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Three Estate Planning Tips

Apr 2, 2018 by Comfort Keepers

A comprehensive estate plan can protect the things that matter most. For many, this means their property and their family.  In this edition, we provide three tips to ensure that you have a proper plan in place that will actually work in the event of your incapacity and at your death. 

First, it is important to review your plan every 2-3 years, with an annual review being ideal.  Estate planning is simply not something you do once, set it and forget it. In the same way your life, the law and your assets change, your estate plan must change as well.  Sadly, we don’t know what our future holds, so it’s important to have an up-to-date estate plan in place. You may experience life changes that cause you to revisit earlier decisions and ensure it reflects your current wishes. So, be proactive, plan as if you will need to rely on this estate plan tomorrow.

          *See EEA’s attached handout, “Are Your Affairs in Order?” for a full checklist to reference & review annually.

Second, understand the roles and people you are appointing in your estate plan.  It is important to have a clear understanding all the parts of a comprehensive estate plan by sitting down with Personal Family Lawyer ® Tara Cheever of Cheever Law, APC in a Family Wealth Planning Session. She can help ensure your final wishes are carried out exactly how you want. But more importantly, she’ll help protect your family and keep them out of conflict and out of court in the event of your death or incapacitation. 

When you complete your planning, you will need to choose a Successor Trustee and a Personal Representative.  Generally, they will be the same person, but doing different duties.   

“An Executor is the person named in a Will, appointed by the court, and responsible for probating the Will and settling the estate. Depending on the   state, an executor may work under court supervision or may use so-called ‘independent’ administration for an unsupervised probate.  A Trustee is an       individual or trust company named in a trust document and is in charge of managing the assets that are held in the trust. Assets properly held in a living trust will avoid probate, which means that court supervision is typically not required. In most revocable living trusts, you act as the initial Trustee and you designate Successor Trustees to take over for you in the event of your incapacity and at your death.  Since your Living Trust is amendable, you can make changes including moving assets to and from the trust, changing its beneficiaries, or even revoking the trust if it becomes necessary (due to divorce). If you are no longer able to manage your affairs, due to legal incapacity, your Successor Trustee will step in and manage Trust assets on your behalf. Upon your death, the Successor Trustee will administer the Trust and distribute the assets in accordance with the Trust without the burden of government interference.” - Tara Cheever, Attorney at Law at Cheever Law, APC.  Click for more information about Trustees and choosing a Successor Trustee.

Lastly, appoint a 3rd Party, neutral, licensed, insured, bondable and licensed Fiduciary as your Successor Trustee and Durable Power of attorney.  There are a number of benefits to working with a professional team when it comes to estate planning. Resources such as estate planning attorneys and financial advisors can offer a deeper knowledge of money management, financial implications, and the law. When you work with a qualified team you can rest assured knowing your family will be taken care of no matter what happens in the future.

Who is the Exclusive Estate Administration?

Meet the Exclusive Estate Administration (EEA). Since 2010, the EEA fiduciary team has been providing professional fiduciary and estate management services to those across the beautiful state of California.

“We believe that your senior years should not be spent worrying about your families’ financial future. Having a neutral party CA licensed fiduciary (CLPF) handle your estate matters will help to maintain harmony between family members during often difficult times.  Our licensed fiduciaries will ensure that your estate affairs are in order, so you can enjoy your retirement and avoid burdening your loved ones.”

Determining who will handle your financial affairs when you are no longer able to do so is an important decision. At EEA, they make you a priority and believe that you deserve nothing but the highest quality of life and that’s why they offer a personalized experience customized to your exact needs.  By designating an EEA fiduciary as your Successor Trustee and/or Agent under your Durable Powers of Attorney, not only do you benefit, but your family benefits.  You are provided with peace of mind knowing your assets are managed properly and distributed according to your wishes and you have a “Trusted Advisor” matched to you based on a number of compatibility traits, who has your best interest in mind.  Additionally, your family benefits because they can be sure that your wishes are carried out and they have the peace of mind knowing your personal assets and finances are protected by EEA’s vetted professionals.

A few of the roles EEA offers includes:

  • Trust & Estate Administrator
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Bill Pay & Mail Manger
  • Trusted Advisor

Like Comfort Keepers, the team at EEA works diligently and efficiently to ensure the highest quality of living possible for seniors, and their families, in the San Diego area.  Additionally, we team with high-qualified estate planning attorneys, including Tara Cheever of Cheever Law, APC to ensure that your estate plan works for you and your family by ensuring a customized and complete estate plan.  We appreciate our relationship with EEA and are happy that our shared clients have been provided the highest level of service.

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