Temecula Probate Lawyer Options
1. WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?
Estate planning is a process. It involves people -your household, other individuals and in many cases charitable organizations of your choice. It also involves your properties and all the different types of ownership and title that those possessions may take.
As you plan your estate, you will consider:
* How your possessions will be handled for your benefit if you are unable to do so
* When particular properties will be transferred to others, either throughout your life time, at your death, or sometime after your death
* To whom those properties will pass
Estate planning also resolves your well-being and needs, planning for your own individual care and healthcare if you are no longer able to take care of yourself. Like many people, you might at first think that estate planning is simply the writing of a will. But it includes far more. As you will see, estate planning might include monetary, tax, medical and business planning. A will is one part of that planning procedure, however other files are needed to completely address your estate planning needs. The purpose of this material is to summarize the estate planning process and how it can deal with and satisfy your goals and objectives.
As you consider it even more, you will understand that estate planning is a vibrant procedure. Just as people, assets and laws change, it may well be necessary to adjust your estate strategy every so often to show those modifications.
2. WHAT IS INVOLVED IN ESTATE PLANNING?
In starting to consider your estate plan, I ask my customers to complete a quick questionnaire to address the first of the following concerns and during our preliminary meeting we go over the other concerns:
* What are my assets and what is their approximate value?
* Whom do I want to get those possessions -and when?
* Who should handle those possessions if I can not, either during my lifetime or after my death?
* Who should have the obligation for the care of my small children, if any, if I end up being incapacitated or pass away?
* If I can not look after myself, who should make decisions on my behalf concerning my care and well-being?
3. WHO NEEDS ESTATE PLANNING?
Whatever the size of your estate, you ought to designate the individual who, in the event of your inability, will have the duty for the management of your possessions and your care, including the authority to make healthcare decisions in your place. How that is achieved is talked about listed below in this product. If your estate is small in value, you might focus simply upon who is to get your possessions after your death and who must supervise of its management and distribution.
If your estate is larger, we will go over with you not just who is to get your possessions and when, but likewise different methods to preserve your assets for your beneficiaries and to decrease or postpone the quantity of estate tax which otherwise may be payable on your death.
If one does no planning, then California law provides for the court appointment of persons to take obligation for your individual care and possessions. California likewise provides for the distribution of properties in your name to your heirs pursuant to a set of rules to be followed if you pass away without a will; this is known as "intestate succession." If you die without a will and if you have any family members (whether through your own family or that of your partner), no matter how remote, they will be your beneficiaries. Nonetheless, they might not be individuals you would want to acquire from you; therefore, a living trust or a will is the preferable method.
4. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN MY ESTATE?
Your estate includes all home or interests in home which you own. The most basic examples are those assets which remain in your name alone, such as a savings account, property, stocks and bonds, furnishings, home furnishings and precious jewelry.
You may likewise hold home in lots of forms of title other than in your name alone. Joint tenancy is a common form of ownership which takes assets away from control by will or living trust. Beneficiary classifications on securities accounts and bank accounts are options which need to be carefully thought about as well.
Finally, properties which have recipient classifications, such as life insurance coverage, IRAs, qualified retirements strategies and some annuities are very important parts of your estate which require mindful coordination with your other properties in establishing your estate strategy.
The value of your estate amounts to the "reasonable market value" of each asset that you own, minus your debts, including a home loan on your house or a loan on your automobile.
The value of your estate is essential in identifying whether, and to what extent, your estate will be subject to estate taxes upon your death. Planning for the resources needed to fulfill that responsibility at your death is another fundamental part of the estate planning procedure.
5. WHAT IS A WILL?
A will is a traditional legal file which is effective only at your death to:
* Name individuals (or charitable organizations) to receive your assets upon your death (either by straight-out present or in trust).
* Nominate an executor, appointed and supervised by the court of probate, to manage your estate, pay financial obligations and expenses, pay taxes, and distribute your estate in a responsible manner and in accordance with your will.
* Nominate the guardians of the person and estate of your minor children, to care and provide for your minor children.
Assets or interests in home in your name alone at your death will be subject to your will and based on the administration of the probate court, normally in the county where you live at your death.
6. WHAT IS A REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST?
A revocable living trust is also commonly described as a revocable inter vivos trust, a grantor trust or, just, a living trust. A living trust may be changed or withdrawed by the individual developing it (frequently called "trustor," "grantor," or "settlor") at any time during the trustor's life time, as long as the trustor is qualified.
A trust is a written agreement between the private developing the trust and the person or institution called to manage the assets kept in the trust (the "trustee"). In a lot of cases, it is suitable for you to be the preliminary trustee of your living trust, until management support is prepared for or needed, at which point your trust must designate a private, bank or trust business to act in your location.
