Estate Planning

Estate planning is about helping you protect yourself, your loved ones and your assets during your lifetime and after.

 

Why Do You Need an Estate Planning Attorney?

Estate planning with our approach enables you to:

Help your family

Avoid putting your family through the stress that comes with the probate process while they are trying to adjust to life without you.

Protect your assets

Save potentially thousands of dollars in probate fees and estate taxes so that more of your assets will go to your loved ones rather than to attorneys and the government.

Maintain control over your assets

Control who receives your assets after your lifetime, how much they receive and under what conditions. Estate planning is a great way to ensure your assets will go to the people and organizations you feel will appreciate the gifts and use them in ways that are consistent with your values and beliefs.

Protect your beneficiaries from themselves

Structure gifts to your children and grandchildren so that they can receive money for things like education, buying a home or retirement, without giving them unrestricted access to any money until the age(s) you deem appropriate.

Protect minor children

Identify whom you would want to raise your young children in the event you and your child’s other parent become incapacitated or pass away. Identifying your guardianship preferences before it’s too late can make the guardianship process easier on your kids.

Have less stress

No matter what happens to you, you have already predetermined how you and your family will be taken care of and by whom.

Prevent family arguments

When your financial and medical wishes are clearly spelled out in a comprehensive estate plan, there is often more family support for your decisions and less second-guessing by family members.

How Can Our Santa Rosa Estate Planning Law Firm Help You?

Integrated Estate Plans

We help our clients by crafting customized estate plans using tools such as:

  • Wills
  • Revocable trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Advance health care directives

Probate and Estate Administration

When a person passes away, many things have to be done to complete their estate. We can assist executors and trustees with their responsibilities, including:

  • Preparing or reviewing documents for the court
  • Distributing property to heirs and beneficiaries

Choosing Fiduciaries

An executor should be named in a will to administer the estate. Similarly, a trustee must be named in a trust to administer a trust estate. Executors and trustees are fiduciaries, which means they are required to:

  • Put the beneficiaries’ interests before their own personal interests and
  • Remain impartial

Most people’s initial inclination is to name their children as their fiduciaries in their estate plans. We have found, however, that sometimes children are not the best choice for this role. This is especially true when the children do not have the skills, interest, time or ability to remain impartial or put their personal interests aside. There are professional fiduciaries we work with who can step into the role of executor or trustee in situations like these.

Taxes

We assist our clients with various tax-related issues, including:

  • Estate taxes
  • Gift taxes
  • Property taxes
  • Tax planning

We welcome you to reach out to us by email or telephone! Call us at 707.542.2889707.542.2889 or click here to email us.

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