Every adult, regardless of what they own, needs an estate plan to take care of those they love.

A will might be appropriate when you do not have minor children or own real estate and your assets subject to probate are under $150,000. Everyone over the age of 18 should have a will plan at the very minimum.

  • Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters
  • Advance Health Care Directive for the client and all of the client’s adult children
  • Counsel regarding asset protection

Real Estate is often subject to probate if it is not held in a revocable trust. Placing real estate in a revocable trust does not limit your ability to sell, transfer or refinance the property. Joint tenancy is not a substitution for a trust.

  • Transfer of Real Estate to Trust
  • Revocable Trust (with associated Certification and asset transfers)
  • Pour Over Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advance Health Care Directive
  • Counsel Regarding asset protection

Minor children do not have the legal capacity to inherit. With a personalized trust parents decide when their children receive their inheritance – at specified ages, for specified reasons and with specified limitations.

  • Guardianship designation. – This multi-page documents allows parents to designate interim guardians who can act until the nominated guardians arrive to care for the children. Parents can express their preferences for education, religion, continued relationships with friends and family members, and share their values and vision for their children.
  • Revocable Trust (with associated Certification and asset transfers)
  • Transfer of Real Estate to Trust if needed
  • Pour Over Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advance Health Care Directive
  • Counsel Regarding asset protection

California’s Default Estate Plan

Conservatorship: If you are unable to manage your own financial affairs or advocate for your own health care decisions, you might be conserved. This is an expensive court process that exposes your frailties to the public and the court assigns someone to act as your agent to make decisions for you.

Probate: Estates valued over $150,000 may be subject to probate. Your assets, creditors and beneficiaries become public record in court filings. Your assets will be frozen until the court grants your executor permission to make distributions. The attorney and the executor are each entitled to 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate, 3% of the next $100,000, 2% of the next $800,000, and 1% of the next $9 million.

Minor Children: Minor children will be placed where it is “necessary and convenient” until guardianship proceedings are held.