Buda Law Group can now handle all your Estate Planning needs. We are fully experienced to prepare all California Wills & Trusts. As we look into an uncertain future, do you want to leave your loved ones to depend on California bureaucrats and judges? Or do you want to make sure your assets are secure with the people you decide. Call John Buda for a free consultation.
Undoubtedly, this is the most sensitive and difficult subject to talk about with family members, especially your closest love ones. But a lack of planning will cause a lot of families to be caught off guard when the worst unexpected tragedy occurs. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial to establish an estate planning early and readjusting the plan as needed throughout your lifetime so you can leave a peace of mind for the people you love.
To discuss your estate plan, the estate is an accumulation of your assets such as your real estate properties, bank accounts and investments, life insurances, and personal properties such as jewelry, cars, or artwork. The discuss will be your instruction for what you want to happen to all of those assets after you die. Beyond that, an estate plan can also help to specify burial instructions, lay out plans in case of unexpected disability, and arrangements to pay off all final debts and expenses.
In the estate plan, we will go over several important documents such as:
- Your Will. A will outlines how your assets will be distributed, your executor for taking care of the estate, and designated guardians of your children. Without a will, the probate court judge has the power to decide how everything is distributed and who will be the guardian of your children, so this is one of the most important piece of document to have control over your estate.
- Beneficiaries. Although several important asset documents such as a bank account and life insurance plans allow you to designate a beneficiary in case of death, but not all of your assets are locked in a bank account or life insurance plan. So it is very crucial to name your beneficiaries so you can pass down a piece of meaningful artwork or a fine jewelry to your favorite family member.
- Durable Power of Attorney (DPA). In case of an unexpected accident, a DPA is someone who can serve as a financial proxy to manage your affairs and assets when you cannot do so.
- Advanced Medical Directive. This document includes your DPA, a living will and HIPPA release forms. It describes what do you wish to happen medically when you can no longer make the decision yourself.
- Trusts. A living trust allows you to hold and manage assets for beneficiaries during your life time. A revocable living trust allows you to amend the trust if you have a change of mind for the beneficiaries to receive more or less of your assets. However, there are over a dozens of different types of trusts that can help your family to avoid process like probate or estate taxes, so we will do the research for you to find which type will work the best for you!
Why Do You Need An Estate Planning?
It is a common knowledge that the probate is a long, expensive, exhausting nightmare that can bring more heartache to your loved ones, and here are some reasons why probate is bad for everyone:
- Your Family Will Not Have Immediate Access To Your Assets. California probate court has listed that on average a probate matter can take as little as nine month and as long as a year and half to conclude, which means your loved ones will be paying for everything from the funeral expenses to household utilities during the time your estate is probated. Some will not have access to bank account savings, so family members are left scrambling to pay for even the most basic living expenses, like groceries.
- A Probate Judge Gets to Decide Everything. Without a valid will or a living trust, the court can get in the way as much as approving a sale of real estate property or running your business. There will be numerous rules to be met, forms to be filed on a timely basis, and appraisals to be completed and submitted to court.
- Probate Cost. Once it is in the probate court, there will be costs to spend on filing papers and the attorney will charge a percentage for his or her fees based on the total asset value of the estate. So without being able to access the assets, loved ones are forced to pay out of pockets for all of court fees and legal expenses.
- Probate Matter Becomes Public Records. Probate is a state proceeding, therefore, all information going to probate court will become a matter of public record. Anyone can access probate court file and find out just about everything and anything he wants to know. In some states, the entire probate files are available for viewing online, so people who are interesting to know, will find out without even going to the courthouse to request it.
Avoiding probate will keep your family matter and your financial information private.
Who is your Trustee?
Who will be responsible for managing your trust?
What about Distribution?
How do you want the Trust assets distributed?
What are your Assets?
Your Real Property, Investments, and Cash?
What are your Tangible Assets?
Vehicles, Jewelry, Heirlooms, etc.
Buda Law Group will help YOU:
- Gather your documents
- Determine your net worth
- Review Beneficiary Scenarios
- Determine how you (and your Beneficiaries) will hold title to property, in the future
Understanding Wills vs. Trusts
- Probate is guaranteed
- Provides for the distribution of assets owned by you
- Only goes into effect when you die. Referred to as a “death” document
- Allows you to appoint guardians for your minor children
- Names a personal representative you wish to settle your estate
- May include protective trusts for beneficiaries
- Allows you to revoke or amend your instructions at any time while you are alive
- With a fully-funded trust, Probate can be avoided
- Provides for distribution of your assets
- Can be effective during your lifetime, during any period of disability, and/or after death.
- Referred to as a “living” document
- Provides for a successor trustee upon your death or incapacity
- Often includes protective trusts for beneficiaries
- Allows you to revoke or amend your wishes during your lifetime
- The process wherein a person’s legal and financial affairs must be authenticated after death.
- This includes outstanding legitimate debts paid, and assets transferred to beneficiaries.
In California, probate proceedings are conducted in the Superior Court for the county in which the decedent lived
Let us show you why our clients refer us to their family & friends.