Estate Planning & Administration

Calabasas, Burbank, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica Attorney Eric J. Gold

Wills and Trusts: How are they different? keyboard_arrow_right

Estate Planning & Administration

Don’t have a lot of assets? Don’t think you need estate planning services? Everyone needs to do estate planning, whether they have a lot of property or not. Proper estate planning is important at every age.  Think of proper estate planning as a gift to your family. You don’t want to burden them with difficult decisions at an already-difficult time. Eric J. Gold is an experienced estate planning attorney in California and welcomes the chance to work with you on your estate planning needs.

If you are a young adult in need of an estate plan, CLICK HERE to read about estate plans for young adults. 

Estate Planning is About More Than Just a Will

A will is probably the first thing that springs to mind when you think about estate planning, but it’s not the only estate planning document. Here’s a brief description of the major documents of an estate plan:

  • Will. A will states what happens to someone’s property upon his or her death. (It does not determine what happens to jointly owned property or to assets from insurance and certain retirement accounts.) It also names the executor, or the person who is responsible for settling (administering) the estate.
  • Advanced Health Care Directive / Living will. This is different from a regular will, a living will details what someone wants to happen if they become incapacitated. A living will might address such issues as what kind of medical care to give, when to start giving medical care, when to stop, and organ donation.
  • HIPAA Release / Waiver.  This document allows the release of medical information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”).  Information about an individual’s location and medical condition(s) can be difficult to obtain without a proper HIPAA Release / Waiver.
  • Trust. There are different kinds of trusts, and an estate planning attorney like Eric J. Gold can explain the differences. All trusts share the same core concept: a person or party, called the trustee, controls the trust property for someone else, the beneficiary.
  • Power of Attorney. Like trusts, powers of attorney come in different varieties. They give someone the legal power or authority to take action as the agent for another person. Those decisions can be on matters of money or health care, for example.
  • Nomination of Guardian. If something happens to you, who do you want to step in to care for your children?  This document can be your statement to direct custody and responsibility for your children, if you are incapacitated or if you pass away.
  • Final Disposition Instructions.  This is a document that directs what you want to have happen with your remains.  Do you want burial or cremation?  Do you have a specific memorial park in mind or do you want your ashes scattered in the wind from atop a particular mountain. This document can provide clear instructions to your loved ones so that they do not have to make the decision for you in an emotional time.

An Estate Planning Attorney You Can Really Talk To

Estate planning documents are some of the most sensitive and personal documents you’ll ever deal with. You want an attorney who not only has experience but is also easy to work with and makes the process pleasant for you. Eric J. Gold is that attorney. He’ll take the time to talk with you about your wishes and then draw up the documents you need. Don’t put it off any longer – contact the The Law Offices of Eric J. Gold, APC today.

To learn more about simple estate plans for young adults and the college bound, click here.