The regards to the trust become irrevocable upon the trustor's death. Because the trust contains provisions which attend to the circulation of your possessions on and after your death, the trust acts as a replacement for your will, and gets rid of the requirement for the probate of your will with regard to those properties which were kept in your living trust at your death.
You ought to execute a will even if you have a living trust. That will is normally a "put over" will which offers the transfer of any properties held in your name at your death to the trustee of your living trust, so that those assets may be distributed in accordance with your desires as set forth in your living trust.
7. WHAT IS PROBATE?
Probate is the court-supervised procedure established under California law which has as its goal the transfer of your assets at your death to the recipients set forth in your will, and in the manner prescribed by your will. It also provides for the fairly fast determination of legitimate claims of any creditors who have claims against your possessions at your death.
At the start of probate administration, a petition is filed with the court, generally by the person or organization called in your will as executor. After notice is given, and a hearing is held, your will is admitted to probate and an executor is appointed. If you pass away "intestate" (that is, without a will), your estate is still based on court of probate administration and the person designated by the court to manage your estate is called the "administrator.".
If the assets in your name alone at your death do not consist of an interest in property and have a total value of less than $100,000, then normally the beneficiaries under your will may follow a statutory treatment to effect the transfer of those assets pursuant to your will, based on your debts and expenses, without a formal court-supervised probate administration.
A probate has benefits and drawbacks. The court of probate is accustomed to solving disputes about the circulation of your properties in a reasonably expeditious fashion and in accordance with defined guidelines. In addition, you are guaranteed that the actions and accountings of your executor will be examined and approved by the court of probate.
Downsides of a probate include its public nature; your estate plan and the worth of your assets ends up being a public record. Also, because lawyer's fees and administrator's commissions are based upon a statutory charge schedule computed upon the gross (not the web) value of the properties being probated, the costs might be greater than the expenses sustained by a comparable estate handled and distributed under a living trust. Time can likewise be a factor; frequently circulations can be made pursuant to a living trust faster than in a probate case.
8. TO WHOM SHOULD I LEAVE MY ASSETS?
When you have actually determined who must receive your possessions at your death, I can assist you clarify and appropriately determine your beneficiaries. For instance, it is crucial to clearly determine by proper name any charitable organizations you want to provide for; lots of have similar names and in some families, people have similar or even similar names.
It is likewise important for you to consider alternative circulation of your properties in case your main beneficiary does not endure you.
As for beneficiaries who by reason of age or other imperfection might not be able to manage assets dispersed to them outright, trusts for their benefit may be developed under your will or living trust.
9. WHOM SHOULD I AS MY EXECUTOR OR TRUSTEE?
After your death, the executor of your will and the trustee of your living trust serve practically similar functions. Both are responsible for making sure that your wishes, as set forth in your will or living trust, are carried out. Although your administrator is usually subject to direct court guidance, both the administrator and the trustee have comparable fiduciary responsibilities. The trustee of your living trust may assume obligations under that file while you are living.
While you might function as the initial trustee of your living trust, if you end up being incapable of functioning as a trustee, the designated follower trustee will then step in to manage your assets for your advantage. An executor or trustee may be a spouse, adult kids, other family members, family pals, business associates or an expert fiduciary such as a bank.
I discuss this matter will my customers. There are a variety of concerns to consider. For instance, will the appointment of one of your adult children trigger undue stress in his or her relations with brother or sisters? What conflicts of interest are created if a company associate or partner is named as your executor or trustee? Will the individual called as executor or successor trustee have the time, organizational capability and experience to do the task successfully?
10. HOW SHOULD I PROVIDE FOR MY MINOR CHILDREN?
A minor child is a kid under 18 years of age. If both parents are deceased, a small kid is not lawfully qualified under California law to look after himself or herself. In your will, therefore, you need to choose a guardian of the individual of your small kids to monitor that kid and be accountable for his/her care up until the child is 18 years of ages.
Such a nomination can prevent a "pull of war" between well-meaning family members and others if a guardian is needed.
A minor is likewise not legally certified to manage his/her own home. Possessions moved outright to a minor need to be held for the minor's advantage by a guardian of the child's estate, till the child obtains 18 years of age. You ought to choose such a guardian in your will also. In attending to minor kids in your estate plan, you need to consider making use of a trust for the child's advantage, to be held, administered and distributed for the kid's benefit up until the kid is at least 18 years old or some other age as you might decide. You may likewise consider a custodian account under the California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act as an option in making specific presents to minors.
