making it easier for your loved ones to handle your affairs during a time of grief. As a popular myth it does not involve only a will, a will is only a part of your estate plan and it can involve numerous other things like financial, tax, medical, retirement, charitable, gift, legacy and business planning. The overall scope of estate planning is wide. For example, you can pass cash, property and even their values, experiences, family heritage and beliefs to future generations. Which is possible through legacy planning, preserving your memories and values and passing them on to the future generations along with their financial inheritance.

The most popular myth “estate planning is for the wealthy.” The fact is that everyone needs estate planning even if his or her estate is small or big. If its small your main focus would be who receives the assets upon death, whereas if large the main focus is on preserving your assets for the beneficiaries and reducing or postponing the amount of estate tax.

We at Rijal Law Firm understand that making an estate plan takes lots of courage and emotion. Nobody wants to plan their death or when they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions. They want to think they have a long time ahead, so they put off drafting their estate planning for years. Statistics show us that 2/3 of all of us become incapacitated before we die. Most people will have done no planning with nothing in place to assist with incapacity. If you are severely injured, incapacitated, or even killed in an accident and do not have valid life-documents in place, you will have no way of making certain that your intentions are carried out the way you’d desire. Instead, the Probate Court will decide these matters —slowly and painfully— on your behalf while your family is sidelined for up to 2 years. Ensuring that your spouse, children, or others of your choosing are not prevented from being blessed as you intend, requires only a couple hours of your initial time to sit down with an experienced estate planning lawyer. Not only can your assets can be protected, but you will be in control over your assets while you are alive, and your ultimate desires will be carried out upon your passing. “Peace of Mind” is very much a meaningful phrase once your estate plan is finished. Don’t allow an Accident, Illness or Death to overwhelm your Loved Ones.

Do I need an attorney? Can I do it myself? How much do our services cost?

Some people are very confident that when they pass nothing will go wrong and the spouse will live comfortably after death, the children will never be sued or divorced, and the grandchildren will be able to pay for their education without your help. Then they do not need any planning.

There also are forms or books available to buy from bookstore or State Bar, like the fill-in-the-blanks California Statutory Will from the State Bar website can be printed and filled in. Which is designed for people with small estates and can be sufficient but a review by an attorney can help because if you draft a will that does not meet California law, the entire will can be invalidated. Also, you would not be introduced to alternative plans that can save taxes, if you make your estate plan on your own and without an attorney’s advice and help.

Cost of our firms services vary, having us review your documents or change them can cost less then drafting a brand new estate plan. The cost of our services depends on individual circumstances and the complexity of documentation and planning required to achieve your goals and objectives. Some will be charged a flat fee whereas other clients can be charged on hourly basis or even a combination of both types of fees. Each client is unique and so are the costs of our services.

Am I done after I draft my estate planning Documents?

To ensure your loved ones inherit your estate and avoid costly probate expenses, taxes, and delays, an estate plan must be properly structured, funded, and monitored throughout your lifetime. Just like law, people, and asset value changes, your estate plan may also change and it may be necessary to adjust your estate plan every so often to reflect those changes.

Rijal Law Firm recommends that you review your Estate Plan, Living Trust, Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and other Estate Planning documents once a year. The circumstances which guided your decisions when you originally set up your Estate Plan may change due to family and financial changes, such as, family births and deaths, marriages and divorces, bankruptcies and inheritances, changes in family relationships, purchase and/or sale of real estate, etc. Similarly, tax laws may also change affecting your existing estate plan.

Changes in the laws and changing views of finance, lifestyle, privacy, nontraditional families, and longevity of life have made estate planning far more interesting. Having an outdated or inadequate estate plan can be worse then having no plan at all.

WHAT WE DO

Rijal Law Firm will take the time necessary to educate you on these vital matters so that you can make informed and prudent choices. There are countless benefits to taking a couple hours to getting your estate plan underway. We respect the unique concerns and needs of each and every client, regardless of circumstances or complexity. Whether clients have a clear sense of their goals or are just beginning to assess their plans for the future, we apply our comprehensive knowledge of the law and estate planning tools to craft custom plans that address personal needs. We take great pride in ensuring that each estate plan reflects the client’s goals and values, with an eye toward ensuring family harmony, minimizing tax burdens, and securing a legacy for generations to come. Overall, we are:

  • Drafting wills and revocable trusts for all size estates
  • Advising clients on trust funding and beneficiary designations in line with one’s overall estate plan
  • Providing protection for incapacity through the use of Advance Health Care Directives and Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Problem-solving to reduce or eliminate estate tax liability
  • Counseling clients on issues surrounding business succession planning
  • Utilizing advanced planning tools when appropriate, including irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), family limited partnerships (FLPs), and charitable remainder trusts (CRTs)
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