Case Studies

Married Couple in their 30s with 2 children ages 1 and 3

Joseph and Jane live in Pasadena and they have 2 young children ages 1 and 3. They also own the home they live in. Their overall assets are worth around $1.5 million (home, retirement, bank accounts, stock market accounts).

They are mainly concerned with making sure that their children will be taken care of if something happens to them.

They also want to have plan in place to make sure that they can avoid the costs and time of going through probate.​

A living trust is going to be their best bet since they are under the estate tax limit and because they want to maintain full control of their assets while they are alive and of sound mind.

The estate planning documents that they will need are:​

  • Living Trust - to allow their assets to avoid probate, remain private, and to assure a smooth transition. It also allows Joseph and Jane to choose how they want their assets distributed to their children. They can choose to have some money given to the children when they are more mature instead of the children receiving it all when they turn 18. (How many responsible 18 year olds do you know?)
  • Power of Attorney - to allow Joseph and Jane to make sure their day to day can be handled by either themselves or someone else if they become incapacitated.
  • Advance Health Care Directives - Make their health care choices known in advance to avoid any confusion later.
  • Will - a pour-over Will is used to document that they want to put their assets into the living trust.
  • New Deed - their house must be transferred into the living trust in order to avoid probate.
  • Burial Instructions - Joseph and Jane describe how and where they want to buried.
  • Nomination of Guardian - this allows Joseph and Jane to choose who they want to take care of their 2 young children.