The new year is still young and many people are still working on resolutions to get more exercise, eat better and in general take better care of themselves in order to help ensure a long and healthy life. Yet no matter what people may do, unthinkable tragedies can still occur. A helicopter crash in California recently took the life of the basketball star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and the lives of seven others who were traveling with them. Kobe Bryant was only 41. In addition to working to protect one’s health, one should also formulate an estate plan for asset protection that will in turn protect one’s heirs.
In addition to resolving to take better care of oneself, one may also wish to consider taking steps to take care of loved ones in the event of an unthinkable tragedy. Some people may feel they don’t have enough assets worth protecting, but nearly everyone has something they wish to pass on and without a will or estate plan in place that decision may be made by a court who is not familiar with a person’s final wishes. Where a family is concerned, care of minor children in the event of a tragedy may be a major concern.
When considering what should go into one’s estate plan, a person should take time to consider the legacy being created. This may include bequests for favorite charities, trusts to provide for children, and can also take into consideration long term financial goals. These goals can include providing for disabled family members through trusts that are administered by a designated third party.
Contemplating one’s untimely demise may not be pleasant but can provide tremendous peace of mind to a person’s loved ones in California. At the time of his death, Kobe Bryant was worth several hundred million dollars. When no estate plan is in place to ensure asset protection, an estate could be tied up in the courts for years. Deciding to create an estate plan can be one of the most important gifts to loved ones a person can make.