Southern California Estate Planning Lawyer

Creating Customized Estate Plans to Give Families the Peace of Mind They Deserve

Estate planning is often an overlooked legal resource that benefits individuals and their families. Many people are under the mistaken impression that only high-net-worth individuals need to engage in estate planning. However, families who have minor children or business entities must have a comprehensive estate plan that provides legal guidance after their death.

Sadly, many individuals put off estate planning until they have grown older, or it is too late.

However, The Element Law Firm, PC, has extensive experience creating estate plans based on your family’s needs. Our practice focuses on various aspects of family law and the estate planning process.

If you want more information about how an estate plan can help you plan for the future, contact the law offices of the Element Law Firm, PC of Southern California, immediately to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call. Our highly trained estate planning attorney will gladly discuss your case and determine your legal options.

Why Do I Need to Create an Estate Plan?

Many Southern California residents mistakenly believe that their assets will automatically be passed on to their immediate family members if they pass away without a will. In other cases, individuals believe that simply having a will is enough to protect their loved ones after their death.

However, when individuals die “intestate,” their estate may be subject to the lengthy and time-consuming probate process, which may take up to 18 months or longer to complete. For high-net-worth individuals with assets such as real property and bank accounts valued over $184,500 who die without leaving a will, their estate will be subject to probate.

Additionally, those individuals who own family businesses must create viable estate plans that protect what they have worked to achieve. An experienced estate planner can help individuals with advanced business planning to ensure the organization continues to thrive after they pass away.

Estate planning is one of the simplest ways to plan for your family and have peace of mind that they will be able to have the financial resources they need to survive after your death.

If you have questions about probate law, business planning, or any other estate planning questions, contact Element Law Firm, PC, to learn how we can protect your interests.

What Should Be Included in a Comprehensive Estate Plan?

Suppose you are considering creating an estate plan. In that case, hiring a skilled California estate planning attorney who can review your financial circumstances and create a custom-tailored plan to provide for your needs is always best.

Several crucial estate planning documents must be present to ensure individuals have a comprehensive plan. As a result, components of a thorough estate plan must include:

  • A last will and testament.
  • A living trust
  • A pour-over will that states all property and assets the trustor owns will transfer into a trust upon their death.
  • A durable power of attorney for their property and health care needs.
  • Advance health care directives to express your medical wishes or end-of-life decisions.
  • Designated beneficiaries for life insurance, retirement accounts, or annuities.

For individuals who are considering estate planning, it is always best to hire a well-qualified legal professional who can provide you with sound advice regarding other crucial aspects of legacy planning, including:

  • Asset protection
  • Tax planning and tax law
  • Business law
  • Contact Element Law Firm, PC, and ask to speak with our knowledgeable estate planning attorney, who can provide more information.

What are the Benefits of Having a Living Trust?

Although many Southern California residents recognize the importance of having a will, many need to be made aware of the benefits of having a living trust.

In addition to ensuring that your final wishes are known to your beneficiaries, having a living trust allows you and your beneficiaries to maintain privacy. California probate law states that once a will has been probated, it becomes a matter of public record.

However, living trusts remain private even after the successor trustee has distributed trust assets.

Trusts also offer asset protection as all property is considered the property of the trust and not the grantor. However, any property in a trust is still subject to applicable income tax.

Some common trusts include:

  • Annuity trusts: Trusts that allow the grantor to pass their assets to beneficiaries without gift tax.
  • Qualified personal residence trusts: A qualified personal residence trust allows the grantor to remove their qualifying home from being included in their estate, which helps to reduce the estate tax their heirs will have to pay.
  • Special needs trusts: A special needs trust allows disabled individuals to have financial resources at their disposal without jeopardizing their eligibility to obtain necessary public assistance benefits.

However, suppose you are considering establishing a trust. In that case, you must have a skilled estate planning attorney who can advise you regarding related issues such as trust administration, post-death administration, and the benefits of wealth transfer planning.

Does Your California Estate Planning Attorney Have Experience in Creating Estate Plans?

Element Law Firm, PC is passionately committed to helping individuals with their estate planning needs. Our legal team recognizes that it can be challenging to try and think about the time after you pass away. However, proper estate planning can help you and your family have peace of mind that they will have access to the financial resources they need after your death.

Our estate planning attorney has extensive experience helping clients protect their assets and plan for the future. We take pride in offering estate planning legal services that suit a variety of our client’s needs.

Unlike other estate planning attorneys who try to direct their clients into what they feel is best, our law firm takes time to listen and create estate plans that will provide them maximum protection.

Our attorney has in-depth experience in the estate planning field and would be honored to assist you in creating estate documents.

For estate planning help, contact our Southern California law office at 760-642-6111 to schedule a consultation.