With the rising uncertainty in today’s economy, it is more and more important for individuals to utilize the benefits of an estate planning attorney. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy, in fact, those with a limited amount of assets often times benefit more from an estate plan in terms of preservation of their assets.
In Orange County the first step is to find the right Estate Planning Attorney – one who approaches estate planning not as an isolated field, but who also considers the intricacies of tax law and the constant threat of litigation.
Our Orange County attorneys can help you with Trusts and Wills and all aspects of your estate planning. Our strategies incorporate knowledge of tax law, wills and trusts, business law, and business -- all essentials for estate planning in California. We will develop a solid estate plan that will not only achieve our client’s goals in regard to protection and transfer of their assets, but will also withstand the test of time. Assets of an estate are often attacked through litigation, by IRS actions and audits as well as individuals with an alleged or actual interest in the asset. It is important that the estate plan protecting these assets can withstand such attacks and give you the peace of mind you need.
How does one decide between a living trust and a will? What is the difference between the two? It is important to understand what both things are in order to properly implement an estate planning strategy based on your own individual circumstances.
A formally executed will is a written, signed, and properly witnessed legal document that distributes your property and assets to your beneficiaries according to your exact wants and specifications, but is only effective upon your death. To ensure that the will is properly distributed, an executor will most likely manage the entire process, making it a low-cost and valuable option after one deceases.
A living trust is also a formal written legal document that places property or assets into a trust for the benefit of beneficiaries or yourself. A living trust usually designates a trustee (someone to administer and manage the trust property), or you can choose to serve as your own trustee. The trustee holds legal title to the property and is in charge of administering the trust. When acting as your own trustee, upon your death, or if there is an accident that causes you to be disabled or severely ill, there will usually be a designated successor trustee who can manage the trust property upon that triggering event.The benefits of a will over a living trust include, but are not limited to the following:
(i) Lower drafting costs and expenses;
(ii) Straightforward process;
(iii) Less management of the will required;
(iv) No funding required.
The benefits of a living trust over a will include, but are not limited to the following:
(i) Avoids probate process on assets;
(ii) Desired trustee will manage assets in emergencies, without court intervention;
(iii) Remains private upon death;
(iv) More control over your property after you decease.
In reality, most estate plans contain both a will and some form of trust. Contact us and we will have our estate planning attorney talk to you about your specific needs.
Contact us today to speak to an estate and trust attorney for your needs in Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, or anywhere in Orange County California. We can guide you through this process.
Our estate planning lawyers serve all of Orange County California, including Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Orange, Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, and Laguna.