Estate Planning Lawyer Orange CA
If you need an estate planning lawyer in Orange, CA, how about one who will come to you if you’re local for no extra cost? Or work with you online wherever you are. You want to talk with Holborn Law. They also offer a free consultation.
First of all, an estate plan allows you to specify exactly where your assets go after you pass. That could be to your spouse and children or it could be to your favorite non-profit or other institution. The point is you get to choose rather than leaving it to the state’s decision. Yes, if you die without a will or an estate plan in California, the state will make those decisions for you.
If, for example, you have minor children an estate plan lets you specify who will take care of them. Again, if you haven’t specified how your children are to be cared for, it could be left to the state to decide.
If, like many, you’re vaguely aware that trusts can make the disposition of your estate easier or at least clear to your heirs, your estate plan could include the kind of trust or trusts you’d use and how they would be handled – again, you get to make these choices.
Long term care is another major issue that you can handle with the right kind of estate plan.
Whether you’re young or old, rich or poor, an estate planning lawyer in Orange, CA, can help you protect your family and keep them from fighting over your assets after your death. Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be painful and frustrating, and if there is any animosity between your family and friends, it may all bubble to the surface after your passing.
Estate planning isn’t just for your peace of mind: It’s for everyone you care about, and it’s for how your legacy carries on. Read on to learn a little more about estate planning and how you and your lawyer can take steps to keep your family together through thick and thin.
WHAT’S THE POINT OF ESTATE PLANNING?
Over time, we all build up a collection of assets. Assets can include physical possessions, investments, and anything else we’ve worked hard to make for ourselves throughout a lifetime. Of course, all those assets have to go somewhere after you die, and whether that goes to your family, friends, charity, or anywhere else is entirely up to you – but you have to lay down the game plan and provide the instructions.
Hypothetically, let’s say you didn’t leave behind a will. In the event of your untimely and sudden demise, your family and friends will be grief-stricken and also entirely lost when it comes to your belongings. If you fail to provide any instructions regarding your estate, your loved ones will have to sort through everything on your account. Lack of an estate plan may open the floodgates for endless arguing, fighting, and even legal cases as they battle over each shred of your legacy.
As an estate planning lawyer in Orange, CA can explain, even if you leave behind a will, your family will be dealing with frustrating and time-consuming challenges. If there’s a will, there’s probate, and the probate process can be almost as challenging as figuring out what to do with an estate with no will at all.
If your loved ones need to go through probate, it means they have to track down every one of your assets, and they have to assign a value to everything with the help of independent assessors. The executor (the person named in your will to handle the distribution of your estate) needs to be someone you – and your whole family – can trust. Otherwise, someone might challenge the appointment and try to prioritize their own needs and ambitions ahead of the rest of the beneficiaries.
And, of course, after the assets are finally tracked down and any outstanding debts are paid off, your loved ones will have to pay taxes on their shares of your estate before finally getting whatever’s leftover for them. Imagine going through all of the paperwork, fees, and drama while still grieving for the loss of a loved one – and imagine if that bitter fight over your assets is all people remember from your passing. Is that the mark you want to leave in the memories of your loved ones?
CONTACT AN ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER TODAY
It’s possible to protect your family from a lengthy fight over your belongings and a challenging probate process. When you reach out to a qualified estate planning lawyer, you’re getting valuable advice and instruction on how you can make your estate as painless as possible for your family and friends to divide upon your passing.
It’s challenging to think about our mortality, but it’s essential to know your loved ones are cared for after your death. Reach out to an estate planning lawyer in Orange, CA today, and see how Holborn Law can help you plan for tomorrow.
Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions
Estate planning may seem like an abstract idea for those who have never engaged in the process but, when you work with an estate planning lawyer in Orange, CA, you can have a clear understanding of what it entails. Many people do not realize that an estate plan is comprised of several critical documents that outline how you would like your wishes carried out should you become incapacitated or pass away. Working with a firm like Holborn Law can assist with making sure all necessary documents are drawn up, for example:
- The Last Will and Testament
- Letter of Intent
- Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Directives
- Beneficiary Designations
- Guardianship Designations
When developing these essential documents, questions are sure to arise over the process:
What is the role of an executor, and how should I identify someone for this role?
