Fullerton Estate Planning Attorneys
Ensuring a Bright Future for You & Your Family
Setting up an adequate estate plan can serve several important purposes.
The first is to make sure your wishes are respected and carried out when
you can no longer care for yourself. The other is to ensure that your
loved ones are taken care of when you pass away. Two of the main vehicles
we use to accomplish these goals are wills and trusts, but there are plenty
of other estate planning tools to take advantage of.
At OC Elder Law, our estate planning attorneys in Fullerton can help you
establish a comprehensive estate plan that accounts for your unique circumstances.
We proudly provide the same guidance and legal power of a large firm,
but in a personalized setting that can be tailored to our clients’ needs.
Call us at
(714) 400-2373 or
contact us online to learn more about our estate planning services.
A will is a document that goes into effect once you die. This document
is used to decide how your money and property will be distributed. When
someone dies with a certified will, a judge will oversee the process of
distributing property and assets according to the provisions outlined
in the will. This is known as
probate, a process that can be very costly and time-consuming. Due to these circumstances,
most people wish to avoid the process of probate by establishing a trust.
A trust is a document that allows us to avoid probate and override the
state's intestacy laws. This means that you can transfer money and property
to your intended beneficiaries without the court’s involvement.
You, the grantor, place property and money into the trust, which can then
be divided and distributed according to your wishes after you pass away.
This means re-titling your deed and other accounts into your trust’s
name. A trustee can then manage these assets until the time comes for
them to be divided and distributed. While you are alive, you will be the
trustee over the account. Should you be unable to manage your affairs,
a successor trustee that you nominate will take over. When you die, this
successor trustee will coordinate the division and
distribution of all trust assets to the beneficiaries.
There are several different types of trusts that can be used for a variety
of purposes, including:
Power of Attorney & Other Healthcare Documents
A power of attorney – sometimes known as a financial durable power
of attorney – is another important estate planning tool. A power
of attorney is only effective while you are living. It grants someone
else the power to help you manage your financial assets and property.
This power can be as broad or as narrow as you see fit.
While there are a variety of healthcare documents that are important to
consider, we typically help clients establish:
Healthcare power of attorney: This document allows you to award someone with the ability to make decisions
regarding your healthcare needs, should you no longer be able to make
those decisions yourself. This document can be critical to ensure that
your exact wishes are carried out when it comes to receiving the care
and treatment you want.
Advanced healthcare directive: Sometimes referred to as a living will, this document directs the person
you choose to oversee your healthcare in certain situations. This document
will specifically discuss your wishes on how to receive treatment should
you find yourself in an unrecoverable medical state.
HIPAA release: HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a law
that prevents doctors and medical facilities from releasing your medical
information. This protection can be waived so that friends and family
may speak to the doctors and receive information regarding your care.
The people to whom you give this privilege may obtain medical information
but will not have the authority to make any decisions regarding your healthcare.
That authority will still belong to your nominated healthcare power of attorney.
The Benefits of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
For some folks, estate planning is not a high priority. Some people don’t
think they have an estate big enough to warrant an estate plan, while
others simply don’t want to confront the unpleasant feelings associated
with planning for their death. Furthermore, many people believe they can
do their own estate planning with generic forms found online.
Contrary to popular belief, there are many facets to estate planning. While
you might think that planning your estate is simply just setting up a
last will and testament, it actually scales far beyond that. Our Fullerton
estate planning attorneys can help develop a plan to mitigate estate taxes,
form a living trust, and make sure your assets are safe from your beneficiaries’
creditors after your death.
We highly recommend retaining an attorney if:
- You have more than one marriage
- You want to donate part of your assets to charity
- You want to mitigate estate tax
Do Only the Very Rich Need Estate Planning Lawyers?
Even if you do not have millions, you can benefit from the advice and experience
of an estate planning lawyer. An experienced attorney stays focused and
on top of family dynamics and subtle legalities. He ensures that problems
do not arise when carrying out your will. He also ensures that an ex-spouse
does not inherit unintended assets and prevents special needs family members
from losing out on government benefits due to improper paperwork.
Can a Bank, Brokerage Firm, or Financial Institution Suffice?
A bank, brokerage firm, or financial institution can only help you in planning
your estate financially. They are not qualified to draft legal documents
or lend you legal advice.
Estate planning has major links with Medicaid and tax planning when you
are planning your finances. An experienced lawyer helps in drafting sound
estate plans that are legally sound and account for various unexpected events.
An estate planning attorney offers great assistance in allocating your
assets in complicated family and financial situations. The experience
and advice they bring to the table can help you in drafting sound wills
and testaments. They also ensure that your paperwork is error-free with
no loss to any beneficiary regarding government taxes or creditors.
Christian Estate Planning
At OC Elder Law, we are led by our Christian principles and ideals. Our
estate planning services embody the morals of the Christian faith.
So what is Christian estate planning? For some, it means nothing. Just
knowing that your attorney is coming from the same worldview as you is enough.
For others, it simply means prayer during our meetings. Prayer during the
meeting allows God to guide your attorney’s mind to design the ideal
for you as a result of prayer.
For others, it may mean altering your legal documents. We can interlace
scripture throughout your trust, will, power of attorney, and healthcare
documents to guide your family in what is important to you. We want to
give them comfort in a time when they are stressed and grieving and make
sure they know that you are in a better place.
For those with minor children, it means praying about a guardian for your
children. We often look at the financial stability of a guardian to determine
if they can care for your children. More importantly, we want to look
at the spiritual stability of your guardian. Are they going to raise your
children in the way that you raise them?
To discuss your estate planning needs and goals with our team, call
(714) 400-2373 or
contact us online.