Top Orange County Wills and Trust Lawyers
Anyone who has substantial assets has children, or is married should make preparing a will a priority. Anyone with any health problems should make the preparation of a will a priority. If you own a business, you should also prepare a last will and testament.
Wills are used to providing for your family when you’re gone. A will ensures that the people you want to have your assets get those assets. A will ensures that the people you want to take care of your children and your estate are chosen by you and not by a court. The experienced Orange County wills and trust lawyers at JS Abrams Law advise clients about the full range of estate planning issues need to protect their families and loved ones.
The best time to meet with an experienced wells attorney is now. You simply never know when you might have a tragic accident or might become ill. Wills and trusts are two of the most common forms of legal documents used to plan your estate. Get the peace of mind you need by contacting our experienced caring Orange County estate lawyers.
What are the key reasons for preparing a will in Orange County?
The main reasons for preparing a well are the following:
- Designating the people who get your assets. Anyone who does not have a will should understand that the state of California will distribute their assets according to the intestate laws Of California. These laws generally provide that the spouse and children receive your assets in shares set forth in the intestate statute. If you wish for any relative who is not listed in the intestate laws to receive some of your assets, then you definitely need a will. If you want some of your assets to be distributed to friends, business partners, nonprofits, or charities; then you definitely need a will. If you want to change the proportions that even your spouse and children should get, then you need to prepare a will.
- Designating who your personal representative is. The personal representative is the person who handles your estate after you die. He or she reviews the property you have, collects the property, pays any administrative costs and bills due to creditors. He/she then distributes the remaining real and personal property to the people identified in your will. A personal representative designated in a will is called an executor. Generally, the executor should be somebody you trust to handle your assets and to resolve any disputes by any of the claimants.
- Designating who will take care of your children. With a will, you can designate which person they choose to be the guardian of their children – if you and your spouse/co-parent pass away while the children are minors. Without a will, a relative or someone on behalf of the child needs to step forward and request court approval to become a child’s guardian.
- Designating ownership and management of your business. Anyone who has a small business that is not incorporated or is not subject to a partnership agreement should use a will to designate who will own the business and who will manage the business after they die. A will can also help determine how the business will be valued since there are different ways of valuing a business. Many people want to do their best to keep a restaurant, a retail store, or any other small business they have taken their lifetime to develop in the control of their family or the people they work with.
Our experienced Orange County wills attorneys have a complete checklist they use to review all of your assets and liabilities. We then work with you to determine how you want your estate to be handled when you pass away. You do need to consider all of your real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, personal possessions, and other assets to make sure they are given to the people you care for.
It’s good practice once you make a will to review it each year. Our experienced wills attorneys may update your will through a codicil or may prepare a new will if your circumstances or wishes change.
Why do Orange County residents use trusts?
A trust document formally transfers some of your assets to a trustee for the benefit of specific beneficiaries. Trusts are generally used to avoid the expense and time of probating your will. Trusts are also used for many practical and financial reasons.
Generally, a trust is used to provide for the benefit of at least one beneficiary. The trustee has the authority to manage the trust. This includes distributing income and principal on behalf of the beneficiary of the trust.
Types of Orange County trusts
There are many reasons for using a trust document. Some of the more common ones are the following:
- Trusts for minor children. This type of trust is used to make sure your children have the funds they need for their health and education while they are minors. The trustee distributes portions of the trust as needed. When the child turns 18 or some other age designated in the trust, the remaining trust funds are distributed to the child that has now become an adult.
- Lifetime trusts. This type of trust pays the beneficiary the income of the trust for the beneficiary’s lifetime. On the death of the beneficiary, the trust funds are then distributed to the person named in the trust to receive the remaining funds – such as a relative or a nonprofit organization.
- Special needs trusts. This type of trust is used on behalf of people with a disability to ensure they have the funds they need for any medical treatments and for their daily health needs. A special needs trust is often used to help ensure that someone who receives government benefits qualifies to receive those benefits and the funds from the trust.
- Pour-over trust, standby trusts. This type of trust is a common estate planning tool. It is used in conjunction with your will and your spouse’s will. Essentially, the trust assets are funded with the first spouse’s assets when the first spouse dies. The second spouse then is entitled to use the funds that pour-over from the first spouse’s trust.
A few other types of trusts that are useful include a:
- Generation-skipping trust that helps save on estate taxes
- Protective trust that may help protect assets from creditors
- Personal injury trust that helps ensure that the accident victim has the funds for any necessary medical treatments and care
At JS Abrams Law, our Orange County lawyers advise adults of all agents about what clauses should be included in their will and when a trust document may be beneficial. To discuss your wills and trust concerns please call us at 818-330-4515 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.
If you’re seeing an Orange County Wills and Trust Attorney to help you guide the way to plan ahead for a trust, schedule your consultation today by calling JS Abrams Law (818) 330-4515.
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