Do you think you might not need any estate planning documents? Think again- if you don’t devise a plan for the disposition for your estate—whether it is large or small– the State will. That’s right– without an estate plan, all of your possessions will be distributed through a public court procedure, to individuals as determined by the Probate Code.
And the disposition of your assets is not the only aspect of estate planning that you should think about: have you designated persons to help with your financial and healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated? Have you designated a guardian for your children? A caretaker for your pets? Does your family know where all of your financial accounts are held and how to access them? Your insurance? Do you want your estate distributed through a court proceeding, or would you prefer the privacy of distribution through a trust?
There are many reasons to consult an estate planning attorney, and there are many attorneys “out there” that you can consult with. But remember that estate planning is a difficult and intimate process. You need to work with an attorney that you are comfortable with, as your estate planning attorney will need information about many aspects of your life that most people consider to be quite personal. Ms. Cunningham understands and honors the confidentiality and the intensity of the process. Ms. Cunningham also takes a team approach, working closely with her clients’ other professional advisors such as tax, insurance and financial advisors, to ensure that the plan is cohesive, consistent and complete.