Estate Planning, Will & Trust Attorneys
Our San Diego attorneys at Gallagher Krich, APC, are dedicated to helping local clients and families with their estate planning needs. If you would like to establish a will or trust, please call our office at (858) 926-5797 or request a free consultation through our online contact form to get started.
Do I Need an Estate Plan?
A full “Estate Plan” is a package of documents including a will, trust and other essential documents. Estate plans are meant for people who live in California whose net worth is greater than $150,000. If you own a home in California, then you essentially qualify for an estate plan.
If one were to pass in California without an estate plan and with a net worth more than $150,000, then upon passing, the estate would be distributed through probate court. This process can take years and costs thousands in fees to distribute one’s assets to their family. This also creates conflict among family members for families could argue over who gets what and who is entitled to different real estate and other personal property.
Eliminate the potential for conflict and the fees and time spent in probate court by securing your future and creating a plan for your family to make sure your children, siblings, and other beneficiaries are taken care of based on your specific wishes.
To learn more about creating a full estate plan for you or a loved one, please call us or complete our contact form to get a free consultation.
How Do I Avoid Probate?
Most individuals should at minimum have a will, and the State of California offers a statutory will free of charge. However this will not save your family or beneficiaries from needing to probate the estate per the will in probate court.
The best way to avoid the time and significant expense of a probate attorney to handle the probate would be to establish a revocable living trust with your spouse, and once the trust is established, transfer significant assets such as your personal bank accounts, real estate holdings and other property into the trust.
Because it is a revocable trust, you can change it during your lifetime to suit your needs; otherwise, your co-trustee, such as your spouse, would have the right to continue to control those jointly held assets through the trust, thus avoiding probate.
Establishing a Trust
Trusts, “living trusts”, and even special needs trusts are invaluable planning tools that can be utilized by most Californians – not just the wealthy. A trust consists of a trustee (the person in charge of the designated assets like money or property) and the beneficiary (the person who enjoys the benefits of the trust assets). Trusts can be used in many ways, including to ensure that sufficient funds are available for retirement and to avoid the high cost of probate court. Further, trusts can be an invaluable vehicle for avoiding estate taxes at your death and avoiding the financial devastation that a prolonged nursing home stay can cause.
A trust is a popular method for maintaining greater control over monetary and real estate assets. A person creates the trust while he or she is living, maintains control of it while alive and is able to detail specific instructions well past the time of death.
Establishing a Will
A will is a common estate planning document to plan what happens when one passes. It contains information relating to the distribution of assets after passing. A will may also name caretakers for young children and other instructions that relate to child care to take effect if the parent or parents pass.
Do I need a will created?
Will creation is important even for the relatively young and healthy. If an accident were to happen, you risk having no influence over key decision-making when it comes to your money and property. In drafting wills, our San Diego-based lawyers apply a meticulous attention to detail to eliminate the potential for family conflict.
Ready to get started? Contact our San Diego wills, trust & estate planning attorneys at Gallagher Krich APC today online or at (858) 926-5797.
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