If you have ever watched any old Westerns, you may have seen a lone gunslinger depicted as drawing up his last will on a saloon napkin before he heads out into the street for his next precarious battle. His estate is a simple one; he’s got a horse, a saddlebag, the clothes on his back and his side arm to account for, and he hands the napkin to the barkeeper before he heads outside.
These days there are people who would have you believe estate planning is almost as simple. There may be no barkeeper or gunslinging involved, but they want you to think that all you have to do is fill in the blanks on a generic document and put it away somewhere for safekeeping.
The truth is that every family is unique, and there is no one document that is going to be suitable for every purpose.
There are a number of different scenarios that come into play, and one of these would be divorce and remarriage when you have children. Or you may have someone with special needs on your inheritance list. Perhaps you have an heir with spendthrift proclivities and this can be a source of concern.
The exact makeup of your family, coupled with the specific nature of your wishes, is going to dictate how you should proceed when you are preparing your assets for eventual distribution after your death. There is no one way to go about it that is suitable for everyone.
Personalized attention is the key to a well-crafted estate plan. If you would like to discuss your vision for the future with an expert, right now would be a good time to pick up the phone to arrange for a consultation with a licensed and experienced San Jose CA estate planning attorney.
My office also offers free estate planning seminars. To find out more information on seminar dates, locations and times, follow this link: Free Living Trust Seminars.