When it comes to estate planning, it’s about more than just assets like real estate, retirement accounts, and wealth. At its core, estate planning is about people.
For you, your goal is to establish an estate plan that preserves your legacy and provides for loved ones. To accomplish this goal, you need to select the right people for the right roles in your estate plan.
At Solan, Park & Robello, we understand this intimately. We don’t just guide you in selecting the right documents and language for your estate plan; we assist you in choosing the right people for critical roles and asset allocation. We don’t just bring people in, craft documents, and send them on their way. We press all of our clients to make decisions that accurately reflect the goals they have for their estate.
Choosing the Right Executor
An executor is potentially the most important role in any estate plan. This role will carry out your wishes as dictated by your estate documents, but we’ve seen a number of cases where an executor underestimated the role or even took advantage of the estate they had been put in charge of.
If you recall our July 2020 blog, we explored the benefits of selecting professional entities such as private fiduciaries, banks, or trust companies as executors. While these options offer peace of mind through reliable professional services, they may incur much higher costs than most other choices.
Alternatively, you might consider appointing a trusted individual, like a sibling, friend, or colleague. The chosen executor should ideally outlive you, be dependable enough to attend necessary probate hearings and be ready to act when required. This is a pivotal role in your estate, necessitating careful selection and consideration of backup options in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Choosing the RIght Guardian to Protect Your Children
In California, a legal guardian essentially assumes the role of a parent when the child’s own parents are no longer able to care for them. Choosing a guardian involves more than just naming someone you trust; it requires considering the significant details of how your child will be raised.
The ideal guardian should align with your parenting style and be physically accessible. An inaccessible guardian, whether they are hundreds of miles away (or even in another country), could leave your children vulnerable, potentially becoming wards of the state of California.
You need someone who is proximate to your children, willing to take on the role, and capable of fulfilling the duties assigned to them through your estate. You should have extensive discussions with this individual before making any appointments to the role.
Choosing Beneficiaries of Your Estate
Choosing beneficiaries is where you have the most flexibility, but it’s still important to avoid certain common mistakes in estate planning. There are no absolute right or wrong choices, aside from legal limitations (like minors not being able to own real estate in California).
When designating beneficiaries, assess each individual’s circumstances and their capacity to manage the asset in question. Whether it’s owning a home, managing business interests, or handling financial assets, selecting the right beneficiaries is key to ensuring your legacy is preserved and managed as you envision.
Solan, Park & Robello: Caring for Your Future
At Solan, Park & Robello, our commitment extends beyond merely drafting an estate plan. We focus on your future and the reality your estate plan holds. If we identify better choices for any role in your estate plan, we will advise and ensure your comfort with these decisions. The final decision always rests with you, but our team is here to provide support and guidance every step of the way.
To start crafting an estate plan that truly reflects your wishes and cares for those you hold dear, contact the team here at Solan, Park & Robello. Your legacy and the well-being of your loved ones deserve nothing less than thoughtful and personalized planning.
Solan, Park & Robello
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