For many young professionals in Southern California, the last thing on their minds is getting a proper estate plan set-up. There is just too much going on right now. Plus, estate planning is for older people, like your parents and baby-boomers, right?
Wrong. Estate planning is not exclusive to the baby-boomer demographic. In fact, as a young professional already acquiring significant assets, you should consider protecting these assets.
Dying intestate: not the best option
Consider the following scenario:
Brad, a single 34-year-old, has started his own small business under an LLC. He owns a nice condo, a sizable checking account, and two investment accounts with a brokerage firm. Overall, his net worth is almost $500,000. Suddenly, Brad dies in a car accident. His grieving parents are locked out of his accounts. Brad had given them a power of attorney over his accounts, but the power of attorney terminated automatically at Brad's death. He did not leave a will or trust that would help his parents handle his condo and his accounts. His estate could be tied up for years in probate.
Unfortunately, Brad has died "intestate," which means he died without a will or a trust. The California probate court will distribute his estate according to the state's laws of intestate succession. This means that the State of California will decide who gets Brad's assets. Not his father. Not his mother. And certainly not Brad.
A better option: seeking an experienced estate planning attorney
So how can you avoid this type of nightmare scenario? Take care of your estate planning needs today. A seasoned estate planning lawyer can help you set-up an estate plan that works for you. This may include a will, trust and power of attorney. A tailored estate plan will help you feel comforted in knowing you are protecting your assets and your family.
While this may seem like a time-consuming effort, it doesn't have to be. A lawyer will handle all these matters for you. It just takes having that conversation about what your estate planning goals are. Start this conversation today.