Fullerton Estate Planning Lawyer
Fullerton is a diverse Orange County city that is home to orange groves, oil fields, manufacturing, and, of course, Cal State, Fullerton. Fullerton is also home to an ethnically diverse group of residents of all ages, income levels, and marital status. One of the things that unites all Fullerton residents from all walks of life is the need to have an estate place in place to protect, preserve and pass on your property to the people you love.
I’m The Probate Guy, and I know what it means for a family to go through probate. The difference between a good estate plan and a bad one, or no estate plan at all, can be the difference between a stress-free, worry-free probate that is concluded in a matter of months without any hiccups, and a frustrating nightmare that drags on for years, causing disruption and litigation among family members who used to get along before their probate troubles began. Avoid these headaches and disastrous outcomes. Call me NOW for a FREE consultation to discuss your Fullerton estate planning needs, and let’s see how I can help you.
Every Fullerton Estate Plan Should Include These Documents
Your estate plan is unique to you. There is no one-size-fits-all estate plan you can pull off the shelf and fill in the blanks. By working with an experienced estate planning lawyer, you’ll get the right set of documents customized to meet your needs. Most likely, though, you’ll want to consider at least having the following documents:
A Will – In your will, you choose the executor of your estate, who is sort of like your point person in probate. You can also use the will to make gifts of your personal property to family members, friends, charities, or the college of your choice. Do you want to send a special message to someone important in your life? You can do that in your will. Also, if you have or might have minor children or other people dependent on you when you die, you can make sure they are looked after by appointing a guardian to care for them when you no longer can. Otherwise, it’s up to a judge or some government bureaucrat to decide where your children go, and they might know nothing about your family’s situation or special needs.
A Trust – You can use a revocable living trust to transfer property, including will real estate, to your heirs, without having to go through probate. Using a trust will save and money by avoiding probate. Plus, the trust is confidential and private, compared to a will. Different types of trusts can accomplish different purposes, such as protecting property from creditors or divorce, helping out a loved one without hurting their eligibility for government benefits, or avoiding taxes like the generation-skipping transfer tax. Your lawyer can help you decide which combination of trusts will benefit you. In many cases, a revocable living trust might be all you need.
A Power of Attorney – Estate planning isn’t only about what happens to your estate after you are gone. What if you become incapacitated or disabled due to some accident or illness? If you can’t manage your finances or make decisions about your healthcare, who will do it for you? A power of attorney lets you answer this question in advance, so if it is ever needed, someone you know and trust will make medical, financial and legal decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney gives another person the legal authority to pay your bills, deposit your checks, manage your property, consent to surgery or object to medical treatment you wouldn’t want.
A Living Will – A living will lets you tell a doctor, hospital, EMT or a person with power of attorney what kind of medical care you do or don’t want if you are terminally ill. Living wills deal with end-of-life decisions like resuscitation, tube feeding, ventilators, or palliative care (pain medication that could make you more comfortable but hasten death). Making these decisions might be uncomfortable, but better that you write down your feelings now rather than leave them unknown and up in the air for your family members to grapple with, or wind up with a hospital administrator making decisions about you that you wouldn’t want.
Call Me for Help With Estate Planning in Fullerton
If you are ready to get started on an estate plan, or if you have an old plan you want to review and update, call me at 714-522-8880 for a free consultation. My office is in Buena Park just minutes from Fullerton, but you don’t even have to travel that far. I can handle all communications with you over the phone, mail and email. Let’s talk about what you need for your estate plan and how I can help. Call me NOW for a FREE consultation to make sure you get a plan in place to protect yourself and your family.