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Understanding the Three P’s of Estate Planning

#1 – People

Who are the Important People in your life? Beginning with yourself, they also likely include your loved ones: your spouse if you are married, children and grandchildren if you have any, perhaps your parents, siblings or other relatives. Beyond these, however, "Important People" also could include charities, special causes, colleges or universities, or churches to which you are committed. For some, "Important People" could even include pets. Spend some time thinking about the impact others have had on your life. Make a list and jot notes if you like. This is where the planning process truly begins.

#2 – Property

By Property we mean your assets in general. Make a list of the assets you own or control. At this point, you do not need to identify insurance policy numbers and exact dollar values. Rather think through your assets in terms of their nature (cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.); their value in thousands of dollars; and your ownership interest: Do you own assets in your name only, in joint tenancy with someone else, or through a trust agreement or some other arrangement? Be sure to include often-overlooked assets like life insurance (the death benefit, not the cash value), business interests, and any inheritance you may expect to receive.

#3 – Plans

After identifying the Important People in your life and your Property, the next step is to consider the plans you would make for those people (including yourself) and that Property in the event of your own incapacity or death.

Who would you name to make decisions for you if you could no longer do so yourself? Would the same person handle your finances and your personal and health care decisions? Who would care for your minor children? How would you distribute your assets to your heirs? Would you prefer to spare your heirs the potential cost and hassles of the probate process? Would you like to minimize the impact of estate taxes ... or maximize the impact of a charitable bequest? Is there someone in your family with special needs for whom you would like to provide? Is there someone who perhaps should not receive a great deal of (or any) money without some outside oversight?

These are just a few of the issues to consider when approaching the planning process. They are much more important than the "treasure hunt" for legal documents at this stage.

When You Are Ready

We offer a complimentary "Get Acquainted" meeting for you and Janet to meet in person and make sure we are the right fit for each other. When you are ready to schedule this meeting, please call or complete the Request a "Get Acquainted" Meeting form and we will give you a call to schedule.

Contact Us

Law Office of Janet L. Brewer

(650) 325-8276

Email Us

Law Office of Janet Brewer

2501 Park Boulevard, Suite 100
Palo Alto, CA 94306

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The Law Office of Janet L. Brewer provides comprehensive planning in the areas of Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Powers of Attorney, International Estate Planning, Estate Planning for Non-Residents, Probate & Trust Administration, Charitable Planning, Special Needs Planning & Trusts, Estate Tax Planning, Business Succession Planning and Asset Protection for Business Owners and Professionals. Janet has offices in Palo Alto, CA and serves the entire surrounding area, including Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Los Altos, Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Silicon Valley.

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Janet L. Brewer is Certified as a Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Information on this website, including any testimonial or endorsement, does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.