Learn How to Protect Your Family with Katzner Law Group
Ensure your values are carried on even post your death with comprehensive estate planning
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Parents are tasked with a ton of responsibilities—choosing the right pediatrician, finding the best schools, squirreling away money for college, and simply doing all they can to raise a kind and caring individual. While your child is growing up, you’ll make countless decisions and at times be left with more questions than answers, one of the most poignant being how can you continue to make sure your family is taken care of in the event of your own death.
Estate planning should be a part of the conversation long before you’re on your death bed. A knowledgeable and professional estate planning attorney can assist in the emotional process of planning for your family’s future. Gabriel Katzner, an East Coast transplant now based in Encinitas, has been helping families bridge the gaps with his comprehensive estate planning practice for nearly a decade.
Himself a father of two, a 6.5-year-old 1st grader at Pacific Rim Elementary and a 4.5 year old daughter in pre-K, Gabriel knows just how frustrating the process can be. “When my wife and I were expecting our first child, I felt that the attorneys we met with had their priorities misplaced. The only thing they seemed to care about was money—how much there was, any tax issues, and how much complexity they could bake into our estate plan to raise their fee,” he says. “While my wife and I certainly wanted to protect our assets and minimize taxes what we cared about most was the long-term care of our soon to be born child.” However, he says the experience became a catalyst for “comprehensive estate planning that cares first and foremost about ensuring that your values as parents, and the priorities and goals you have for your children, are carried on even post your death.”
Estate planning for everyone, but in particular parents of young children, is essential. If something were to happen without a plan in place, state officials—not your family—have final say not just over who receives your assets but over who raises your children as well.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but options like a revocable living trust allow you to protect what you’ve worked so hard for. Gabriel says the flexibility, privacy, and overall more “humane” dealings afforded by a revocable living trust blows last will and testament-based planning out of the water. With a revocable living trust based plan there’s no probate court upon your death, or conservatorship-type proceedings should you become incapacitated during life, whereas a will is essentially a useless piece of paper until you're dead. It's also more efficient to do some of the more complex estate and income tax planning in a revocable living trust if that’s what circumstances warrant. “There's this misconception that revocable living trust-based planning is expensive, that's certainly not the case, and the benefits afforded by it to your family and your own comfort knowing you've done all you can to protect your loves ones can't be overstated,” he says.
A well-versed, straightforward attorney like Gabriel, who’s patient and accessible, can help navigate this space, as well as other areas you might not have considered, like guardianship decisions over minor children and asset protection. “As parents we're each responsible for the life of another. We have a responsibility to them each and every day. Part of that responsibility is making sure they're cared for in the way we want, by who we want, with the values we want in the event something unfortunate happens to us. The way to accomplish each of these goals and then some is by putting in place a comprehensive estate plan—one that goes far beyond just protecting your money, but rather protects your loved ones and values and ensures they're carried on post your death.”
When you embark on estate planning, you want to know that you’re in the capable hands of someone who has experience working on behalf of other people in similar situations. Gabriel personally meets with each and every one of his clients. He not only provides your family with a modern and sophisticated take on estate planning, something beyond fill in the blank wills that too many lawyers pass off as estate planning, but also, and most importantly, peace of mind that your family is in good hands. “It's a fact of life that bad things sometimes happen to good people. As parents it's our responsibility to protect our children from what the world may throw at them, and when it comes to caring for our children in the event of our own passing, putting in place a comprehensive estate plan is simply the responsible thing to do."