5. You often think you should plan for your loved ones, but don’t know where to start.

This is a common problem. There is so much information out there about estate planning that it can be overwhelming. What’s the best way to overcome this? A consultation with an estate planning attorney is the best place to start. The attorney can assess your situation, assist you in clarifying your wants and needs, suggest a course of action, and ease your fears. The cost for a consultation varies, but some attorneys offer a short consultation for a reduced fee. There is no charge for an initial consultation with Ms. Dreyer Koch.

4. It’s too hard to understand all that legal mumbo jumbo.

Most lawyers feel the same way. But a good estate planning attorney should know precisely what each document says, what it means, why every word is in there, and how to explain it to you in an understandable way. Ms. Dreyer Koch will make sure that you understand what everything means and why it’s there.

3. Estate planning is for the rich and you don’t have fancy things.

This is a myth on two counts. First, you probably have more than you think. Even if you do not have a house or large investment account, have you considered your other assets? How about life insurance, retirement plans, heirlooms, personal jewelry, collectibles and moments, sports equipment, internet assets (websites, blogs, articles, etc.), personal businesses, and potential inheritances from others? Second, estate planning is not just about passing down “the family fortune.” You need to plan for incapacity as well as death. Have you nominated someone to make medical decisions for you? What about a power of attorney for finances? Guardian for minors? These lists could go on. Bottom line? Don’t assume — meet with someone and find out. You may not need a trust or complex plan, but there are basic protections that everyone needs to have.

2. Your children are all grown and they know who should get what.

This will almost certainly cause unintended consequences. Your children may need a court proceeding to transfer your property, which can be costly and nerve wracking. If one adult child gets everything and is supposed to “divvy it up,” it could create gift tax problems, the child’s creditors or spouse could take it, the child could die before this is done, the siblings could start feuding over certain assets and, if a child has died, your grandchildren could receive an inheritance when they are too young to handle it, even if they are legal adults. Too much “self help” often creates more trouble than it was intended to avoid. These are issues that Ms. Dreyer Koch will explore with you during the initial consultation.

1. I need to do that… One of these days I should… Let’s think about it later…

PROCRASTINATION is the number one reason people fail to make an estate plan!

Stop procrastinating! Call now (760) 360-2400 for a consultation.

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