Fullerton Estate Planning Attorneys
Ensuring a Bright Future for You & Your Family in Fullerton, CA and
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.
OC Elder Law, our estate planning attorneys in Fullerton and Bellevue, WA 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
Call us at
(800) 220-4205 or
book your free 15-minute virtual consultation 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.
Why Is Estate Planning Important?
If you are a property owner, your estate and all of your assets may be
in jeopardy. You probably want to control how these valuables are distributed
to your loved ones. In order to do that, you will need to provide detailed
instructions informing of your wishes. That is an estate plan, and the
planning process are detailed instructions of how, when, and what. Estate
planning is for everyone, no matter the value of your estate. It is also
not just for people who are “retired". Life is unpredictable,
and it is best to be prepared for anything.
The estate planning attorneys at OC Elder Law have experience handling
a variety of estate planning needs. Let us help give you peace of mind,
call us today for a consultation!
The Advantages of Estate Planning
If you are a homeowner, setting up an estate plan will be beneficial to
you. Not only will it make sure your family is provided for after your
passing, it will also provide you with peace of mind for the future. The
benefits of having an estate plan includes:
Confirming Your Loved Ones Are Taken Care of
Providing for Your Children
Cut Down on Your Expenses
Arrange for Incapacitation
The experienced Fullerton and Bellevue estate planning attorneys at OC
Elder Law are here to help guide you through the process of creating an
estate plan that caters to your needs. Contact us today to discuss your
options and to schedule a consultation.
What Happens if There isn’t a Beneficiary?
If someone dies without a will, a process called Intestate Succession will
begin. This process determines the order in which family members are entitled
to the assets. Typically your assets can be divided between community
property and separate property.
- Community Property: Property that was acquired while you were married.
- Separate Property: Property you had before marriage.
The only exception to this rule is any gifts and inheritances are considered
separate property no matter when they were acquired.
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
and Bellevue 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?
If you need help planning your estate financially, the following can help:
- Brokerage firm
- Financial institution
However, 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?
If you are ready to move forward with your estate planning
click here to book your 90-minute planning consultation or
(800) 220-4205 .