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California Estate Planning Law Firm

Congratulations on taking the next step to getting a plan in place to protect your family. We know it’s hard to think about and just know we are here to make the process as painless and easy for you as possible.

You may be here because you think you need a Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, Living Will, Guardian Nomination or maybe all of them together. Or perhaps, you have lost a loved one and need help trying to figure out what the next steps are after they passed away. Do you need a probate attorney or trust administration? What do you do with the will or what if they didn’t have a will? How can you access their bank accounts and what do you do with their home? It can be very confusing and these are all questions that our estate planning attorneys can assist you with.

Meet Our Team

Work with a California family estate planning firm that leads with family first. Our children are our motivation, and our parents are our anchors. With a multilingual and diverse legal team, we understand your needs.

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Are Your Kids Protected if the Unthinkable Happens?

Have you considered who will be appointed guardian for your child in the short- or long-term if something happens to you?

Naming someone a godparent is not enough. Without a concrete plan, someone who may not be your ideal choice will be appointed for you.

There are ways to protect your child while you are alive. Your child’s grandparents or babysitter may know your child’s allergies, but do they have the authorization to make medical decisions at the emergency room?

These are concerns many parents don’t even know they should have. Let’s discuss solutions together.

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California Probate Lawyers & Trust Administration Attorneys

Consulting an experienced estate planning attorney committed to easing your burden while defending your interests might be a wise choice at a difficult and strenuous time.

Hermance Law’s estate planning attorneys are skilled at navigating the Probate Court or Trust Administration process on behalf of our clients. We know how to distribute all the assets to your loved one’s final beneficiaries in the most timely and cost-effective manner. We have handled numerous probate and trust administration situations.

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Let's Get Real About Your Real Estate

Long-term property ownership rights may be impacted by how you choose to hold title to your real estate. Therefore, choosing the best method of holding title in California for the property in question is crucial if you anticipate purchasing, acquiring, inheriting, or gifting a piece of property.

Maybe you have an understanding of the right of survivorship. But did you know the surviving spouse may be denied significant income tax benefits if the husband and wife are joint tenants? Also, your assets become vulnerable to the claims of your kid’s creditors if you register their names on the title.

Our California real estate probate lawyers here will advise you on the best course of action for you!

We are here to help you

Do you need assistance getting your Estate Plan completed or do you have a loved one or family member that has recently passed away and you need assistance?

Call our office at (805) 518-9633 to schedule an appointment, or complete the form – and one of our team members will be in contact with you.

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We are probate lawyers, but we are also parents. We have great resources on estate planning for parents, focusing on what parents can do to protect their children in emergencies.

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Serving Clients throughout California

Find an Office Location Near You

Maybe you don’t know what you need or even where to start, and that is no problem at all. Our estate planning attorneys have offices located in Ventura, Westlake Village, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, and Irvine and serve clients virtually throughout California where we will help you design a unique plan to fit your specific family’s needs. Please don’t stress about this, we are here for you.

FAQ

What happens to inheritance for minors?

If a child inherits a home, note that in California, a minor cannot legally own property until they are 18 years old. If a minor inherits $5,000 or less, the money must be kept in trust until the minor turns 18.

If the inheritance value exceeds $5,000, contact an inheritance lawyer here at Hermance Law for more information.

Who should I appoint as a trustee?

A trustee can be any adult above the age of 18. It is possible to name just one trustee. However, it is typically advised that you name at least two.

Select a candidate with the necessary time, drive, and knowledge to complete the administrative tasks and other requirements required by the position.

There are also specialist trust firms created especially to carry out this function. The California trust attorneys here at Hermance Law assist with creating trusts.

How do I estate plan for minor children?

You can build your estate plan to safeguard your children’s inheritance in the event of unforeseen events in your life.

For your minor children, you can name a guardian to whom you can give precise instructions from you regarding what needs to be done, when, and how. Estate planning for minor children also involves giving medical care and treatment permission.

If your estate plan calls for a California trust attorney, we can help in appointing someone to be in charge of managing your assets for your child.

Will my beneficiaries be taxed?

Generally speaking, California does not tax inheritance. You won’t be required to pay tax on your inheritance if you are a beneficiary. A part of the income from your inheritance may be liable to income tax if it is held in a trust.

Ask an expert California estate planning attorney at Hermance Law for more information on this topic.

Who will take care of my children?

If both parents pass away before the child reaches adulthood, a legal guardian is an adult chosen to take care of the child. You can name legal guardians for your minor children in a will. You must select a guardian so that, in the worst-case scenario, the courts do not act on your behalf.

Speak to a California wills attorney for information on how to do this.

Can my will be challenged?

Your will can be challenged. Wills are frequently challenged on the grounds that the individual who wrote the will lacked the mental capacity to do so.

As will dispute attorneys, we also see instances where fraud is one motive, along with allegations of force or undue influence when making the will.

If you think one of these may apply to you, consult a California will contest attorney here at Hermance Law.

Why should I avoid probate?

Avoiding probate in California doesn’t mean not drafting a will. Avoiding probate is a deliberate act. The majority of the decedent’s possessions must go through the probate process.

There are a few situations where property and assets can avoid probate. In California, a probate case typically lasts between 9 and 24 months, and the process can be costly. It is advised to keep your options open by speaking to a California will contest attorney.

Where should I keep my will, trust, and other estate planning documents?

Ensure that you make copies of the documents. Your estate planning attorney could hold the original documents, if possible, but if you decide to keep them yourself, you should locate a secure place to store them and ensure that your loved ones know where to find them.

Do I need a will or a trust?

Depending on your specific needs, our firm’s California estate planning attorney can inform you of whether a will or trust is right for you. A combination of a will and trust may even be ideal for you.

Who will manage my assets?

After your passing, the assets in your estate will be managed by the representative for your estate. If you have a will, this will be the executor.

An executor often submits the will for probate, takes measures to safeguard the estate’s assets, distributes assets to recipients, settles the estate’s outstanding obligations, and pays taxes.

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