ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER
YORBA LINDA ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER
You want what is best for your family, but how do you ensure that your loved ones will have everything they need from you after you are gone? It can be difficult to think about death, but the reality is that you should make time to plan for your final wishes when it comes to disbursing your property and assets to your surviving family.
Without an estate plan, your family may argue about who gets what and how much goes where. With a solid estate plan, you draft with the help of an experienced Yorba Linda estate planning lawyer, your relatives will understand your final wishes in full and be able to follow them more fully.
At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, our legal team has extensive experience with estate planning in Yorba Linda. We understand the challenges that often arise when it comes to developing a coherent and legally binding estate plan. We have handled countless atypical estate planning cases to ensure we fully meet our clients’ expectations.
WHY CHOOSE THE LAW OFFICE OF CHRISTOPHER P. WALKER?
When you need help from an experienced estate planning attorney in Yorba Linda, it is imperative to choose an attorney with a solid track record of successful cases and in-depth experience. Attorney Christopher P. Walker has more than 25 years of experience crafting estate plans for clients all throughout the Yorba Linda area and remains firmly committed to helping California residents protect their legacies. Our firm works closely with every client to get to them and their family dynamics so we can provide the most personalized legal counsel possible.
If you were to die without any estate plan in place, your surviving loved ones would need to undergo the state of California’s lengthy and often confusing probate process to determine the intestate succession of your property and assets. The probate process attempts to assign property rights to each of a deceased individual’s surviving relatives based on the closeness of their relationships. For large families or deceased individuals with very large estates, the probate process can be extremely taxing on everyone involved.
WHAT IS AN ESTATE PLAN?
At the most basic level, an estate plan is a set of instructions you leave behind for your relatives to follow after your death. These instructions pertain to your assets and property. You may outline which of your relatives will receive ownership of your home, your bank accounts, and other assets. A detailed estate plan can also assign stewardship over some of your assets to specific individuals. For example, if you want your grandson to inherit your classic car but he is only ten years old at the time of your death, you can assign his parents as the caretakers of the vehicle until he is old enough to assume ownership of it.
This is just one example of how estate planning can help a family sort out a deceased relative’s property and assets in a fair and reasonable manner. It’s also a vehicle for you to designate a trusted family member to make important decisions on your behalf after your death or before, if you become incapacitated. There are several elements required for the creation of a solid estate plan, and the right attorney can ensure yours includes all of the information your family will require.
NECESSARY ELEMENTS OF AN ESTATE PLAN
To eliminate uncertainty for your loved ones, a robustly detailed estate plan is the best step you can take toward this goal. Your estate plan will not only cover the distribution of your property and assets after death but also designate a personal representative, an executor, to act in your stead from a legal standpoint in circumstances you designate.
- Your estate plan should include a trust. This legal entity will retain control over your property and assets when you no longer can. The trust will outline your instructions for the handling of your property.
- The estate plan should include a last will and testament. A trust provides you with a legal entity that owns your assets to protect them from misuse after your death, and your last will and testament is the set of instructions you leave to your surviving loved ones for handling the contents of your trust.
- An estate plan must name an individual to assume power of attorney over the estate owner for making healthcare decisions. For example, if the estate owner falls into an unconscious or vegetative state before dying, the named holder of the estate owner’s healthcare power of attorney will make all healthcare-related decisions on behalf of the estate holder.
- Estate plans must also name those who will hold financial power of attorney on behalf of their estate holders. It’s not uncommon for estate owners to choose the same person, such as their spouse, to hold both the healthcare power of attorney and financial power of attorney. It’s also possible for an estate owner to name different relatives to act as their power of attorney holders, each responsible for making different kinds of decisions.
Together, these four elements combine to form an estate plan, and each of these elements requires the estate owner to leave careful instructions behind. Additionally, it’s wise to nominate a chain of preference when it comes to executors, power of attorney holders, and beneficiaries. For example, if you want to name your spouse as your executor but you are both about the same age, you should nominate a “backup” executor in case your spouse is unable to attend to their duties when they should. You could name your grown child, a sibling, or another personal representative to assume the duties set forth by your estate plan.
A YORBA LINDA ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY CAN BUILD THE RIGHT ESTATE PLAN FOR YOU
Attorney Christopher P. Walker is here to provide Yorba Linda residents with the legal counsel they need to avoid probate court complications and leave clear instructions for their loved ones. Our legal team will carefully assess your personal situation and help you develop the estate plan that works best for your family’s needs.
Call the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker today at (714) 639-1990 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced Yorba Linda estate planning lawyer.