Roseville Estate Planning Attorneys
Protecting Your Wishes, Your Family & Your Assets
Since 2010, Patton Law Group has focused on providing personalized estate planning and trust options while maintaining the highest level of respect for our clients. We know how important it is to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the assets you've worked hard for. We strive to do so with the same level of quality for you that we would for our own families.
We get it! Who has time for estate planning?! Meeting with a lawyer in Roseville, thinking about unpleasant scenarios, following up, paying for something that’s not a fun expense – it can all be overwhelming. We at Patton Law Group, however, are here to tell you that it doesn't have to be scary or difficult, and it can all be for the benefit of you and your family.
Estate planning is not just for the wealthy – if you have children, own a home, or have even minor savings stashed away, you should take steps to make sure you and your family are protected.
What’s Involved with Planning My Estate?
Estate planning involves the creation of wills, trusts and other documents that help ensure your estate is distributed according to your terms, to help avoid probate issues, and to help minimize estate taxes where possible.
Legal matters concerning estate planning include the following and more:
- Revocable/Irrevocable Living Trust
- Last Will and Testament
- Pour-Over Will
- Statutory Power of Attorney
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Living Will/Advance Health Care Directive
- Medical Authorization Release Form
- Certificate of Trust
- Assignment of Personal Property
- Assignment of Stock, Business Interest or other property
- Deed Transfers
- Personal Property Memorandum
- Community Property Agreement
- Guardianship Nomination (to protect your minor children by granting or precluding guardianship of them to an adult)
Why Should I Plan My Estate?
There are a number of reasons why most people want to strongly consider setting up a trust, or at least some form of estate plan other than a will. Explore some of the several reasons why people choose to plan an estate.
To Avoid Probate
The probate court in California is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming.
For anyone with real property (meaning a house or land) worth more than $55,425
or total assets worth more than $166,250, probate is required. While there
are a few exceptions based on how property is titled or whether beneficiaries
are designated, assets are not always titled as you may think –
or want – in order to avoid probate.
This applies to married couples in particular, who often own their home as joint tenants or community property with right of survivorship. While this type of ownership helps avoid probate when the first spouse passes, it does not avoid probate when the second spouse passes or if both spouses pass at the same time. It also does nothing to reduce or avoid taxes, which can be a huge issue – particularly if you have owned your home for some time and the value has increased, or if you are passing property to children or grandchildren.
Furthermore, probate fees are statutorily set, which means they are predetermined by the total amount of assets held in your estate. These fees are expensive and don’t include additional costs for estate taxes, court fees, appraisals, executor fees, or other costs that often arise during the probate process.
To Ensure Assets are Distributed According to Your Wishes
Many people believe that if they have a will, they have ensured that their assets will be passed along according to the wishes outlined in it. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. A judge in your probate matter has the final say and determines what to do with your estate based upon his or her own interpretation of your will, arguments made by attorneys or family members, and other factors. A trust, on the other hand, can more effectively ensure assets are transferred to whom you wish, when you wish, in the manner you wish. That’s because a trust is handled by someone you appointed, who knows you, and is more likely to understand the underlying motives described in your trust.
To Avoid Estate Taxes
Depending on what the current estate tax is and what your total assets are, this may or may not be important. This is particularly true for those in California, as property values are higher than the national average and increase the potential for an estate to fall outside of the estate tax exemption amount.
To Plan for Incapacity
It is unpleasant enough to think about death, but somehow even more unpleasant to think about what would happen if you become incapacitated. One of the major differences between a will and a trust is the ability to plan for incapacity. Because a will only comes into play once you have passed, it does no good while you are still living. So, what happens if you are alive but incapable of handling your affairs on your own? If you have no plan in place, then someone (either a friend or family member if you are lucky, or the state if you are not) gets the court to order a conservator for either your person, your finances, or both.
With a trust, you have the opportunity to plan for your incapacity. You can appoint the person that you want to handle your finances and healthcare decisions. Should you become incapacitated (or even if you simply no longer want to be in charge or have to deal with those types of decisions), the agent you have appointed can take over and handle your affairs for you. It can provide a smooth transition and peace of mind while keeping your information private and out of the court system – something that is not available with a will.
A plan for you and your family’s future can begin by calling our estate planning attorneys in Roseville at (916) 619-0783 today.
“I really feel lucky to have found you and look forward to working with you.”- Arthur W.
“Rachel explained to me very clearly what a trust was in addition to the changes I was trying to make to my will.”- Susan D.
“I would like to thank you for all your hard work helping us get our family business in order.”- Kriss D.