In general, beneficiaries have little input over the contents of an . The Grantors, those whose assets comprise the Estate, are the sole decisions makers regarding which estate plan is best for achieving their goals. The reason beneficiaries aren't involved in the planning process is to protect the Grantors, promote confidentiality and minimize conflicts between beneficiaries.
Although California beneficiaries have no discussion on the proper estate plan for the Grantors, Grantors do ask for feedback and opinions from their chosen heirs. This is often happens because Grantors -- usually parents -- want their children to be involved since it will directly affect them. They will be the ones that will deal with Probate, and the distribution of the estate.
If a Cerritos or Artesia Estate is not planned properly, it may be in California Probate court for several months. The executor and the beneficiaries will have to expend a great deal of time and money trying to get the estate through the hassle of probate. Much of the estate might be used up to pay for attorney fees, and court costs before beneficiaries are able to inherit their share.
The cities of Cerritos and Artesia are very family oriented communities. Many of the families are first generation who intially settled in this town with little assets. But over time, they have worked hard and accrued much in their estate, as a result of their sacrifice and patience. Those assets should be protected and the maximum amount should be transferred over to their children for their enjoyment and use, not to the government to pay unnecessary expenses.
Estate and Inheritance Taxes will apply depending on the year the estate is distributed. These costs will also come from the estate itself. Why pay unnecessary expenses when a properly and timely planned estate can ensure that assets of the grantors go directly to the intended beneficiaries without any hassle?
If it hasn't been done already, beneficiaries should encourage their parents, or grantors to start thinking about an estate plan early on. Take the time to sit down with a knowledgeable Los Angeles Estate Planning attorney to learn how you can best plan an estate that provides the maximum amount of protection. After all, your parents work hard all their life, shouldn’t those hard earned assets go directly to the beneficiaries and not be spent paying for unnecessary expenses?
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Editor's Note: Neeta Patel is a licensed California Attorney who is running her own law firm, Javia & Moore. She attended the University of California, Irvine and holds a Bachelors in Psychology and Criminology along with her J.D. from Loyola Law School. If you have additional questions on Estate Planning, please visit her firm's website.