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    Why Have an Estate Plan?

    By Jay Greene, Esq., CPA–

    (Editor’s Note: “Trust Issues” is a new column in the San Francisco Bay Times by San Francisco-based attorney Jay Greene. You might already be familiar with Jay, if not for his successful legal practice then for his spirited family. He memorably has ridden in the Pride parade with our contingent, and in 2019 was joined by his mother Lola, who wore a “FREE MOM HUGS” shirt with the “O” shaped like a heart. She made headlines for hugging an estimated 1000 people along the parade route! To say that LGBTQ equality is important to his family would be an understatement. Jay’s husband David is successful in his own right. He is the owner of Bladerunners Hair Studio on Haight Street.)

    Who Makes Estate Plans?

    When you hear the term estate plan, or Trust, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For some of us, the first thought may involve very wealthy people and their “Trust Funds,” or older people who need to plan for their retirement. Yes, an estate plan is useful for preserving wealth and planning for the future as we age, but an estate plan can also be useful for everyone who wants to plan ahead. In fact, more and more people are learning about the advantages of creating an estate plan for themselves and their assets.

    When to Create an Estate Plan

    Estate planning is often seen as something that only older people need, and it is not considered as a priority for everyone else. This view of estate planning is untrue and can lead to problems for you down the road. Planning is something to consider at all ages because of the uncertainty life can present to us. There is tremendous risk with waiting to start planning until you are older. A sudden decline in health, a car accident, or other injury would cause you and your loved ones to rush to start planning. But that might be too late. Unfortunately, our firm witnesses this far too often, but this is something that can be prevented. By planning at an earlier age while you are healthy, you will be able to make the best decisions for yourself that will save you and your loved ones costs and stress in the future.

    How an Estate Plan Benefits You

    By having estate planning documents, you have the power to make plans for your health and finances for the time you are living and for after your death. In the event you become incapacitated, you would have appointed someone to make these decisions on your behalf. Included in a comprehensive estate plan is a Trust, which will allow your assets to flow to your beneficiaries when you die. Creating a Trust allows you to avoid probate, which costs a minimum of 3% of the gross estate. If you don’t have a Trust, your assets may not even go to the people you care for the most. To learn more about estate planning, please schedule a consultation with our firm so you can start planning for your future:

    Statements In Compliance with California Rules of Professional Conduct: The materials in this article have been prepared by Jay Greene for educational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Individuals should consult with an estate planning and elder law attorney for up-to-date information for their individual plans. 

    Jay Greene, Esq., CPA, is the founder of Greene Estate, Probate & Elder Law Firm based in San Francisco, and is focused on helping LGBT individuals, couples, and families plan for their future, protect their assets, and preserve their wealth. To learn more and to schedule an appointment, visit

    Published on March 10, 2022