When setting your San Clemente estate planning goals, such as avoiding probate in the future and properly leaving behind your legacy for your family, planning ahead of time is critical. A San Clemente wills attorney from the Estate Preservation Group can help you craft a comprehensive will, in conjunction with leveraging other useful estate planning tools, such as a trust, to help you meet your estate planning needs.
Our San Clemente-based law firm has years of experience helping Californians optimize their estate plan. Whether you are in need of a wills attorney to help you establish your legacy or find a tax-savvy way to protect your assets, our estate planning legal team is here to serve you.
To understand how an asset lawyer can support you, it’s critical to know what a will is, and what its potential capabilities are. A will, otherwise known as a “last will and testament,” is a legal document that is fundamental to estate planning.
A will gives instructions about how your assets, including real estate property and bank account, will be distributed upon your passing. A will cannot be easily drawn up, as it has certain state legal requirements that must be fulfilled before it can be legally established.
In California, a living will is also known as an advanced healthcare directive, and it works differently than a standard will. Depending on the type of document that it is, a living will can give power to certain trusted individuals to make important decisions for you. It will typically go into effect when you no longer have the mental capacity to make sound decisions for yourself. These decisions can be related to issues about the management of your finances or health.
Both a will and a living will can be critical for designing a comprehensive estate plan that can meet your long-term goals. The wills team at the Estate Preservation Group can take into account your final wishes and concerns. Then, they can craft formidable legal documents for your estate planning needs.
If you are a resident of California who is currently living without a will, then you risk having your estate divided up in a way that is undesirable for you. If you pass away without having a will, then your estate will likely have to go through probate. There, state law and the courts will decide on how to distribute everything.
In California, if you die and you are in a domestic partnership or are married at the time, then your domestic partner or spouse will automatically inherit all the assets that are part of the community property. They will also automatically be set up to inherit some of your property that you owned separately from the domestic partnership or marriage.
If you have other relatives, then the separate property that you own will be distributed to them by the state, depending on their relation to you. Close relatives, such as children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings, can be entitled to your estate.
If you pass away without a will and are not in a domestic partnership or marriage, then your estate or part of it will be transferred to your children or grandchildren. If you do not have grandchildren or children, there is a certain order in which relatives can inherit your estate. The probate court will go through this list of possible heirs as they look for someone to inherit your estate.
It’s critical to note that your friends, preferred charities, or loved ones who are not related to you will not be able to receive any of your estate if you do not leave a will. If you pass away and have no will, then your assets will be transferred to the California state government.
This is why many people arrange their estate planning to avoid probate. The advice and knowledge of a seasoned state planning attorney can help you work on ways to accomplish this, thereby saving your family time, money, and stress.
Drafting and executing a will can ensure that your loved ones will inherit your estate according to your wishes. The people who will receive all or part of your estate are legally known as the beneficiaries. In your will, you will explicitly state which organizations, trusts, or people will get which part of your property.
To pass on assets to beneficiaries via your will, the assets can be given as personal property, real property, or in the form of cash. Personal property includes physical objects such as vehicles, jewelry, and furniture, which are not real estate property. Real property is essential real estate property, and it includes the permanent objects located on the land, such as fences.
A residual beneficiary can also be named. That way, after all the gifts from your estate have been distributed, everything left over will go to them. By naming beneficiaries of your estate in your will, you are ensuring that they can be taken care of in the future.
If you have a child or children who are under the age of 18, then a will can help specify who will be their legal guardian if you and the other parent both pass away. These can be one or two individuals who:
An experienced and knowledgeable wills attorney from the Estate Preservation Group can help you establish an estate plan to ensure that your family and other loved ones can be taken care of after you are gone.
After you pass away, someone will have to carry out the administrative tasks of handling your estate, such as settling debts, paying bills, and distributing assets. You can define this individual, who is legally known as the executor, by specifying them in your California will.
When choosing your executor or trustee, it’s important to consider someone who you know well and who is trustworthy and responsible. It’s typical to specify a secondary executor as well, in case something happens to the executor. If you are unsure about placing the burden of estate administration on a loved one, then you can appoint an institution, such as a bank, to carry it out for you.
Assets that are covered in a San Clemente, California, will only include those that were under your name at the time of your passing. They do not include joint property. A prime example of joint property would be the community property owned by you and your domestic partner or spouse. Additionally, joint property can include financial accounts or real estate property that are owned by you and one or more other people.
Retirement plans, such as an IRA or 401(k), are not covered in a California will. Additionally, any assets that already have a beneficiary are not covered either. There are also certain accounts, such as U.S. saving bonds and brokerage accounts, that can have “pay on death” or “transfer on death” conditions, which are not covered.
It is important to review your will at least every two years, depending on the complexity of your assets and certain characteristics of your estate plan. Additionally, if major life events happen, such as the birth or death of a family member, or a divorce or marriage, then your will should be changed and updated.
To alter the content of your will, you have to go through the same process as you did when creating the initial document, or you can make an amendment, otherwise known as a codicil, to your existing will. If you are unsure whether it would be more effective to write an amendment or create a new will, then a wills attorney from our estate planning law firm can advise you.
While it may be strange to think about your death ahead of time, it is important to consider what could happen in the future. Accidents can occur, and if something were to happen to you, you would want to make sure that your loved ones will have the resources they need to provide for themselves without you there.
A wills attorney from Estate Preservation Group can help you consider all the pertinent details required to craft a holistic will and corresponding estate plan. Whether you are a young parent who wants to be sure that your children will be left to people you trust or a retiree eager to pass on your inheritance properly, our legal team can help you with your case. Get in contact with Paul V. L. Campo at Estate Preservation Group today to start your estate planning journey.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice
regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.