Helping Families Preserve Their Wealth & Legacy
You plan for your summer vacation and you plan for your grandchild’s birthday party, so why put off creating the most important plan of all? The Law Office of Roy W. Litherland aims to serve residents of Campbell CA, San Jose CA, Aptos CA, and other surrounding regions of California by encouraging early estate planning to ensure the financial security of both you and your loved ones. Our estate planning lawyers are highly experienced in all facets involved in the estate plan, including wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives, elder law, nursing home planning, Medi-Cal planning, and more. In addition to these facets, we focus on post-mortem planning, which includes probate and trust administration. In all aspects of your estate plan, we strive to make the process more comprehensive and less burdensome on you and your loved ones.
When a loved one leaves a will behind, estate distribution cannot take place until the process of probate has been completed. Probate court involves verifying that the contents of the will are accurate and ensuring that the will is distributed according to the guidelines set forth in the document. If you have been named executor of the will, you will have other duties on top of probate, including managing the estate, paying debts, and filing taxes. Our Campbell CA estate planning attorneys strive to make this process easier on grieving loved ones by handling complicated logistics and acting as a supportive guide through the legal matters of probate court.
Fortunately, when a loved one leaves behind a trust (as opposed to a will), the complicated process of probate court is not a requirement. However, the trust administration process will still involve similar tasks for estate distribution. These also include managing the estate left behind, paying debts, filing taxes, conducting an inventory of the remaining assets, notifying beneficiaries, and distributing the estate according to the estate plan. With a professional and experienced San Jose CA estate planning attorney, you can conquer the process of trust administration with confidence and ease.
Creating a will with a skilled and trained Campbell CA estate planning attorney ensures that your estate will be distributed only as you intend. Some people believe they can bypass formal estate planning by writing their own will. Although this may seem like a good idea, the do-it-yourself method usually ends up leaving a bigger burden on loved ones left behind. This is because it can be difficult to prove the exact intentions of the deceased during probate, and can subject your estate to high taxes if you fail to use the right language. An experienced estate planning attorney would know exactly what legal terms to use in the will to properly convey your wishes for estate distribution.
Unlike a will, a living trust does not require probate due to the private nature of the document. Despite this advantage, trusts may not be for everyone. Living trusts mostly detail how finances and property will be distributed, but they lack the ability to appoint guardianship in the event that minors are left behind when a loved one has passed on. A knowledgeable San Jose CA estate planning attorney would be able to determine which document is best for you by listening to your unique situation and preferences for your estate plan.
Your estate plan will focus largely on the distribution of your estate, but it also gives you the opportunity to establish guidelines for your own future as well. Elder law is a component of your estate plan that encompasses concepts such as nursing home planning, Medi-Cal planning, powers of attorney, and health care directives. These concepts allow you to address your wishes for your future care in the event that you can no longer make decisions at the time. They also give you the opportunity to prepare for the potential financial burden that your future health care might cause. To avoid depleting your estate with heavy health care costs and to gain peace of mind for your future care, talk to a professional Campbell CA estate planning lawyer today.