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A MESSAGE FROM REX CRANDELL ABOUT ESTATE PLANNING.  

Between now and the end of the year would be a good time to take care of any estate planning needs and objectives that you may have related to transferring your estate to your beneficiaries.  You will need to answer questions relating to who will receive benefits from your estate after you are gone.  The best time to consider these issues is well in advance of any pressing need to take care of this long-term life planning.  Estate planning normally includes the following documents.  

Revocable Living Trust   To avoid: a) probate and b) to avoid receiving a MediCal charge back against your estate assets and c) to avoid a court supervised Conservatorship should you become incapacitated.  

Last Will and Testament   This directs your executor to put any assets into the trust and follow the instructions described in your trust.  Includes nominating a guardian for your minor children.  

Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Management    Should you become unable to personally take care of your finances; you have already appointed your financial manager.  It also avoids a Conservatorship for assets that are held outside of your trust.   

Advance Health Care Directive   Authorizes an agent to talk with doctors and make decisions regarding medical issues should you not be able to communicate with medical staff.  

Declaration of Transfer Personal Property   To transfer title to personal property assets to your trust because they do not have registered proof of ownership.  For example, a grand piano.    
Many people think that a Will is the best way to transfer assets at death.  In my opinion, a Will is an outdated, costly, and time-consuming way to transfer assets to heirs.  The reason is that a Will must is required to have a probate legal case in the county where the person resided. If a person has more than $166,250 of assets that are transferred by the will, then a probate is required by law to transfer assets to beneficiaries.  The probate process frequently costs from $25,000 to $35,000 in processing fees.  Probate freezes all estate assets under strict court control for eleven to eighteen months, or more.  The probate case file becomes a public accessible record that includes all your private family and asset information.  Because the information is made public, marketing companies frequently target beneficiaries of estates for a variety of sales offers.  The entire probate process can be easily avoided if a person creates a revocable trust and transfers title to the assets in the name of the trust.   

If you own real estate in California, then you need a revocable trust.  When you have a revocable trust, then your Will can be prepared to the few assets that are not owned in the name of your trust.  Your successor trustee follows your specific written instructions to transfer assets as you wish.  

Having a revocable trust does NOT eliminate all estate administration issues for the successor trustee after someone passes away.  However, the administration of a trust is much simpler than probating a Will.  

We provide the services of estate planning for our clients.  First, we listen carefully to what a person wishes for the transfer of assets after they are gone.  Then the documents are prepared using information we received from our clients and make a custom designed written plan for their estate.  A one size fits all approach does not work for estate planning.   

Please call our office to set an appointment to discuss your estate planning objectives.  We can discuss fees for estate planning services at that time.  If you choose not to utilize our services in the creation and implementation of your estate plan, there will be no cost or obligation on your part for our initial meeting.  

It is recommended that you contact our office and request our Estate Planning Questionnaire & Organizer Forms prior to your appointment.  The estate planning questionnaire provides a place for you to list your assets and identify your beneficiaries so that enough information will be available to get an overview of your estate planning needs, desires, tax requirements, beneficiary information and your distribution plan.  

Please contact our office to schedule your no-obligation estate planning meeting.  Call now, so that your estate plan can be designed, implemented, and completed before the end of this year.  Do not delay.  Your beneficiaries will appreciate your advance planning in this area.  

Our firm looks forward to hearing from you soon.  

Very truly yours,
Rex Crandell, CPA, Attorney
and Staff
_________________________________________________________________        CONTACT:
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Rex L. Crandell Firm
3000 Citrus Circle, #207
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Serving the San Francisco, East Bay, Contra Costa and Alameda Counties
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(925) 934-6320
.(800) 464-6595
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E-Mail:  rexcrandell@astound.net;  
Internet:  http://www.rexcrandell.com
Fax: (925) 934-6325 .
All U.S. Mail:
Rex Crandell Firm
P.O. Box 30305       REQEP
Walnut Creek, California 94598-9305
United States of America  

                                Estate Planning ~ Don't leave Earth without it.

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