Estate planning lawyer Robert Brumfield founder of the Law Offices of Robert H. Brumfield, P.C., in Bakersfield, CA outlines that a good estate plan is only effective if it has a firm foundation. For more information please visit https://www.brumfieldlawgroup.com
— A good estate plan, just like any well-built house, is only effective if it has a firm foundation upon which to rest, Elder Law Attorney Robert Brumfield said.
For more information please visit https://www.brumfieldlawgroup.com
In a recent interview, the founder of the Law Offices of Robert H. Brumfield, P.C., in Bakersfield, CA, revealed an essential checklist to ensure a good estate plan can smoothly transition assets to family members when you become unable to do so.
“Estate planning is for everyone, not just the wealthy as it is sometimes wrongly assumed,” he said. “If in doubt, a trained and experienced Estate Planning Lawyer will be able to guide you through all the issues to ensure your plan reflects your wishes.”
The starting point of any good estate plan is to have a will or trust that sets out the main components of how your assets will be divested and to whom (usually called beneficiaries). The wording is critical in the written document, and should be crystal clear in your wishes.
Brumfield said: “Any plan must have a power of attorney, a person assigned by you to act in your interests and ensure the details of the estate are followed. Without a power of attorney, a court may be assigned to consider what happens to your assets.”
A power of attorney should be a person of trust, normally a family member, spouse or attorney. Their powers will include settling any debts, distributing assets based on your wishes, and transacting any real estate.
He added: “An estate plan needs to be kept up to date so it reflects any changes in your affairs, deaths of named beneficiaries, and, obviously, changing relationships that occur in life.
“It is ideal to have a back-up or contingent beneficiary if circumstances do change. You must ensure all your insurance policies and retirement plans have named beneficiaries as well.”
Brumfield said a letter of intent – one which is left to an executor about any assets or funeral arrangements – should also be included in the plan. This may help if it comes to a court challenge on the distribution of assets.
A power of attorney should also be prepared so that a trusted person can make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions independently.
Where children are under adult age, an estate plan should also carefully set out their futures in terms of who you wish to legally care for them and how they should be financially provided for out of the estate.
“An estate plan contains many streams of information and documentation, but by ticking off this essential checklist, it will certainly give you peace of mind. Always keep it up to date, speak to beneficiaries about your plans, and seek advice from a good attorney to ensure the plan you want is the plan you get,” Brumfield concluded.
Name: Robert H Brumfield
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Organization: Law Offices of Robert H. Brumfield, P.C.
Address: 1810 Westwind Drive, Suite 100, Bakersfield, CA 93301
Phone: (661) 416-3735
Release ID: 89037382