Comprehensive Estate Planning Services in California
Depending on your needs, your estate plan can be simple or sophisticated. Your plan may contain the following components:
- A last will and testament: If you do not own significant assets, a will can be a practical, inexpensive way to determine who should administer your estate after you die and who should receive your assets.
- Trusts: If you own significant assets such as equity in a home, a trust can save your beneficiaries the cost and pain of a probate proceeding. Trusts can also help you accomplish specific goals, such as protecting assets you provide to beneficiaries.
- Power of attorney: Without a power of attorney in place, a family member could make decisions for you if you are incapacitated and unable to communicate your desires. Designating a power of attorney allows your family to avoid incurring the trouble and expense of a guardianship proceeding.
- Advance medical directive: In California, an advance medical directive allows you to name a trusted individual to make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to do so by yourself. It also allows you to communicate your end-of-life wishes should you be in terminal condition.
Planning your estate now can help you avoid unintended consequences later. Without a pragmatic and purposeful estate plan, the assets you wanted to go to your beneficiaries could be wasted in court costs, probate fees, and other expenses. If you live in Orange County or anywhere in California, set up an appointment with my office in San Clemente to start the estate planning process.
Protecting You in Estate Disputes
In addition to helping you plan your estate, I represent your interests in disputes such as will contests, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and others. Most importantly, I take a collaborative approach to addressing estate issues before they occur. I’ll guide you through the process of deciding who will be in charge of the estate, naming your beneficiaries, and how your assets will be distributed. Laying out these wishes will help your family avoid legal burdens and costly disputes. When appropriate, I’ll take charge to seek a favorable result for you and your family.
Regardless of how big or small your estate is, or how straightforward your assets may seem, having a properly drafted estate planning document is crucial to helping you prepare for life’s uncertainties. Coping with the loss of a loved one is never easy, but protecting your assets while avoiding complex estate litigation could be the first step on your path forward.