Our team believes every adult should have some form of estate plan in place. Planning for the future protects yourself, your money, your assets, and your heirs (unless you don’t have any). For some adults in California, a simple will is enough to cover their assets. For most, several other elements such as trusts and other services come into play.
If you are just getting started with your estate plan, you are likely asking the very question in the subject line of this blog: When is a will enough? The honest answer is just about never. We aren’t just trying to sell you additional services – we’re trying to help you with honest advice that some adults miss out on.
The one circumstance where a will may be enough is…
When You’re Young, Unmarried, Don’t Have Kids, and Own Few Assets
If you fall into this category then you may not need much more than a will. All of your assets, cash, financial, and investment accounts should fit into the details of this simple document.
We recommend that anyone over 18 establishes a will to at least get started on their estate plan. These documents are not final and are easily updated as you grow, obtain more assets, improve your finances, and grow a family.
The team at Solan, Park & Robello actually advises that even young adults have additional documents in place to satisfy additional circumstances through their estate plan.
As far as answering the question stated in the subject line above, this is the end of this article. However, we want to go a little further to explain why estate planning does not begin and end with a will.
Estate Planning is More Than Just Asset Management and Protection
A thorough estate plan works as a planning vehicle that accounts for more than just what you own. Your estate plan should include considerations for:
- Your children and their future
- Incapacity planning
- Tax saving opportunities
- Contingencies if your heirs or beneficiaries are unable or not ready to acquire your wealth
- Guardian designations for your children if you are unavailable
- Conservatorship designations for yourself or other loved ones in need
- Avoiding probate
That last element is a key part of the conversation surrounding wills. All wills go through probate. What this means is the wishes you put into a will do not go into effect unless and until a California probate judge signs off on them. Ultimately, your legacy is left in the hands of the courts even if you diligently crafted a will.
At Solan, Park & Robello, we believe in equipping our clients with an estate plan that suits all the needs in their lives. We offer a wide range of estate planning services for this very reason. If you are ready to have a complete estate plan that reflects all of the above (and more), contact our team to get started.
Solan, Park & Robello
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