California Estate Planning Attorney
All California residents should have an estate plan. Your estate includes your home, investment real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, life insurance plans, and personal possessions. Having an estate plan helps you control what happens to your personal and real property when you pass away. To ensure your wishes are carried out, it is best to prepare an estate plan that provides instructions on who will receive which asset.
San Diego Esquire provides affordable estate planning services to California residents. We can help you prepare an estate plan that best suits your needs. We provide flat fee estate planning services to California residents. Our estate planning services help you minimize tax consequences while making sure your loved one’s future needs are addressed. Purchase an estate planning option on our website to begin the process. Our flat fee estate planning services start at $295. Our attorney can prepare the following documents for you:
Estate Planning Services
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning ensures your property and healthcare wishes are honored in the event of your incapacity or death. A comprehensive estate plan can resolve a variety of legal questions that may arise when you pass away. For example, an estate plan can address what medical care you should receive in the event you become incapacitated, who will receive your property upon you passing away, or who will care for your children in the event you are unable to.
Your estate includes all the property you own at the time of death such as the following:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Stocks and bonds
- Personal property
Contact San Diego Esquire to create your estate plan. We can help you prepare an estate plan specific to your needs.
What Happens if You Do Not Have an Estate Plan?
If you pass away without an estate plan, your estate will go through the probate process and be administered in accordance with California’s intestate succession laws. This means your assets, after creditors and taxes are paid, will be distributed to your surviving heirs. Heirs includes surviving spouse, children, spouse, and siblings. The order in which your assets will pass to your relatives will depend on whether they are still living upon your death.
California Estate Planning Services
Estate planning begins with developing an irrevocable trust and pour over will. At San Diego Esquire, we may prepare additional documents for you depending on the nature of your estate.
Our estate planning services include preparing some of the following documents:
- Living Trust
- Irrevocable Trust
- Last Will & Testament
- Pour Over Will
- Advanced Health Care Directive
- Durable Power of Attorney
California Estate Planning Process
Below is an overview of the California estate planning process:
Step One: Create a Trust
A living trust is an agreement in which one person, referred to as the trustee, holds legal title to property for the benefit of another person. You can be the trustee of your own estate. Serving as the trustee allows you to maintain full control over your property.
We encourage all our clients to create a trust to avoid the probate process in California. Property transferred into a trust does not go through probate. The successor trustee will be tasked with paying all outstanding debts and transferring trust property to beneficiaries. Creating a trust usually takes about two weeks.
Step Two: Create a Pour Over Will
Like a last will and testament, pour over wills transfer property into a trust upon the owner’s passing. Transferring property into your trust helps avoid an extensive probate. Trust are private and do not become a public record. Creating a pour over will ensures your property will be administered to beneficiaries in accordance with one document.
Step Three: Create Healthcare Directives
Creating a healthcare directive will help you make decisions about your medical care in the event you become incapacitated. An advanced healthcare directive will allow you to appoint a person to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Step Four: Create a Financial Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint a person to make financial decisions on your behalf. The appointment will take effect when you become incapacitated. Your attorney-in-fact will be able to make a variety of financial decisions on your behalf.
Step Five: Protect Your Children’s Inheritance
During the estate planning process, you should designate a trusted adult to manage any assets your children may inherit. This person can serve as a financial guardian to your children.
Step Six: Update Beneficiary Forms
Upon creating your estate plan, update your beneficiaries on your bank accounts and retirement plans. Consider completing “payable on death” forms.
Step Seven: Make Final Arrangements
- Designate funds in your estate to pay remaining income taxes.
- Specify how funeral expenses will be covered in your estate plan.
- Store all of your estate planning documents in a secure location. Give a copy of your estate planning documents to your trust beneficiaries.
Purchase an estate planning service on our website today to get started. We prepare estate plans for Northern and Southern California residents.
Contact San Diego Esquire today to learn more about our services.