Newman Law Group

Protecting assets is key reason for an estate plan

Once upon a  time a person could go to school, grow up, work for a company and then retire with a pension. Pensions have, for the most part, given way to 401(k) programs that rely in part on the investment knowledge of the individual. This can make the question of growing and protecting assets a daunting and confusing question for some people in California.

One way to provide some clarity is to look at the situation of one person and what he did well and what he could have done better. Being an older man, he did retire with a pension but also had significant savings, much of which was in stock holdings. Since he did have a pension, he and his wife lived primarily on the proceeds of Social Security and his pension. As a result, his estate was worth nearly $2 million when he passed away. Saving money was something he did well.

He lived to be 90 years old and outlived his wife and two children. Much of the $2 million was in individually held stocks. Some had increased in value, while others were for companies that no longer existed and were therefore worthless. Having a stock portfolio managed by a broker helps safeguard against owning worthless stocks. In addition, the man did not have a will so the estate was settled by the courts with the result that he died without having a say in the disbursement of his not inconsiderable estate.

No one knows how long he or she will live in California. Being prepared for the end can allow for a peaceful and contented life. Knowing that one has taken necessary steps in protecting assets can provide peace of mind and the knowledge that one's final wishes will be carried out according to a properly executed plan.

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