P.O.Box 225081, San Francisco, CA 94122

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San Francisco County Legacy Planning Attorney

Sunset District legacy planning lawyer

Estate Planning Lawyer Helping Clients Preserve Their Legacies in the Bay Area

Conventional wisdom holds that the assets passed on in an estate rarely survive beyond a third generation. As you develop your estate plan, it is often important to consider not only how you want to pass on your assets to your heirs and beneficiaries, but also how they should use and manage those assets after you are gone, in accordance with your family's values and financial goals. These considerations fall under what it is often referred to as a legacy plan.

At the Law Office of Martin Alperen, our focus is to help our clients with the legal aspects of estate planning, but we recognize that these are often closely intertwined with the personal aspects. We can assist with any aspects of your legacy plan that are legally enforceable, and we are happy to offer advice on additional steps you can take to ensure that your legacy continues after your death.

Elements of Legacy Planning in San Francisco

A comprehensive legacy plan can not only help your assets last well beyond your death, it can also help to pass along important values and family traditions. Measures that can strengthen your legacy plan include:

  • Educating and discussing plans with your family: Legacy planning begins long before your death as you raise your family to uphold the values that are important to you. As you get older and your children grow up, you should consider holding regular family meetings to discuss your wishes regarding your estate, promote financial literacy and involve your children in important decisions, and perhaps choose a trusted family member to be the executor of your will.
  • Bestowing assets: The two primary estate planning tools for distributing your assets are trusts and the last will and testament. Trusts allow you to maintain more control over your assets by avoiding the probate process and designating how, when, and for what purpose property will be distributed to your chosen beneficiaries. For example, you may decide to establish a trust specifically to provide for the education of your children and grandchildren. Your will should clearly state your wishes for the distribution of any assets that you have not set aside in a trust, which may include personal effects that have sentimental, rather than financial, value.
  • Charitable giving: Making a plan for supporting charities and causes you believe in is another important means of preserving your legacy. You can create a charitable trust, in which the assets pass to an organization of your choosing, or you can designate assets to a charity in your will.
  • Planning for business succession: Business owners should take care to establish a succession plan that leaves their business in good hands after their death, possibly designating a family member or a trusted friend or partner to take over who is well equipped to manage the business and ensure its future success.
  • Writing a letter of instruction: Also known as a letter of intent, this document is not legally binding but can serve as an important companion to your will. In it, you can provide information that helps your executor and heirs distribute and manage your assets and better understand your wishes for their use. You can also include your preferences for your funeral and burial, plans for the care of your pets, and personal messages to your surviving family members. A letter of intent is also the perfect way to give away things that have more emotional value than monetary value, such as a picture, keepsake, or memorabilia.

Contact a Bay Area Legacy Planning Attorney Today

When you want to create an estate plan that prioritizes your legacy, you need an experienced attorney who is committed to understanding and honoring your unique needs. Attorney Martin Alperen wants to get to know you through a free initial consultation and start working with you as soon as possible to put in place a legacy plan that provides financial security and peace of mind. We serve clients throughout the East Bay, the North Bay, the Peninsula, San Francisco County, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today at 415-534-1200.

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