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What Is Estate Planning?

I think “estate planning” may be too large, or too vague of a term. It’s hard to explain in an elevator pitch, what an estate planning lawyer does.

Yes, there are documents to prepare. But that’s not it. I look at the practice of estate planning as helping people protect their loved ones, and even themselves.

I also find that I’m encouraging families to sometimes ask difficult or uncomfortable questions, which often binds them into a tighter, more cohesive family.

I found this description of what estate planning really is, which I love:

Estate planning is the process by which a person can:

  • Provide for themselves and their loved ones through any period of disability;
  • Leave what they have to whom they want in the way they want;
  • Minimize taxes and avoid unnecessary attorney fees and court costs;
  • Care for themselves and their loved ones;
  • Share their hopes, fears, dreams, values, and aspirations with their loved ones when they’re gone;
  • Support the causes and charities that matter most to them;
  • Estate planning is a process, not an event;
  • The plan is a combination of legal strategies that capture the essence of a client’s goals,
    address their concerns, and enhance important relationships;
  • Estate Planning Documents memorialize the plan, but they are not the plan;
  • Estate plans must change over time;
  • A proper estate plan will include both lifetime and at‐death planning components to account for the possibility of incapacity and the certainty of death

In addition, I help people in Ventura, Camarillo, Simi Valley, Oxnard and Santa Barbara, with Medical exemption planning – helping to reduce assets for medicaid and/or medicare purposes. I also sue bad guys when they take advantage of seniors and/or disabled people.

This process is full of questions and pitfalls. I’m happy to discuss your questions and needs, at any time. Give me a call for your free estate planning or elder law consultation. 805-244-5291

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Estate Planning Attorney Eric Ridley