Wills And Trusts Attorney in San Luis Obispo, California
Estate planning provides guidance for your spouse, children, and other family members on how you want your medical care and financial affairs to be managed if you die or become incapacitated. Having a well-thought-out estate plan could protect you, your assets, and your family. Consult our San Luis Obispo County wills and trusts attorney today to know more.
An estate consists of everything that you own – residential property, bank accounts, investments, real estate properties, vehicles, or life insurance.
An estate plan involves a set of legal documents that state your wishes for the distribution of your assets, guardianship of minor children, and even healthcare decision-making. It reduces estate taxes and ensures the proper allocation of your hard-earned properties. Furthermore, estate planning requires you to understand what you own solely and what property you own jointly with someone else. It minimizes the chances of family strife and legal court battles involving inheritance issues.
A good estate plan includes wills, trusts, financial powers of attorney, and healthcare powers of attorney. At 805 Law Group, our credible San Luis Obispo estate planning attorneys can help you determine the right estate plan for you.
The process of making a will, trusts and any other forms needed to be able to take care of your loved ones after death is not something that should be taken lightly. Consult our San Luis Obispo County wills and trusts attorney today!
What is a Will?
Wills are a part of the estate plan that helps your money, possessions, and property pass legally to your loved ones. Individuals who will receive your assets under the terms of the will are called “beneficiaries.” A will is considered as a legal document that declares your wishes to allocate all your assets and personal property after death.
You, as the testator or author of the will, should clearly state your plans on how and what to distribute to your chosen beneficiaries and heirs. It is mentally challenging to visualize one’s death, however, creating a will ahead of time will give you peace of mind knowing that you will be able to equally distribute your assets to your family.
Having a well-thought-out estate plan could protect you and your family. Consult our SLO wills and trusts attorney today to know more.
Writing A Will
Writing a will is important, not just for wealthy people, but for everyone. Your will is the key to ensuring that everything that you will leave behind when you die will be managed and handled accordingly. It is advisable to consult a reliable wills and trusts lawyer in San Luis Obispo to help you write your will according to the estate planning laws.
In writing last wills, you need to appoint a competent “executor” to carry out the will on your behalf. There are no specific restrictions in choosing an executor so you may choose any of your family members that you trust. The executor of a will is responsible for managing your properties, real estate, life insurance policies, assets, debts to be collected, tax records, tax savings, and court documents. Generally, a state probate court monitors the executor to ensure that all your instructions are carried out according to your will.
Estates planning is often one of the most important decisions we make during our lifetime – but many people don’t realize how important it is until they find themselves faced with illness or death. If this sounds like something that could be useful for you, then contact our San Luis Obispo wills and trusts attorney today about getting started on creating your estate plan!
Living Will And Healthcare Power Of Attorney
A living will is a type of estate plan that allows you to express your medical and end-of-life treatment decisions. It is also referred to as “advanced medical directives”. These are used to provide your family members and health care personnel with clear medical care instructions if you are already incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself.
A healthcare power of attorney allows you to grant legal authority to another person to make critical medical care decisions on your behalf. It can be beneficial to give someone durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions. You can give a person complete authority to make all decisions, or limit them significantly to make only specific decisions. A reliable San Luis Obispo County wills and trusts lawyer can help you understand the significance of a living will and healthcare power of attorney.
Financial Power Of Attorney
A financial power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to handle your finances and assets on your behalf. This kind of power of attorney (POA) is also known as the general power of attorney. You can use it if you become disabled, incapacitated, or unable to manage your finances.
The person who grants the authority is called the principal-agent while the appointed person is called the attorney-in-fact. A financial power of attorney letter is automatically extinguished upon the principal’s death. If you can’t decide on your own and have not granted a durable financial power of attorney to someone, a probate court will designate a person to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
What is a Trust?
Aside from creating a will, a trust is another method of estate transfer that involves a fiduciary relationship. It involves the process of giving authority to another party (trustee) to handle your assets in favor of your beneficiaries. Furthermore, creating separate trusts allows its assets to transfer outside of probate and may reduce the inheritance taxes due.
Trusts are often used in estate planning because they reduce the amount of estate tax that must be paid, avoid the time and expense of probate proceedings, and govern the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
The person establishing the trust is called the “grantor” or “settlor”. Trusts are used to protect the assets of the grantor by moving them to an independent trust entity and distributing them to the trust’s beneficiaries. Moreover, the trustee is liable for acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
A trust can be made depending on its function and can be classified into two categories: revocable (living trusts) and irrevocable trusts. A knowledgeable wills and trusts attorney in California can help you understand how trusts can help you in your estate planning.
Revocable Trusts (Living Trusts)
Revocable trusts are often referred to as living trusts because they can be modified during the grantor’s lifetime. It is called a living trust because it is created while the trustor is still alive. It is revocable since it may be subject to change during the life of the trustor. The trustor maintains “ownership” of the property held by the trust while the trustor is alive.
A revocable living trust allows you to appoint a trustee to manage and distribute trust property both while you are alive and after your death, and this takes the place of the executor working with the probate court. A probate court is the judicial system section responsible for settling wills, trusts, conservatorships, and guardianships.
A revocable trust can provide maximum flexibility in estate planning. However, it does not provide much asset protection since the grantor has the authority to modify, add, or remove assets from the trust. Once the grantor dies, the revocable trust becomes an irrevocable trust.
Imagine having an attorney who can help you create your own revocable trust to ensure that you and your family is taken care of. Our San Luis Obispo wills and trusts attorney will make sure that all your legal documents are properly executed so that they stand up in court if necessary. Consult our San Luis Obispo County wills and trusts lawyers today.
Irrevocable living trusts can’t be modified or terminated. In this type of trust, the grantor gives up complete control over the trust property. The grantor’s assets are moved to the trust when it is created, and the assets are no longer considered their property.
This type of trust has tax advantages that revocable trusts just don’t provide. Irrevocable trusts also shield assets from creditors. Even though you’ll give up control over the trust property, you do have control over the rules that govern the trust and you can determine the uses of the trust assets. Since there are no modifications with an irrevocable trust, consulting a qualified San Luis Obispo will and trust lawyer can help set up your trust beforehand.
Consult A Wills And Trusts Attorney Today!
No one knows what will happen in the future, therefore, it is important to plan our life ahead of time. Proper estate planning is the key to ensuring that everything that you will leave behind when you die will be managed and handled accordingly. Without a plan in place, there could be a long-lasting impact on your loved ones.
Given the complex nature of estate planning, consulting our experienced San Luis Obispo wills and trusts attorneys at 805 Law Group can make things less complicated. Our San Luis Obispo estate planning law firm will ensure that your assets are well-distributed according to your wishes. We will help you protect your family and your legacy for the future.
When it comes to preparing your estate plan, do not delay! Consult a reliable San Luis Obispo County wills and trusts attorney today!