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Irvine Estate Planning Attorney
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Estate Planning in Irvine, CA

There are few things as intimidating as the task of completing your estate plan. The best time to plan for your incapacity or passing, though, is while you’re still healthy.

With a little time, effort, and guidance from a trusted estate planning professional, you can develop a plan to protect your family and get peace-of-mind. Failing to complete a proper estate plan can place the security of your family and assets in jeopardy.

Get the protection you deserve—book a free estate planning session with an Irvine estate planning attorney today.

What and who is in Your Estate Plan? 

Your estate is comprised of everything you own: your home (including all the stuff inside your home), bank accounts, 401k, business holdings, investment accounts, etc. In addition to what you own, your estate must also consider your minor children and pets.

It’s important to be thoughtful and strategic about how, when, and to whom your estate is divided and distributed. Inaction can lead to the government taking over control of the distribution of your assets after you pass. This is known as intestacy and generally involves probate court. This intestacy process leaves your loved ones with few options and places your legacy in the hands of the government.

Advantages of Establishing an Estate Plan

A well-prepared estate plan can ensure the safety and security of your family long after you have passed. A financial planner can help you make important financial decisions about your estate while you’re still in good health and help ensure your trust is funded and safeguarded for the next generation.

If your trust is unfunded (meaning you haven’t put any money or assets in it), your loved ones could face a public, costly, and time-consuming probate process upon your death. Don’t worry, funding the trust sounds complicated but working with a professional like us makes it fairly easy.

You May Want To Not Use Use Just A Will

Many presume that a will is more than enough to convey their wishes for their estate after they pass. Unfortunately, with only a will, the plans for your assets are only effective upon your death and require probate court proceeding to work. If you become incapacitated, your assets will be under the control of a court-appointed conservator.

Even when your distribution plans for your assets are honored, it is easy for loved ones to see an inheritance as a windfall. Too often, a person’s legacy is frittered away by poor decisions made by grieving family members.

That’s why most inheritances are gone within a mere five years of receipt. A failure to consider the long-term implications of their financial choices often results in one’s inheritance disappearing practically overnight.

With the help of an estate planning lawyer, you can ensure your beneficiaries are taken care of and that the assets are distributed in a way that will be the most beneficial to all involved.

How Our Irvine Estate Planning Lawyers Help You 

At Hermance Law, we offer strategic legal advice and estate planning services tailored to your family and financial dynamic.

Here are four ways we can use estate planning tools to help you.

Wills: Making Your Wishes Known

A last will and testament is a signed and witnessed written document whose terms go into effect when you die. With it, you can designate beneficiaries, select guardians for young children, and appoint an Executor of your estate. 

Drafting a will is a quick and painless way of allowing your wishes to be known, and therefore a great starting point for beginners. Speak with a Irvine will lawyer to ensure your will is drafted legally, ethically, and properly according to your wishes.

Trusts: Asset Protection That Works

Creating a living trust is one of the best ways to avoid probate. Trusts come in various forms, but their overall purpose is to set aside assets for your heirs and prevent those assets from being forced through the costly and time-consuming probate process.

Trusts work by transferring ownership of the assets from your name to a trustee, who manages the assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. Our Irvine trust lawyers can help set up a trust document that meets your needs and assist in trust administration when the time comes.

Guardianship: Estate Planning for the Vulnerable

When it comes to estate planning, planning for the vulnerable is a must. An estate plan can be used to address concerns regarding the care of young children, special needs family members, and incapacitated adults.

Speak to one of our Irvine guardianship attorneys about establishing guardianship and how you can ensure your loved ones have a bright future.

Probate: What Happens When You Don’t Plan

Without proper estate planning, you leave your estate at the mercy of your local probate court. Even with a will, you risk the details of your estate becoming public knowledge and your loved ones fighting in probate court over their rights to property, accounts, and other assets.

Should your family find themselves heading to court for probate matters, our experienced probate lawyers can help them navigate the probate process, ensuring things go as smoothly as possible.

Services We Offer In Our Irvine Estate Planning Attorney Office

We are here to help you

No two families are the same, so no two estate plans will be.

To discuss your custom California estate plan strategy, contact us. Let’s chat. We assure you that you will be able to communicate openly with us in a no-cost consultation, whether in English or Spanish.

