An estate plan is the process of preparing a plan in advance for what will happen to your estate, or everything you legally own, in the event you become mentally incapacitated or pass on. Importantly, an estate plan will serve to equip your family and loved ones with the necessary tools to administer your assets and manage your affairs, including your healthcare, should it become necessary. Typically, this involves the preparation of several legal documents, including a will, a trust, and a financial power of attorney. It also often includes an advanced healthcare directive for yourself, and a guardian nomination for any minor children you may have.
Carefully prepared instructions and legal documents are invaluable to family and loved ones during the time you are no longer able to provide necessary direction. A written will allows you to designate how your personal assets will be distributed. However, it does not ensure your assets will not go through a costly and lengthy court proceeding known as probate. One of the primary goals of a well-prepared estate plan is to avoid probate, while also minimizing or avoiding unnecessary taxes, legal fees and costs when passing on your assets. This process often involves the preparation of a trust and/or the retitlement of real property and existing accounts.
If you have not yet established an estate plan or wish to modify your existing will, trust or other legal documents, we encourage you to do so without delay. At the Law Office of Christine Padilla, we provide a complimentary consultation and are prepared to guide you in the development of a well-crafted plan tailored to your individual situation. We welcome you to contact us for a consultation or with any questions about the estate planning process you may have.
Owner and Attorney at Law