Anaheim Estate Planning Attorney
There are many examples to be found that indicate “living for the moment” isn’t the best way to plan for the future, and probate court is one. Probate is the expensive, emotional, and time-consuming process in which an individual’s estate is settled after their death. Fortunately, an Anaheim estate planning attorney can help put documents in place to avoid subjecting your loved ones to the difficulty of probate.
What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?
Also known as probate attorneys or estate law attorneys, an estate planning attorney is an experienced legal professional who helps their clients create documents that protect the estate from probate by designating individuals to make decisions on their behalf in case of death or incapacitation, as well as determining who will receive assets. While these documents will not always completely avoid probate, they can help make the process simpler.
Essential Estate Planning Documents
There are a number of documents that are important to have as a result of the estate planning process, including the following.
- A will and/or trust. Wills allow an individual to state who they want to receive their assets after they die. Trusts, which allow the individual to provide legal protection of assets from creditors, can also allow the individual to distribute assets while still alive in order to provide some tax benefits to beneficiaries.
- A durable power of attorney. An individual designates someone who will make decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so. There are also health care powers of attorney, which designate someone who will make medical decisions on behalf of the individual if they are incapacitated.
- Beneficiary designations. The designations of beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries for insurance policies and retirement accounts are documented.
- Guardianship designations. Someone is appointed to care for the individual’s children if they die before the children reach the age of majority or to care for the individual if they are incapacitated.
How to Avoid Common Estate Planning Mistakes
Many of the mistakes involved in estate planning involve failing to create estate planning documents, failing to tell loved ones of your wishes and where to find your estate planning documents, and failing to update the plan to reflect life changes, such as a divorce, marriage, or birth or adoption of a child. While you are responsible for letting your loved ones know about your plan, an experienced Anaheim estate planning attorney can assist you in creating or updating your estate planning documents.
How an Anaheim Estate Planning Attorney Can Help
An estate planning lawyer has experience in creating the documents necessary for a sound estate plan. They also have a firm understanding of the legal consequences of not having an estate plan in place, the tax advantages that can be created through an estate plan, and can even provide guidance as to which documents will be most beneficial in the unique circumstances of an individual’s life and estate.
Estate planning lawyers can provide additional services to meet the needs of their clients, including planning for an adult child with special needs in order to ensure they can receive the assets without jeopardizing disability benefits they are receiving, administration of the trusts their client has created, and even representation in probate. For more information, call our Anaheim estate planning attorney today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I contact an Anaheim estate planning attorney?
Estate planning is an important task for anyone over 18 who wants to determine who will obtain their assets and guardianship of their children if they die. Having these documents in place is particularly important for small business owners, those with out-of-state property or assets, those who want to leave something to their favorite charity, or even those who want to leave their assets to someone other than immediate family members.
What are the benefits of avoiding probate?
Probate often delays the ability of your beneficiaries to receive your assets. Additionally, if you do not have estate planning documents in place, your family members could be faced with legal costs and stress, particularly if someone challenges the distribution of the assets. Finally, certain estate planning documents can assist you in avoiding creating a large tax burden for your beneficiaries.
What is better: a living trust or a will?
It depends on the circumstances, but a trust will generally provide you with more control over not only who gets your assets but how they will handle those assets. With a trust, you are permitted to place a variety of conditions on those assets. For example, if you wish to leave money for your children, you can create a trust through which they only have access to a portion of the money, receive the money in payments, or they can only access the funds once they reach a certain age.
Another advantage of a trust is that you can manage the assets you place in the trust while you are alive, and they simply transfer to the successor trustee upon your death. Additionally, the successor trustee also has the ability to step in and handle your affairs if you become capacitated, whereas a will does not provide the ability to manage your assets for you until you die.
Our Estate Planning Packages & Costs
Basic Trust Packagestarting at
- Revocable Living Trust
- Pour-Over Will
- Advance Health Care Directive
- Power of Attorney
- HIPAA Authorization
- Deed transfer of a California property
Will Packagestarting at
- Advance Healthcare Directive
- Power of Attorney
- HIPAA Authorization
All of our estate planning packages are done on a flat-fee basis, so clients know how much the plans cost before getting started.
We accept payment by check, cash, and credit card (mastercard and visa).
We also have payment plan options available for clients through AFFIRM Payments.
Our Estate Planning Process
We understand that Estate Planning is generally an item on your To-Do list that keeps getting pushed towards the bottom of your list. Let’s be honest, it’s not glamourous to do and it requires you to think about things that you just don’t want to think about. But, it is so important to ensure that your family is planned for and protected.
Our process is designed to make it as easy as possible for busy families to complete their Estate Plan in 4 to 6 weeks. We have flexible schedules to allow working families to meet in the evenings or even on some Saturdays. We use the latest technology available to ensure the families can access information and messaging 24×7.
Stage 1: Family Planning Appointment
After our phone consultation, the first meeting is an opportunity for us to get to know each other to determine if we are a good fit to work together. You will need to complete a online worksheet at least 2 days prior to our meeting in preparation for it. The Family Planning Appointment uses the worksheet you complete to give us an idea of what your currently family situation and finances are. During the Family Planning Appointment, you meet with an attorney to design an Estate Plan that specifically addresses your family needs. All Estate Plans are done on a flat-fee basis so you don’t have to worry about hidden fees coming up throughout the process.
Stage 2: Pre-Signing
During this stage, your entire Estate Plan is drafted within 2 weeks of signing our legal fee agreement and paying your invoice. An Estate Planning summary is sent to you for your review and we send you any follow-up questions we have. During this stage of the process we use our online secure client portal to share documents and communicate with each other. After you review the summary, you then send back any questions or revisions using our secure client portal. You will also meet with your attorney virtually again during this stage to go through all of your estate planning documents, answer any questions, make necessary changes, discuss trust funding and next steps, and discuss your A-Team of professional advisors. We then finalize all your Estate Planning documents for your Signing.
Stage 3: Signing Estate Planning Documents
At this stage, we have an in-person meeting or online remote signing where you sign your Estate Planning documents. Our hope is at the end of the meeting, you will feel a tremendous weight lifted from you and a feeling of accomplishment for protecting your family.
Stage 4: Post-Signing
Our relationship doesn’t end at the signing. We will be in contact with you every 3 years to review your Estate Plan as part of our service. But that’s not all, as a client you will receive communications from us on an ongoing basis updating you as needed and providing you tips and education on family planning. We are always here for you if you have any questions.
Planning Framework for Parents
The Exceptional Client Experience
At Hermance Law, we strive to provide our clients with the absolute best experience possible. Our offices are child-friendly to accommodate every member of your family. Our team is dedicated to assisting you every step of the planning process. We want you to know that here you aren’t just clients, you are a part of the Hermance Law family.
We are here to help you
Do you need assistance getting your estate plan completed? We can help you get a plan in place and make sure your wishes are legally documented and that your family is protected, giving you peace-of-mind. To get started, call our office at (805) 518-9633, click below to schedule an appointment, or complete the form below and one of our team members will be in contact with you. We will help you determine what type of estate plan makes sense for your situation. You do not have to make these decisions alone.
Please complete this form and one of our team members will get in touch with you
4476 Market Street, Suite 602
Ventura, CA 93003
2829 Townsgate Road, Suite 350-B
Westlake Village, CA 91361
28015 Smyth Drive,
Valencia CA 91355
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Pasadena, CA 91106
15615 Alton Parkway, Suite 450
Irvine, CA 92618
26565 West Agoura Rd., Suite 200
Calabasas, CA 91302
Serving clients throughout California Virtually
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