Click below to schedule an appointment, or complete the form here. A member of our estate planning team will contact you!

Our team can provide services to you in

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Reviews

Excellent
Based on 119 reviews
Matt Morrisset
Matt Morrisset
2024-02-13
Efficient, knowledgeable, patient, attention to detail, straight forward pricing, flexible scheduling are some of the words I would use to describe our experience with Jennifer at Hermance Law . The team made what seemed to be a daunting task, easy and we now have the piece of mind that are our future and our children's future is better planned and simplified.
Andy Wombwell
Andy Wombwell
2024-02-09
We had a great experience with Hermance. Jennifer explained everything and made the process easy for us. We’re very glad we worked with her!
Sydney Robertson
Sydney Robertson
2024-02-09
I worked with Jennifer to set up my trust and will, and found the process to be smooth and thorough. Jennifer was quick to respond to my questions, gave me good information so that I could make informed decisions, and handled the paperwork efficiently. I strongly recommend Jennifer Romero and Hermance Law for your estate planning.
Thomas Lyon
Thomas Lyon
2024-02-02
I reached out to Hermance Law to update my estate plan. Jennifer Romero and the other staff at Hermance are terrific. True professionals. I encouraged other family members do the same. We all now have the comfort and security of complete estate plans.
Tim H
Tim H
2024-01-22
I had a great experience with Jennifer Romero at Hermance Law. I went into the consultation with no expectations or knowledge of the process for establishing a Trust and was very impressed and comfortable through the whole process. Jennifer was very receptive, knowledgeable and understanding of my questions and we were able to get it done in an efficient manner. Once everything was signed, I was given clear actionable directions that allowed me to take care of "my side" of things and I'm happy with the outcome. For anyone that is unsure if they need estate planning, I encourage you to attend one of their free informative classes. I didn't need to after my first call, but you won't regret it if you're on the fence.
Gina Saucedo
Gina Saucedo
2024-01-12
Hermance Law Estate Planning along with Jennifer Romero was very convenient, easy and affordable
Angela Ruiz
Angela Ruiz
2024-01-12
Thank you for all you help and explaining everything to us along the way.
Destiny James
Destiny James
2023-10-07
The estate planning workshop was well organized and informative. All questions were well received and answered. At the end there was transparency with pricing if you moved forward with estate planning. All staff in the office were friendly.
Adriana Melling
Adriana Melling
2023-10-07
Excellent workshop! I highly recommend!
Erika Henderson
Erika Henderson
2023-10-07
This workshop was really helpful for my mom to see the benefits of a living trust. She is excited to get started with Hermance Law!

Resources

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

We understand that this can be overwhelming. Family estate planning forces uncomfortable conversations about preparing for unfavorable eventualities. Rest assured that we are as empathetic as we are knowledgeable.

Find us in Ventura, Westlake Village, Valencia, Pasadena, Calabasas, Santa Clarita, and Irvine, or connect with us virtually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is estate planning expensive?

What’s great about estate planning is it’s tailored to your needs. Therefore the costs of estate planning will depend on the amount and type of assets you have and the kinds of tools and legal services that would be most beneficial to you. During your free consultation, you can ask your attorney about legal fees.

How often should I update my estate plan?

A general rule of thumb is to update your estate plan every three to five years. Additionally, you should revisit your estate plan after a major life event, such as getting married, having a child, or moving to a different state. Your needs will change as you progress through life, so it’s important to update your estate plan every once in a while.

What is the difference between a will and a trust?

Wills and trusts are similar, but they have different purposes. A will is a document that explains exactly how you want your assets to be distributed once you die. Your will may include your executor and instructions for your funeral.

A trust is an arrangement that allows you, the grantor, to transfer assets to a trustee. A trust defines the trustee’s ownership to the assets and how they should handle the distributions. The trustee must manage the assets as defined in the trust. Trusts are effective once the trustee transfers the assets, while wills become effective when the decedent dies.

How do I control what happens to me if I become incapacitated?

If you cannot make and convey your own decisions, an advance directive outlines the kind of medical and personal care you would choose. Your advance directive can indicate who will represent you in decision-making and communication and what to do if you go into a coma.

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