An executor plays a vital role after a person has passed away. Typically the executor is identified by the decedent when they are developing their estate plan. However, the probate court may appoint the executor when a person passes away without a will. The court may appoint someone from the family or even a professional to manage the process. Choosing an executor is a critical part of estate planning, and it will be essential to make sure that you choose someone who is up for the task. Our Orange, California estate planning lawyer suggests keeping the following in mind:
- Pick someone willing to carry this responsibility
- Select an alternate executor should your first choice not be up for the task
- Speak with them before appointing them to the role
- Name someone who will be able to manage familial conflict and carry out your wishes the way you intended them
What are the benefits of keeping assets out of probate?
Probate is often a process that many are looking to avoid. However, keep in mind that the court must validate all wills. Because of this, testators will want to minimize the number of assets that pass through probate. Avoiding probate allows the estate’s contents to remain private, reduce the taxes paid on the estate, and ensure a more timely process.
What assets can avoid probate with the proper planning?
When testators put forth the proper planning, several assets do not need to pass through probate. Remember that the testator must name a beneficiary for many of these situations:
- Retirement Accounts
- Bank Accounts
- Property in a Trust
- Properties owned in joint-tenancy
What does payable on death mean, and what accounts are considered POD?
Payable on death (POD) is an agreement made with the testator’s institution agreeing to turn over any assets to the beneficiaries named on the accounts upon passing. POD accounts include checking accounts and savings accounts. However, it’s important to know that POD accounts are often confused with transfer on death (TOD) accounts. TOD accounts transfer owners rather than paying funds to beneficiaries. Examples of TOD accounts are retirement accounts, stocks, and bonds.
Professionals from Holborn Law bring more than just experience and compassion; we are also patient. Developing an estate plan involves making important decisions regarding the future, which you won’t take likely. Because of this, you deserve to have someone by your side who will make recommendations and help develop documents that you can have confidence in. Let our estate planning lawyer in Orange, California, help you create an estate plan that secures your assets and clearly outlines your wishes today.
Beginning Estate Planning
Life is meant to be lived. That’s what they all say. But life, sadly, is not eternal. One day, we will all be lowered into the ground and, when that time comes, we want to know that the property and people we leave behind are well taken care of. The last thing you want to fear when you’re passing away is whether your family can survive financially without you or if a certain person will have access to that fancy lounge chair when you really wanted someone else to have it. You can address these concerns now by hiring an estate planning lawyer in Orange CA by contacting the experienced estate lawyers at Holborn Law today.
What Is Estate Planning and Its Benefits?
Whether you are in perfect health, decent health, or failing health, it is recommendable to consider planning your estate now. Your estate is anything that you own in your name – real property. These include liabilities and debts, as well as your assets (i.e. property, such as your car, home, expensive jewelry, inheritance). When you plan your estate, you arrange who will oversee your assets and how your assets will be distributed during and after your life. The person who oversees your estate is your executor. The people who receive your assets are your beneficiaries.
Because some people find the term “estate planning” confusing or would like to know how it differs from a will, we will tell you. But first, let us discuss the vast benefits of estate planning. When you have an estate plan, you retain full control over your assets, even if you fall into poor physical or mental health. In other words, you won’t have to worry about someone falsely accusing you of having dementia so that she or he can gain control over what’s yours. Other important benefits include, but are not limited to:
- You can better protect your family’s money by naming who gets what instead of leaving this up in the air for the state to take your money or a financially-unsound relative to take your money
- The minimization of transfer tax, which allows more money to go directly to your loved ones
- A peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be followed
How Is Estate Planning Separate From A Will?
There are several stark differences between an estate plan and a will. For example, a will only goes into effect after you die whereas your estate plan can go into effect while you’re alive. If you write a will, it must be signed by hand and have two witnesses (who must also sign), and someone may challenge its validity if its arguable that you were mentally incompetent or incapacitated at the time that you wrote it. In other words, you may lose control over how your assets are handled, and your wishes may not be followed. Rather, they may be ignored entirely, especially if someone argues you were incompetent during the entire creation of your will. Also, a will is far less inclusive than an estate plan.
One of the best estate planning lawyers Orange CA has to offer can better explain these differences so that you will know whether you would like to do one or both. Either way, one of our knowledgeable lawyers at Holborn Law is qualified to help you.
Why isn’t a will enough?
A will is certainly a good start and better than nothing but if all you leave behind is a will your heirs will have to deal with probate.
Unfortunately, probate is a fairly long process because so much has to be decided by the courts. While generally probate will last about a year, it can go much longer. Tragically, probate also has a reputation of opening the doors on family disputes about the distribution of your assets and other issues, including who will care for minor children.
Much of this can be avoided with a proper estate plan. It makes your desires clear, tends to eliminate arguments and moves the process of distributing your assets and obligations along in a fairly rapid and predictable fashion.