2011: San Diego Estate Planning Checklist

In San Diego, estate planning is very important given the costs of probate as well as the time involved to distribute assets. Careful estate planning can assist in avoiding probate in the San Diego courts. All estate planning cases are individual and please contact us so we can discuss your individual estate plan. This is not a comprehensive list and an attorney should be consulted and retained to prepare your individual estate plan.

List of Concerns and Questions Regarding Your Estate Plan: before coming to the attorney’s office, it is a good idea to make a list of all questions and concerns you have about your estate plan. This can include who you would like your property to go to upon your death and, if you are married, how your estate will proceed if one spouse pre deceases the other.

Discussions With Spouse: if you are married, it is a good idea to discuss what will happen after one of you pass away. As San Diego is in California {which is a community property state}, it is important to consider the community property estate as well as any separate property estate.

Inventory of Property: you should make a list of the following: business interests; personal property; real property; 401K accounts; retirement accounts; mutual funds; stocks; bonds; bank accounts; vehicles and any other assets you have. This property inventory will be used to prepare the estate plan.

Inventory of Obligations: you should also make a list of the following: mortgages; loans; outstanding promissory notes; outstanding claims and any other obligations. This is all part of the estate.

Important Document Retention: make copies of all of the important documents such as deeds; bank account statements; life insurance policies; financial records; current or past estate planning documents if any and any others which may be needed post death which will make it easier to locate.

Executor and/or Trustee: consider carefully who you would like to be responsible for carrying out your wishes post death. If you are married, this would normally be a spouse. If you are not married, this would normally be a relative who you trust. If you have minor children, it is important to name who would be their guardian in the event of your passing away.

In conclusion, again, this is not a complete check list. Feel free to contact us so we can discuss your estate plan with you in the privacy of our office.

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