11. WHEN DOES ESTATE PLANNING INVOLVE TAX PLANNING?
Estate taxes are enforced upon an estate which has a net value, in 2002, of $1,000,000 or more. Under existing law, that amount will increase, in irregular increments, to $3,500,000 in 2009. Estate taxes are arranged to be repealed for 2010. In 2011, estate taxation will go back to the law which existed before the enactment of the 2001 tax law modifications, so that an estate which has a net worth of $1,000,000 or more will be subject to estate taxes. (See Estate Planning Under the 2001 Tax Relief Act: What To Know And What To Do). For estates which approach or go beyond the exemption amount, considerable estate taxes can be conserved by correct estate planning, typically prior to death and, in the case of married couples, prior to the death of the very first partner. Estate preparing for tax purposes need to take into account not just estate taxes, but likewise income, gift, home and generation-skipping taxes as well. Certified legal guidance about taxes need to be obtained during the estate planning pr!ocess.
12. HOW DOES THE WAY IN WHICH I HOLD TITLE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
The nature of your properties and how you hold title to those properties is a critical consider the estate planning process. Before you alter title to a property, you should understand the tax and other consequences of any proposed change. I will be able to recommend you about such matters.
Neighborhood home and different home.
If you are wed, possessions earned by either you or your spouse while married and while a homeowner of California are neighborhood residential or commercial property. On the other hand, a married person may own different home as an outcome of possessions owned prior to marital relationship or gotten by gift or inheritance during marriage. There are considerable tax considerations which need to be addressed in the estate planning process with regard to both neighborhood residential or commercial property and separate property. There are likewise substantial residential or commercial property interests to consider.
Different residential or commercial property can be "transmuted" (that is, changed) to neighborhood home by a written arrangement signed by both partners and prepared in conformity with California law.
It is very important to seek qualified legal guidance when identifying what character your property is and how the property needs to be titled.
Joint Tenancy Property.
No matter its source, if a residential or commercial property is held in joint tenancy, it will pass to the making it through joint renter by operation of law upon the death of the The Law Firm Of Steven F. Bliss first joint occupant. On the other hand, residential or commercial property held as neighborhood residential or commercial property or as renters in common, will go through the will of a departed owner.
13. WHAT ARE OTHER METHODS OF LEAVING PROPERTY?
A number of assets are moved at death by beneficiary classification, such as:.
* Life insurance coverage proceeds.
* Qualified or non-qualified retirement strategies, including 401( k) strategies and IRAs.
* Certain "trustee" bank accounts.
* "Transfer on death" (or "TOD") securities accounts.
* "Pay on death" (or "POD") properties, a common title on U.S. Savings bonds.
These recipient classifications should be thoroughly coordinated with your total estate plan. Your will does not govern the distribution of these properties.
14. WHAT IF I BECOME UNABLE TO CARE FOR MYSELF?
If you do not make any arrangements beforehand, a court-supervised conservatorship proceeding may be needed if you end up being incapacitated.
Conservatorships are proceedings which enable the court to select the person responsible for your care and for the management of your estate if you are not able to do so yourself.
You should, therefore, pick the person or persons you want to look after you and your estate in case you become incapable of handling your properties or providing for your own care.
With respect to the management of your properties, the trustee of your living trust will supply the required management of those possessions kept in trust. Nevertheless, to handle possessions which might not have actually been transferred to your living trust prior to your incapacity or which you may receive after incapacity, a long lasting power of attorney for residential or commercial property management need to be considered. In such a power, you designate another individual (the "attorney-in-fact") to make home management decisions on your behalf. The attorney-in-fact manages your possessions and functions much as a conservator of your estate would work, however without court guidance. The authority of the attorney-in-fact to handle your properties stops at your death.
A long lasting power of attorney for healthcare permits your attorney-in-fact to make healthcare choices for you when you can no longer make them yourself. It might likewise consist of declarations of dreams worrying such matters as life sustaining treatment and other healthcare concerns and guidelines worrying organ contribution, personality of remains and your funeral service.
15. WHO SHOULD HELP ME WITH MY ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS?
Can I Do It Myself?
Wills and trusts are legal documents which should be prepared only by a certified lawyer. You need to watch out for companies or offices who are staffed by non-lawyer personnel and who promote "one size fits all" living trusts or living trust kits. An estate plan developed by somebody who is not a certified lawyer can have huge and costly consequences for your estate and may not achieve your goals and goals. Nevertheless, lots of other specialists and service agents may end up being associated with the estate planning process. For example, licensed accountants, life insurance salespersons, bank trust officers, monetary coordinators, personnel supervisors and pension specialists often take part in the state planing process. Within their areas of knowledge, these professionals can help in planning your estate.
16. WHAT ARE COSTS INVOLVED IN ESTATE PLANNING?
The costs of estate planning depend upon your private circumstances and the intricacy of paperwork and planning required to attain your goals and goals. The costs generally will include my charges for putting your monetary information into my digital estate planning program which enables me to graphically reveal you the effects of alternate plans, discussing your estate strategy with you and for preparing your will, trust agreement or other legal files which you may require.