Best Riverside Estate Planning Lawyers
Welcome to JS Abrams Law, a Riverside wills and trust law firm serving residents in the area. Seniors, parents, newlyweds, or anyone with a business or significant assets should consider planning for the day they die. Accidents or heart attacks can occur in an instant. An illness can end a life leaving your family wondering about how they’ll manage without you. Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other legal documents help give you the peace of mind knowing that your family will have financial security when you pass on. Estate planning documents help direct who you want to have your assets, who will raise your children, what happens if you become disabled, and end-of-life issues.
If you don’t have the proper legal documents, then your relatives will have to petition the court to be appointed a guardian of your children or a conservator of your financial affairs. California’s intestate laws will dictate who gets your property. Estate planning helps save your family time and money that could be better served mourning your loss and moving forward with their lives. Estate planning can help ensure your spouse or children run a business you spent a lifetime developing.
At JS Abrams Law, our Riverside estate planning lawyers advise people of all ages and all income levels about their estate planning needs. We review your financial and family situation and your wishes. We recommend and prepare the correct documents to match your goals. We provide you the peace of mind you did your best to provide for your family and anyone else you care about – for the time you pass away.
What do Riverside residents prepare a last will and testament?
There are several core reasons you should have a will. A will determines:
- Which people or entities get your assets? In most cases, Riverside residents leave their home, bank accounts, retirement funds, and personal possession to members of their family. In some cases, such as when a senior doesn’t have a family, a senior may want to leave part of their estate to a charity or a nonprofit such as a university, an arts organization, or for medical research. Wills also clarify who gets your assets if you divorce, remarry, or become a stepparent.
- Who raises your minor children? It’s tragic when parents die before their children reach adulthood. One of the key benefits of a will is that you can designate which people your children will live with and care for your children if you die too soon. Many people choose siblings, other relatives, or other parents in the community.
- Who is responsible for your estate? Even with the best planning, it’s inevitable that some of your assets will pass through your estate. Testators (the people who prepare their wills) choose executors to manage their estate. Executors should be people you trust to manage all the financial parts of your estate and to resolve any disputes that may arise.
Who will own or run your business? If you fully own your own business, a will can determine if the business will be sold or continue. If you want the business to continue, a will can determine which people will own the business and run the business when you’re gone.
What types of will disputes may occur in Riverside?
Experienced Riverside estate planning lawyers help reduce the possibility and effects of will contests by advising testators about will contest issue protections (such as videotapes and medical reviews) and transferring assets outside of the will (through retitling assets, trusts, and other means).
Dissatisfied heirs may contest a will on the grounds:
- The testator lacked testamentary capacity
- Someone exerted undue influence on the testator
- There’s a later will or a codicil will
- The will failed to comply with the legal requirements
Are there ways to avoid probate in Riverside?
Experienced Riverside estate planning attorneys often suggest that you consider ways to transfer your property to the people you care about – outside of probate. Normally, when you die, the Riverside probate court must validate your will. All the assets that your will governs pass through probate. Probate is expensive and can take months before it’s complete. Probate avoidance methods mean your heirs get the property you want them to have – as soon as you die or even while you’re alive.
Probate avoidance includes:
- Retitling assets. Homes are usually titled (called tenants by the entirety) in the names of both spouses. When one spouse dies, the other spouse becomes the owner. Homes can be held jointly with right of survivorship with your adult child or anyone you choose. Other assets can be titled jointly with a right of survivorship too.
- Using payable on death (POD) accounts. Bank accounts and other accounts can be titled so that they are payable to a relative or a person you name on the account – when you die. Our lawyers help you obtain and sign the correct POD forms.
- Buying life insurance and designating the beneficiaries. You should buy as much life insurance as you can reasonably afford. You should name a specific beneficiary (or multiple beneficiaries) so the proceeds are paid directly to the beneficiary (beneficiaries).
Using trust documents. Trusts are legal documents that transfer some or all of your assets as soon as you create the trust. Many spouses use pour-over trusts with their wills so that their assets pass directly to the trust when they die. Trusts are also useful estate planning tools if you have children with special needs, minor children, want to protect your assets from creditors, and want to reduce any federal estate taxes that may be due.
What are financial and personal powers of attorney?
A financial power attorney appoints someone to handle your financial affairs (such as depositing your checks and paying your bills). The financial power of attorney can be used if you have a physical illness or in anticipation of the possibility of a physical or mental disability.
A personal power of attorney appoints someone you trust to manage your daily activities such as eating and dressing if you develop an illness or disability.
What are medical powers of attorneys and advanced healthcare directives?
Healthcare powers of attorney are used to choose someone to make medical decisions for you if you become physically or mentally incapacitated or if you currently need someone to help make medical decisions for you.
Health care directives inform hospitals and health care providers what treatments they should (and shouldn’t) use if you have a life-threatening medical disorder or you are at the end of your life.
How do Riverside business succession plans help
If you’re a sole proprietor, you need to decide how your business will be handled when you die. You can choose to sell the business and pay the proceeds to your heirs. You can also choose to transfer ownership to family members, coworkers, or others so they can run the business when you’re gone. Many Riverside residents transfer restaurants, retail businesses, and professional businesses to their spouses and/or children so they can have an income after you pass away.
Partnership agreements are normally used if you own your business with one or more partners. If you have the majority interest in a corporation; wills, corporate bylaws, and other estate planning documents are used to determine who owns and/or runs the business when you die.
Business succession plans should address:
- Which person (people) own the business on your death
- How to value the business
- Who will manage the business when you die
Estate planning for business should also determine how the business is valued. Life insurance policies can be used for your business operations as well as for your family members.
Federal and state estate tax planning
California does not have an inheritance tax. There is a federal tax but only if your estate has a net worth of more than $11.7 million (for 2021). Estate planning can help minimize the federal estate taxes that are due.
At JS Abrams Law, our Riverside estate planning lawyers explain which legal documents are best for your financial and personal goals. We explain the pros and cons of the different types of documents and then prepare the correct documents for your goals. review your assets, discuss your goals, and explain your options. To review your estate planning needs, call us at 818-330-4515 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.