Most people avoid looking too far into the future. While planning for upcoming vacations or retirement may be enjoyable to think about, planning further may lead to uncomfortable questions. Mortality is an unpleasant subject, but it may be a good time to start considering your end-of-life plan to ensure your family’s future.
There are many considerations to make concerning the distribution of your assets and the management of your health care and financial matters in the event of your incapacity. The lawyers at Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC have more than two centuries of combined experience practicing law. Let us help you determine the best course of action to ensure you and your family’s comfort in the event of your incapacity or death.
A Last Will and Testament is a document which tells the probate court how you would like your assets distributed upon your death and who you would like to put in charge of the distribution. A Will does not avoid probate. If you die without a will, California Probate Code § 6400 allows the state to divide your property according to its law whether or not the end results accord with your desires before death.
You may have heard of a will and a living will respectively, but they are not interchangeable terms. A will, or last will and testament, allows you to choose how your estate will be disposed by the courts after your death. If you have children, it will also enable you to specify who should be the guardian of those children. A living will, on the other hand, goes into effect while you’re still alive but unable to make decisions for yourself. If you know your relatives are inclined to dementia or Alzheimer’s, for example, a living will would specify how you wish to be cared for and who will make your medical decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to, as well as directions regarding your preference for the level of life saving prolonging efforts!
Living Trusts are entities by which we transfer one person’s assets or wealth to another after a person’s death. Most people are under the misconception that (1) they do not have enough assets to need an estate plan or trust and (2) the process is time consuming and burdensome. In California, estates (all of the property and by the deceased) that contain more than $150,000.00 of probate assets (assets with no trust) will have to go through the probate court process, even if there is a will! This process can be time consuming, expensive and will undoubtedly delay distribution of your property to your loved ones. A properly drafted and funded trust can avoid most probate problems and expenses, and will result in a smooth, timely transition of your assets to your heirs.
In most cases, an estate plan can be finalized within two weeks of our initial consultation with the client, and sooner if the client has an urgent need to have one completed, such as an upcoming trip planned. At HBP we try to make this process as easy and uncomplicated as possible and take the time to completely and thoroughly answer all of your questions or concerns that you may have during the process. Consult one of our experienced Newport Beach wills & trusts attorneys to discuss your options.
Planning an estate can be tricky and challenging work. It’s best to consult a legal advisor who can draw up all the paperwork necessary to ensure your family encounters as little difficulty as possible in the event of your incapacity or death. Contact us for a free phone consultation today!