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Estate planning is a way for you to make decisions about yourself and your assets instead of leaving those decisions to someone else. A proper estate plan should ensures that you make the decision as to how your assets will be distributed and includes a tax plan to minimize or eliminate estate taxes, court interference and costs and expenses of probate.
Estate planning is not only applicable to wealthy individuals. If you do not properly plan your estate, you will be allowing future decisions to be made on your behalf by a court nominated individual should you become incapacitated or disabled. This would include health care decisions and decisions concerning the management of your assets. Moreover, without an estate and tax plan, California law will determine how and to whom your property and assets will be distributed.
A will allows you to name the individuals, trusts or charitable organizations to receive your assets when you pass away, an executor to administer your estate, a guardian for your minor children, and (in the case of a living will) to issue instructions concerning extended medical treatment. A revocable living trust allows you to direct how you want your assets to be distributed when you die while allowing you to maintain control of those assets during your lifetime.
“Trusts aren’t just for the wealthy… no matter your net worth, it's important to have a basic estate plan in place that tells the world exactly where you want your assets distributed when you die.” - CNN Reports
A contract intends to formalize an agreement between two or more parties, in relation to a particular subject. Contracts can cover an extremely broad range of matters, including the sale of goods or real property, the terms of employment or of an independent contractor relationship, the settlement of a dispute, and ownership of intellectual property developed as part of a work for hire.
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