Prudent estate planning is an absolute necessity in everyone’s life. Whether your estate is large or small you need to have a plan to manage your assets and designate someone to make important health care decisions for you if for some reason you are unable to do so.
When people think of estate planning, they immediately think of wills. Wills are a central and important piece in the estate planning process, however, there is significantly more to estate planning than merely wills. In some situations, a living trust will be advisable. And in all situations a living will (or “advance health care directive”), and durable powers of attorney will also be required. Call our office for a free consultation with an estate planning lawyer and one of our attorneys will be happy to advise you on which device would be right for your situation.
A will is a legal document that distributes your assets to named individuals or organizations either by gift or through a trust. An important aspect of a will is that it nominates an “executor” that will manage your affairs, such as pay off your debts, taxes, and distribute your assets according to the instructions left in your will. In addition, a will also states who should take care of your children. A will package contains many of life’s necessities.
Although not everyone needs a trust, in some cases it is advisable to create a living trust. When you create a trust your assets are usually placed in a revocable living trust and administered for your benefit during your lifetime and transferred to your beneficiaries upon death. During life, you will be the trustee of their trust and you will have the legal right to manage and control all of its assets. After your death, your successor trustee will take over and manage the trust’s assets. The trust will contain instructions to the trustee to manage the trust’s assets and will name beneficiaries that will receive the trust’s assets when you die. A trust can be difficult to understand. Our living trust lawyer will be happy to explain trusts to you in language that you can understand.
Estate planning is a complicated field of law where no single answer exists for every situation. At times merely a will can suffice, but at other times a living trust will be beneficial. In addition, wills and trusts have specific rules regarding their execution. If will and trusts are not executed properly they are deemed invalid. Contact our Estate Planning Attorney today to discuss your estate.
The Los Angeles estate planning attorneys at MacLean Chung Law Firm offer a free consultation for people that are interested in creating a will or trust. Our main office is in Burbank, California and we also have branch offices in Pasadena and Valencia (Santa Clarita). Our attorneys can meet you at any of our offices. Contact a Los Angeles Will and Trust attorney today to discuss your will, trust, living will and power of attorney.