Everyone has two things in common: you have an estate, and you can’t take it with you when you die.  An estate is everything you own, such as your checking and saving accounts, car, possibly real estate such as a home, retirement savings, investments, life insurance, ownership of a business, and personal possessions of real monetary value or emotional value.

Many people think that only the “rich” or the “old” need to make estate plans.  The reality is that regardless of your income and age, estate planning is an important part of your financial planning because we cannot successfully predict what will happen in life or how long we will live.

Life events such as an accident, an illness, incapacity or a divorce can happen to people of all ages.  Planning ahead can give you greater asset protection, privacy, saving time and costs while ensuring your wishes through end of life and for your loved ones are carried out.

The estate planning webinars – some held live with interactive discussions – aim to teach you the general knowledge on topics such as wills, trusts, estate and gift taxes, advanced health care directive, “end of life” wishes, durable power of attorney, probate and trust administration, long term care, elder laws, and provisions for special needs, minor children and blended families.

As knowledge gives you confidence to ask questions and make better informed decisions, the goal of these learning is to enable you to properly address your specific needs on some of the key topics when you work with an estate attorney or a qualified professional to put together your estate plan.

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Regardless of your income or age, planning ahead gives you greater control over your assets and ensures your wishes are properly carried out during and after your lifetime. California estate planning and elder law attorney Stefanie West discusses five common mistakes parents make in their estate plans by not sharing the details with their kids. These 5 mistakes are: titling accounts with their children, not telling where the original estate planning documents or safety deposit box keys are stored, hiding assets or jewelry, not clearly recording if money given to kids were loans or gifts, and not telling their end of life wishes.
Wills and Trusts: What You Should Know to Protect Yourself

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