It goes without saying that a person's whose finances remain fixated 'in the red' may more than likely leave an estate that reflects the same. While residents here in California all hope to live in a debt-free environment that allows our primary focus to be on asset protection, the reality of day-to-day living for most people means financial obligations in the form of mortgage payments, car loans and credit cards. Given our current economy, there may be many individuals finding it difficult to manage their finances and ensure that all financial obligations are met in a timely and comprehensive fashion. Doing so usually requires some degree of financial planning whether you live in California or somewhere else in the United States.
There are individuals who seem to have managed to achieve these goals more easily than others. The constant awareness of the fact that you must be able to fund your own living after retiring seems to be a big consideration. It is clear that living frugally and investing wisely will allow for an accumulation of assets, the next step in this process is to ensure that the highest levels of asset protection are available. Seeking advice from financial and estate planners may be a good strategy. It is however recommended that every piece of advice that is given be taken in consideration of your specific circumstances.
One of the things many people fail to realize is that concentrating on asset protection and financial planning in the years leading to retirement can have a dramatic impact on the overall 'health' of an estate. In fact, diligence in life can make life easier on loved ones after death.
Legal counsel experienced with estate planning may be able to help forward-thinking individuals recognize the relationship between a lifetime of financial planning and organizing an estate. From drafting a will to the distribution of assets, experienced estate planners are often invaluable resources where financial matters are concerned.
Source: The Stockton Record, "Remaining in the black," Reed Fujii, Sept. 18, 2011