ESTATE PLANNING IS LIFE PLANNING
You may not realize it, but everyone has an estate. An effective estate plan will take into consideration your current assets as well as the anticipated increase in value of your existing estate. In anticipation of your family’s needs, you should take steps to preserve your estate and protect it from excessive costs and taxes. Ultimately, the goal will be a stress-free and orderly settlement of your assets to your chosen beneficiaries upon your passing. Elizabeth A. Tresp, Attorney at Law can compose every component of a comprehensive estate plan to ensure your legacy.
Preserve your family’s wealth
Whether you are planning for future medical care or establishing support for loved ones upon your death, we can help with all aspects of estate and tax planning issues, including:
- Estate planning
- Estate tax issues
- Selection of the appropriate executor
- Advance Health Care Directive
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Revocable living trusts
- Wills drafting and revision
- Tax planning
Securing your legacy
Knowing that you have planned for your family's long-term well-being and financial security can assure you that the fruits of your lifetime of hard work is directed and safe. Elizabeth undergoes a comprehensive analysis of your current and anticipated estate. We then determine the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes, and protecting your loved ones.
Your will is your legal declaration, specifying your intended disposition of your property upon your passing. Your will also nominates the person you wish to act as the personal representative for your estate. Creating a will is the first and most basic step you must take to ensure your estate is managed in accordance with your wishes. If you do not have a will, call Elizabeth A. Tresp, Attorney at Law today.
A will alone will not protect your estate from probate, but a will does serve as a critical foundation to a comprehensive estate plan. When accompanied by a trust, the will is known as a “pour-over will” and will address assets not titled in the name of your trust at the time of your passing. Additionally, the will names guardians for minor children or dependents, designates your burial and funeral arrangements, and names your executors.
Draft your living will and last will and testament
A will is essential at every stage of your life. As discussed below, an Advance Health Care Directive sets the parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated. This assures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored.
Your last will provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend, or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children, and even what happens to your pet — making decisions that might not reflect your desires.
Elizabeth will draft your will to ensure that your intentions are always honored.
Changing your will
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your will throughout your life. We draft valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests, and general lifestyle decisions.
Appointment of guardianship
If you have minor children, your will allows you to make decisions about their future care. This is especially crucial if you are a single parent or if both parents die in a single incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court appoints a guardian and can make decisions adverse to your ultimate parenting goals. You can also make arrangements for your pets’ care in your will, including naming a guardian to take responsibility for your pets.
Advance Health Care Directive
An Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) details the actions you would like to be taken if you are unable to make decisions for yourself due to some health issue, such as illness or injury. Additionally, your AHCD designates someone to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
Experiencing a serious health issue can be emotionally tumultuous for you and your loved ones. An Advance Health Care Directive helps relieve some of the stress by ensuring that your wishes are clear for emergency medical treatment, life-sustaining care, and end-of-life.
Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney for Property (DPA) enables you to designate someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so yourself, such as due to incapacity from a health issue or mental incompetency.
A trust, prepared by an expert like Elizabeth A. Tresp, Attorney at Law, is one of the most important elements of a successful estate plan.
Trusts are defined by California Probate Code section 82(a), and can come in a number of forms. Trusts may be revocable, sometimes known as a “Living Trust,” or irrevocable. Both include a number of elements that define the assets held within, designate your beneficiaries, and designate a trustee to manage the trust assets and income for the economic benefit of your beneficiaries.
Assets in a trust, other than a testamentary trust, most often will avoid the probate process and the associated statutory fees. With the guidance of Elizabeth A. Tresp, Attorney at Law, you can ensure that your assets are protected and that your beneficiaries are able to avoid the stress and expense that the probate process can cause. A will, alone, is not enough.
A trust can also prove critical to avoid conservatorship proceedings if you ever become physically or mentally incompetent before your death.
Contact us today
Elizabeth A. Tresp is an excellent Estate Planning attorney in San Diego County, with offices in Solana Beach and Pacific Beach. Not all lawyers are equal. If you need a proactive, knowledgable, and effective Estate Planning lawyer, call Elizabeth A. Tresp, Attorney at Law today: 888-814-5552 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.