"When you're dying of thirst it's too late to think about digging a well."
- Japanese Proverb


Estate planning allows people, while they are still living, to ensure that their property will be given to the people and charities they want, in the way they want and when they want. It permits them to save as much aw possible on taxes, court costs and attorneys' fees and it affords the comfort that their loved ones can morn their loss without being simultaneously burdened with unnecessary red tape and financial confusion.

An estate plan also allows people to decide who will make medical decisions for them when they are unable to do so and who will handle their finanicial affairs when they are incapacitated. Estate planning allows people, rather than a court, to select who will be the guardian for minor children, the executor of their estate and the trustee of trusts set up for loved ones.

Postponing the planning may be detrimental. If incapacity or death occurs before a plan is established, the result could be that intended beneficiaries - the ones most loved - may not receive what the decedent wanted them to receive whether due to extra administration costs, unnecessary taxes, intestate succession rules or squabbling among the heirs.

In addition, the estate tax exemption amount is determined by Congress. The current exemption amount is in place through the end of 2012 and can change. No one knows what it will be until Congress passes new legislation. Solid planning provides for flexibility in the event that the law changes and the exemption amount is lowered.

If you are interested in having us help you with your estate planning, please complete the Estate Planning Worksheet. When you open the worksheet, you can click on the arrow that is pointing to the upper right corner so the document will open as a full page. You can email this to us at info@petersenlaw.net, mail it to Petersen Law, 1420 Rocky Ridge Drive, Suite 160, Roseville, CA 95661, or drop it by our off at our offices.