Estate planning attorneys in Sacramento, California
We are a leading estate planning law firm in Sacramento, California. Our estate planning attorneys can help you with preparation of wills & trusts, advance health care directives, powers of attorney, and other related services.
Real Estate Law Corporation law firm offers estate planning service in Sacramento, California. Contact us for a consultation.
Estate planning attorneys
One of the most important things you can do for your loved ones is to create an estate plan, which will direct where your assets go after your pass away. Estate planning is a great way to make sure your loved ones are provided for and taken care of after you are no longer here. It is also a great way to organize all of your documents in one place for your loved ones, so that they are not struggling to locate all of your important documents.
Our law firm is experienced in preparing Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, Pour Over Wills, Advanced Health Care Directives, HIPAA Authorizations, General Durable Power of Attorney documents, and many other estate planning documents.
Our attorneys have prepared hundreds of estate plans for clients all over Northern California over the years, and we provide compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance throughout the entire estate planning process. We will also help you make sure that your trust is funded and all of your assets get properly transferred into your trust to avoid any legal issues in the future.
We want to make sure your estate plan is perfect for you and your family.
WillS & Probate
Did you know if you die without any estate planning documents, that your assets are distributed according to California law? California law requires that your assets go through a lengthy public court process called Probate.
Probate also has a statutorily defined fee structure under California Probate Code §10810, where approximately 4% of the value of your estate is paid in fees to an attorney, and another 4% is paid to the personal representative or executor of your estate.
It also will not allow for specific gifts to people outside of your immediate family or to your friends. Your assets will pass via intestate succession, to your closest living relatives. A will is a great way to direct where your assets go, however, many are unaware that it will still require Probate. We highly recommend preparing a revocable living trust to avoid Probate.
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is a great way to avoid Probate, in addition to avoiding those statutorily defined minimum fees and a public court administration. It also gives you the flexibility to choose who you want to administer your trust, or who will be your Trustee, to provide specific gifts to loved ones and friends and to choose who receives your assets. A revocable living trust also gives you the flexibility to change your estate plan as your needs change, while maintaining your privacy. Revocable Living Trusts are the most common estate planning option chosen.
Our Revocable Living Trust package comes with the following documents included, so that everything is taken care of for you:
- Revocable Living Trust
- Pour Over Will
- Certificate of Trust
- General Assignment Agreement
- General Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
- General Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Care
- HIPAA Authorization
- Advanced Health Care Directive
- Health Care Instructions
- Marital Agreement
- Final Services Request & Authorization for Cremation
- Grant Deeds
- Transfer Letters
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is essentially a document that can be changed while you are alive and have capacity, and it will direct where your assets go upon your death through a private trust administration outside of Probate. You can select who you want to inherit all of your assets and who will act as your trustee after your death to be responsible for administering your trust.
You can also customize certain parts of your trust to provide for compensation to the trustee and add the option of certain specific gifts of your personal property to your loved ones.
Pour Over Will
When you prepare a trust, you should always prepare a pour over will. This ensures that any of your assets that did not get properly funded into your trust will get “poured over” into your trust in order to avoid Probate. It acts as an additional safety net for your estate plan.
CertificatE of Trust
A Certificate of Trust is a document that states the name of your trust and provides proof that you are the trustee. This document is generally used to provide to banks and financial institutions to show that you have authority as the trustee of your trust. It also ensures that you do not have to show your entire trust document to a third party.
General Assignment Agreement
A General Transfer or General Assignment Agreement evidences your intent to have all of your assets transferred into your trust, and it will help transfer any future assets into your trust as well. This document also evidences your intent to have everything you own held in your trust and further avoid Probate.
General Durable Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that appoints an agent or an “attorney-in-fact” to represent you in your personal and financial dealings. However, a standard power of attorney will terminate once you become incapacitated unless you have a durable power of attorney, which allows your agent to continue to act on your behalf while you are incapacitated. A General Durable Power of Attorney is crucial in ensuring others can carry on tasks for you if you become incapacitated. Our law firm prepares two forms for you, a financial power of attorney form and a power of attorney for health care.
A HIPAA Authorization allows your power of attorney to access your medical records in the event you become incapacitated, so that he or she can effectively carry out your wishes.
Advanced Health Care Directive
We can also help you prepare an Advanced Health Care Directive where you can also choose someone close to you to make health care decisions based on your direction. We have seen many families choose a spouse or child and this document helps them make important decisions and will prevent any guessing because they will know exactly what your wishes are, such as:
- Choice not to prolong life, or choice to prolong life
- Pain relief wishes
- Organ donation
Final Services Request & Authorization for Cremation
We also provide you the opportunity to specify how you would like your final services, such as choosing a burial, cremation or a certain religious ceremony of your choice to ensure your loved ones know your wishes.
