Wills & Trusts
Preparing a will is an important step, but not the only step, in preparing for an eventual demise. It is a component of an estate planning process consisting of setting up arrangements to satisfy your specific wishes if something happens to you or those you care about. Estate planning also addresses the need to minimize potential estate taxes and fees. It implements your intentions regarding your home, business, investments, life insurance, employee benefits and other property in the event of your death or disability. An estate plan would also provide for the handling of critical healthcare decisions should you be unable to give the directions yourself.
Your circumstances might indicate the need for a Living Trust, which can be used to hold legal title to, and provide a mechanism for, managing your property. You can function as the Trustee or select some other person or entity to carry out the instructions contained in the Trust. It can be made revocable to allow the person who creates the Trust to make future changes, or terminate it. Such a trust can provide important tax benefits and help you avoid or minimize the expenses and delays of probate. For someone with a large estate, the creation of a Family Limited Partnership might be recommended both for tax reasons and to provide greater asset protection.
Whatever your circumstances, estate planning is essential. The only time that you can prepare an estate plan is while you are alive and have legal capacity to enter into a contract. It is a complicated subject. A Southern California estate planning attorney with specific experience in the field of wills, trusts, probate and estate planning can provide you with informed advice. Everyone needs a guide through the maze of laws bearing on property rights, taxes, wills, probate, and trusts. The legal fees paid to a qualified Southern California probate lawyer for this purpose can save you and your heirs considerable cost and trouble later on that might result from either failing to plan or preparing a poorly conceived plan.