Santa Clarita Estate Planning Attorney
Serving all Southern California. Call (888) 630-9902.
When it comes to developing a plan for the future of your estate, it is
important to take proactive measures to protect your assets. Establishing
a living trust, will, and other documents will allow for the proper transfer
of your property after death. This process – called estate planning
– determines who will receive your property and how it will be distributed
after you are no longer around, as well as setting guidelines on how to
carry out those wishes.
Why Choose Our Estate Planning Lawyers?
- Providing trusted, top-rated counsel since 1975
Voted Best Attorney by readers of
- Earned 10.0 out of 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating
- Selection for Nation’s Top One Percent of attorneys by the NADC
Due to the inherit complexities of your estate and the utmost importance
that surrounds its proper distribution and care, most people decide that
it is best to find professional help for this procedure. If you would
like assistance from an experienced and caring team, contact a Santa Clarita
estate planning attorney from The Werner Law Firm today.
Managing Your Estate and Choosing Your Inheritors
One of the most important steps in estate planning is cataloguing the extent
of your assets and determining who should get what portion. Significant
pieces of your estate that you will want to address include: Homes and
other real estate, family heirlooms, businesses, automobiles, and valuable
furniture items, etc.
An Effective Estate Plan Brings Welcome Benefits and Relief
If property is not properly dealt with through a living trust or other
estate planning measures, it may be necessary to go through
Probate. Probate is a court proceeding in which the decedent's estate will
be divided according to a person's will, or simply to their heirs
if there is no will.
Probate is a lengthy process that involves a substantial amount of paperwork,
money, and time. In order to avoid a complex probate process and to have
greater control over your assets in the future, you should take proactive
steps to plan your estate by
contacting our firm today.
Overseeing Your Estate Through Wills and Trusts
trust or a
will can work to designate friends or family members as the beneficiaries of
your estate, and to generally make things easier for them.
The first question many people ask when they call our firm is what the
difference is between a will and a trust. Both a will and a trust designate
who you want to have receive your property when you pass away, how they
will receive it, and who will be in charge of distributing the property.
You can leave your entire estate to a single individual, split your estate
between your children, or designate particular items for particular people.
Generally speaking, you have a great amount of freedom in making such
Living Trusts are generally preferred when you own real property, or if
you have a large estate. Almost anyone who owns real property should have
a living trust. If you simply had a will, your real property would still
need to be transferred out of your name on death. Naming a beneficiary
in a will would advise the court who you wanted to have receive the real
property, but you would still have to go through probate or a probate
procedure in order to effect that transfer of ownership. Probate cases
can be expensive and can sometimes take over a year to complete. In probate
cases, statutory probate fees are based off of the gross value of the estate:
- 4% of first $100,000 of estate
- 3% of second $100,000 of estate
- 2% of next 800,000 of estate
That means that if the estate is worth $400,000, the statutory fees you
would pay would be $9,000. Filing fees and miscellaneous costs (publication
in a legal newspaper, etc.) would bring the total probate fees and costs
up to around $11,000. When considering the amount of money and time that
loved ones would have to put into a probate case, a living trust is a
much preferred and easier alternative.
When you create a living trust, you transfer any real property you own
into the trust which you want the trust to control. While you are alive,
you control and manage the living trust. You can amend it, modify terms,
or revoke it. You can sell or refinance any real property owned by the
trust, you simply sign documents as trustee of the trust. When creating
the trust, you also name a successor trustee. That individual then takes
over control of the trust and trust property when you pass away, allowing
them to sell and manage trust property without having to go through probate
or any court process. They are responsible, of course, to manage and distribute
the trust according to your wishes as set forth in the trust. With a living
trust, you also have a lot more freedom to control your property after
you pass away. For example, if you have minor children, you can set up
the trust so that they receive property when they reach a certain age,
or even have multiple distributions when they reach certain ages. Instead
of receiving assets outright at age 18, a trust can call that they would
receive 1/3 of their share at age 22, 1/3 at age 25, and 1/3 at age 30.
Our estate planning attorneys at the Werner Law Firm are dedicated to representing
clients who wish to create a smooth succession plan. If you have any questions
or would like an overview of the process, feel free to contact us for
a free telephone consultation. We will explain the legal process in creating
these documents, determine what would be most beneficial to you, and figure
out a game plan moving forward.
More Than 40 Years of Award-Winning Service
At The Werner Law Firm, we have counseled clients in various aspects of
the estate planning process since 1975. Our Santa Clarita lawyers can
help you develop a will and trust to guide the distribution of your property
after your passing. During a free case evaluation, our legal team can
help you determine which steps you should take to secure and protect your property.
Discuss your customized estate planning options:
call (888) 630-9902 for a free evaluation!