FAQ is an acronym for “Frequently Asked Question(s)”. The term refers to listed questions and answers, all supposed to be frequently asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic. Since the acronym originated in textual media, its pronunciation varies; “fak,” “faks,” “facts,” and “F.A.Q.” are commonly heard. Depending on usage, the term may refer specifically to a single frequently asked question, or to an assembled list of many questions and their answers.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate Planning is the careful design and implementation a plan that provides for you, your loved ones and your assets in the event of your incapacity or death. Estate planning is a lot more than merely signing a will. A proper estate plan will consider your individual circumstances and goals and cover many “what ifs,” including many you may not have considered.
What is my “Estate”?
In the simplest terms, your estate is your “stuff” Your home, your bank accounts, your investments, your couch, your car, your life insurance, your toaster, your retirement plans, your dog, your goldfish, and your lottery winnings (now or in the future).
Who needs an Estate Plan?
Whatever the size of the estate, everyone should have a plan in place to provide for themselves in the event of incapacity, to provide for any minor children, to provide for loved ones at your death, and to state clearly who is to act on your behalf and carry out your wishes. If you don’t have an estate plan in place, the state of California has taken the liberty of preparing one for you.
Who are “they”?
We hear “they” say this, or “they” say that all the time. You know, “they” say you should drink 8 glasses of water. “They” say you only live once. “They” say you only get one chance to make a first impression. So it’s obvious “they” are a bunch of know-it-alls, who are frequently wrong. Or they” are lawyers charging by the minute, so they spend a lot of time talking. Or both. Entirely possible.
What is “the big picture?”
What does an estate plan cost?
This probably should have been listed first, since it really is a frequently asked question. Everybody wants to know what the fees will be. The annoying lawyer answer would be “it depends.” And it does. It’s like asking “what’s a car cost?” But which car? There’s a used Yugo and then there’s a Bentley. Somebody has a use and even a need for each of those types of cars. There aren’t any used Yugos on the lot, so to speak, at the Teresa Rhyne Law Group, but we can let you know that a well-prepared, thorough, basic estate plan that includes a will, a trust, a health care directive, and a durable power of attorney starts in the range of $2,500 to $5,000, depending on single vs. married, types of assets, and level of planning involved.
Who is it that asks Frequently Asked Questions?
Finally, an easy question. The people who ask frequently asked questions are people who are writing copy for websites.