Our law firm will prepare a Grant Deed to transfer title of your home into your trust name, to ensure that your home is part of your trust and not subject to Probate. We will also assist with recording the deeds with the County Recorder’s office where your home is located, subject to recording fees.
We also prepare transfer letters to your banks and financial institutions to transfer title of your accounts to your trust name. Many law firms do not help their clients transfer their assets into their trust, however, at Real Estate Law Corporation we help our clients through the entire process of setting up their trusts and transferring title to all of their assets into the trust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Estate planning is the process of arranging for the management and distribution of one's assets and wealth, both during their lifetime and after their passing. It involves making important decisions about the transfer of assets, the appointment of guardians for minor children, and the establishment of healthcare directives and powers of attorney. Having a comprehensive estate plan in place is crucial for individuals and families for several reasons. Firstly, it allows individuals to have control over their assets and affairs, ensuring that their wishes are carried out in the event of incapacity or death. Secondly, it helps minimize the financial burden and potential conflicts among heirs or beneficiaries. Estate planning can also provide tax advantages and protect assets from creditors or long-term care expenses. Ultimately, a well-crafted estate plan offers peace of mind, security, and the assurance that one's legacy will be preserved and distributed according to their wishes.
Our law firm specializes in creating customized estate plans tailored to the unique financial situations and family needs of our clients. We start by conducting thorough consultations to understand your specific goals, assets, and family dynamics. Our experienced attorneys then work closely with you to design a comprehensive estate plan that addresses your objectives, whether it involves wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, or other estate planning tools. We provide expert guidance on tax planning, asset protection, and the establishment of contingencies for various scenarios. Throughout the process, our priority is to ensure that your estate plan reflects your wishes, maximizes the preservation and distribution of your assets, and provides for the well-being and security of your loved ones. Our mission is to empower you with a customized estate plan that offers peace of mind and confidence in the protection of your legacy.
An effective estate plan typically includes key elements such as a last will and testament, which outlines the distribution of assets, guardianship for minor children, and executor appointments; trusts, which allow for the efficient transfer of assets, often with specific conditions or instructions; powers of attorney, granting individuals the authority to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf; and healthcare directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney for healthcare, which provide guidance on medical decisions and designate individuals to make healthcare choices if you become incapacitated. Our attorneys assist in drafting and executing these documents by guiding clients through the decision-making process, customizing each document to align with their unique goals and circumstances, ensuring legal compliance, and overseeing the proper execution and notarization of these essential estate planning instruments. We prioritize clarity, precision, and the protection of our clients' interests throughout the estate planning process.
Estate taxes, probate, and asset protection are critical considerations in estate planning. Estate taxes are levied on the transfer of a deceased person's assets to their heirs, and they can significantly reduce the inheritance received by beneficiaries. Probate is the legal process through which a will is validated, and the deceased person's assets are distributed. It can be time-consuming and costly, potentially tying up assets for an extended period. Asset protection involves safeguarding your assets from creditors, lawsuits, or other potential threats. Our firm provides strategies to minimize estate tax liabilities by leveraging tax-efficient vehicles such as trusts and gifting strategies. We also help clients create estate plans that can avoid or expedite the probate process, reducing costs and delays. Additionally, we advise on asset protection techniques, including the use of trusts and legal structures, to shield assets from potential risks. Our goal is to maximize the preservation and efficient distribution of your assets while minimizing tax burdens and simplifying the process for your beneficiaries.
Ensuring that your estate plan remains up-to-date and reflective of your changing circumstances is crucial for its effectiveness. Life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children or grandchildren, changes in financial status, and changes in tax laws can all impact the relevance of your estate plan. To maintain an up-to-date plan, it's advisable to periodically review and revise your estate planning documents. Our attorneys can assist in these reviews by scheduling regular consultations to discuss any life changes, financial developments, or legal updates that may necessitate adjustments to your plan. We offer expert guidance on how to update wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives to align with your current wishes and goals. Our aim is to ensure that your estate plan remains a comprehensive and accurate reflection of your intentions and that it continues to provide the protection and benefits you desire as your circumstances evolve.
The process for administering an estate after a loved one's passing involves several steps, including validating the will, identifying and valuing assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries as per the deceased's wishes. Executors and trustees play a crucial role in this process, ensuring that the estate is managed and distributed in compliance with the law and the deceased's instructions. Our law firm offers comprehensive guidance and representation to executors, trustees, and beneficiaries during this challenging time. We help navigate the complex legal and financial aspects of estate administration, provide advice on fulfilling fiduciary duties, and ensure compliance with all legal requirements. We assist in asset identification and valuation, preparation of tax returns, and communication with beneficiaries. Our goal is to provide compassionate and expert support to clients, allowing them to fulfill their roles effectively and ensuring that the estate administration process proceeds as smoothly as possible, minimizing stress and potential disputes.