Estate planning may not be at the top of your list for things to talk about at the dining room table. Still, it does deserve a significant measure of attention from both the benefactor and the beneficiaries. Also, the retention of an attorney is well-recommended to ensure that the wishes of the benefactor are observed. Here are three important questions to ask when looking for an estate planning attorney in Santa Rosa:
Who will administer the estate? – While a benefactor can make his “after death” wishes known in a will, he will obviously not be their to execute the plan. For this reason, an “executor” is named. The executor is bound by the terms of the will but has some latitude in determining how fast the probate process will last. It is extremely important that one be legally named, or else a judge will take over the process.
What are the tax ramifications? – While an accountant will handle the financial details, a good estate planning attorney can certainly guide you in the right direction when it comes to reducing the tax burden on an estate. In fact, they can advise on a variety of trusts and other tax deferred plans that are available.
How often should I review the plan – Unless a major life change occurs – the birth of a child, a marriage, a divorce, a death or something similar – most people need only review their will every two years. Otherwise, have an estate planning attorney take the time to amend the document to account for the new circumstances.
For more detailed information on estate planning and where to find an experienced estate planning attorney in Santa Rosa to help you with this matter, please contact us at Johnston and Thomas Attorneys at Law. We can be found online at JohnstonThomas.com or reached directly at 707.200.1362.