Meet John and Julie Jones. They have two children, Sarah who is 12, and Alex who is 8 years old. They live in a surburb outside of San Diego. They have a home, some money in the bank, and a small retirement plan. Like most people, they have a mortgage, car loans, some credit card debt, and Julie’s student loans.
Julie is worried about the family’s future, because her best friend, Mary’s husband, just died unexpectedly without leaving a will or any kind of estate plan. Many of the assets were solely in her husband’s name, leaving his wife, Mary dealing with the burden and expense of the probate court. Without his income, Mary told Julie she is unable to keep up with the bills, and is now selling the family home.
Julie does not want this to happen to her or her kids, and informs John that they must do something about it now. They schedule a meeting with Pranee Salman, an estate planning attorney. At the meeting, Pranee was able to show John and Julie how to prevent what happened to Mary from happening to them. She also raised issues that John and Julie never considered, like a healthcare directive, what if Julie was in an accident and not able to make her own decisions. Would John be able to make medical decisions on her behalf? Have they set-up Durable Power of Attorneys so that John can refinance the house if needed to pay the medical bills.
What if both of them died in an accident, is it spelled out who will be the guardians of Sarah and Alex, and how a revocable family trust will manage the money for their minor children and designate at what age (or under what circumstances) they shall receive it. She also discussed how everything could be done without a prolonged, expensive, and public court involvement. As part of an estate plan, they incorporated a life insurance policy as a way to deal with the debt and loss of income. They also consulted with a financial advisor to help achieve their long-term financial goals.
Julie and John now rest easy knowing they have protected each other if one of them is ill or dies, and have protected their children in the trust should something happen to both of them. Pranee made the process easy to understand. They feel more confident and in control of their family’s future.
Contact Pranee Salman, of Salman Law, today to learn about the different estate planning document and devise a plan that works best for you.
Salman Law, APC
Meet John and Julie Jones
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