Estate Planning Attorneys in Los Angeles
Regardless of your current financial situation, getting an estate plan in place now is a way to not only protect what assets you currently have but to lay a foundation for future estate planning strategies. An estate plan is for the purpose of distributing your assets with minimal court intervention, to minimize your exposure to taxes, protect your assets from creditor claims, and to avoid family disputes after you pass.
An experienced estate and trust attorney from Access Lawyers Group can create an estate plan with you to match your goals and provide a path for a smooth distribution of your assets to your heirs and beneficiaries. There are a number of estate strategies that our attorneys can discuss and implement for you.
Estate Planning in Los Angeles
Our experienced California estate planning attorneys can recommend appropriate strategies and craft an estate plan to fit your goals and assets. Tools and strategies we can employ on your behalf include:
- Charitable Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Spendthrift Trusts
- Totten Trusts (payable on death)
- Gun Trusts
- Other Estate Planning Tools
- Powers of Attorney and Health Directives
A will is the simplest estate planning tool. Although many people draft their own, having one of our attorneys do it for you will ensure its validity at a reasonable cost. A will is for the purpose of leaving certain items of personal property to whomever you designate, naming a guardian to care for your minor children if both parents predecease them, assigning an executor and alternate to administer the will, and to dictate how you wish for your remains to be handled. You can also set up a trust in a will so that certain assets will pass to beneficiaries when they reach a certain age.
We can assure that your will is validated according to state law, has a self-proving section and that other formalities are followed. If a will contest occurs, we can help with resolving disputes or litigating for your interests.
Trusts are designed to avoid the probate process and to easily pass trust assets to named beneficiaries. You pass ownership of assets, especially real estate, to the trust but retain control of it, if it is a revocable trust, during your lifetime. This protects it from creditor claims as well.
There are many different types of trusts that we can suggest for you based on your goals:
- Special needs
For example, a special needs trust can pass assets to a special needs heir who is receiving public benefits without jeopardizing that person's continued receipt of those benefits. A spendthrift trust can ensure that assets are not frivolously spent. A gun trust can bypass certain laws regarding possession of firearms and a Totten trust is similar to a payable on death (POD) account that can be set up with a bank.
Health Directives and Powers of Attorney
A health directive informs your family and doctors about whether you want extraordinary measures undertaken to treat you or save your life under certain conditions if you become incapacitated. Powers of attorney are for naming certain trusted individuals to make financial and medical care decisions for you should you become incapacitated or no longer able to make these decisions because of dementia, illness or injury.
Other Estate Planning Tools
Other estate planning measures we can suggest include POD accounts, life insurance policies and obtaining adequate homeowner's or umbrella insurance. We can also advise you on how to protect your business interests and to minimize or eliminate estate taxes if your estate is large enough.
In addition, we keep our clients updated on changes or rulings in estate planning matters and keep in contact to suggest updating your plan when certain life events occur so that it conforms to these changes and your goals.
Call Access Lawyers Group today to get started on planning for your future and that of your heirs.