I bet estate planning is on your list. It’s important, but time consuming and a giant emotional drag so people put it off. But it’s there to protect you and your loved ones from the unexpected as well as the eventual and unavoidable reality of of life. I had a client call me this year who was going in for major surgery and he not only didn’t have a will, he was holding title to his home incorrectly and his wife would have had to go through probate just to stay in her own home if he had passed away. My escrow officer, Lauren, below, and I were able to scramble and get it covered, but it was a messy way to spend his last ambulatory day for months. (He made it and is recovering thank goodness.)
Getting an estate plan has the obvious pieces – what happens to your assets, but it also has some less obvious pieces like advanced healthcare directives. All good things to have in place. One reason to do it as soon as possible is that there are “look back” provisions in some programs (like MediCare) that allow them to attach trust assets if they have not been in a revocable living trust for at least five years. I had a client last year who was forced to put her home in an IRREVOCABLE living trust when her husband suddenly became seriously ill when they were in their 50s. Selling her house in her 70s, her kids had to sign everything. She had great kids and it all worked out. But what if she didn’t have great kids? I hate to even think. She gave up control of her home many years ago due to a failure to get the estate planning done when she and her husband should have… when they bought the house.
I recommend working with an attorney who just does estate planning. Not a general purpose attorney who says they can do it. The law changes all the time and you want to work with a pro who will reach out and remind you if things need to be updated. Here are two great attorneys I have worked with who I recommend who have their own practices specializing in estate planning only:
Lauren Cappelloni, Esq.
Cappelloni Law PC
Cappelloni Law PC
351 California Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104
Kimberly did the plan for a close friend and for Samantha on my team. She was great to work with and did a thorough job as well.