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  • Estate Planning

  • Trust Administration

  • Special Needs Planning

What is Estate Planning?

Creating an estate plan, including a living trust, is the most secure way to ensure your wishes are followed and that your family does not have to go through the lengthy and costly probate court process.  A good estate plan also includes built-in incapacity planning options.  

Estate Planning is the process for you to specify how your assets will be distributed after you pass away.  This preparation is important so your family knows what your intentions were, the court does not need to get involved, and there is no guesswork.  

Your Estate Plan allows you to nominate who would take care of your financial affairs, minor children, and health care decisions, in the event you are unable to do so.  Thus, an Estate Plan includes components that apply both if you are incapacitated and if you have passed away.  Having an Estate Plan in place ensures that your loved ones have one less thing to think about.

Here is information from the State Bar of California about Estate Planning: Do I need Estate Planning?

What does the typical Estate Plan include?

The typical Estate Plan includes the following documents:

-Revocable Living Trust: This outlines your wishes for asset distribution and keeps your family from needing to go through the probate process
-Pour-over Will: This nominates guardianship of any minor children
-Financial Power of Attorney: This gives authority to those you nominate to handle your finances, should you be incapacitated to do so
-Advance Health Care Directive: This document directs who is authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so and also what your wishes are in certain medical scenarios

What is Trust Administration?

Trust Administration is the process to carry out the terms of a trust after the person who created the trust has passed away.  This requires working with the successor trustee(s) to ensure they know what the trust dictates and can take the appropriate steps to divide and distribute trust assets to the intended beneficiaries.

What is Special Needs Planning?

Special Needs Planning is for families that include a member with special needs to make sure that the disabled person is able to receive benefits from an Estate Plan, without having public benefits (e.g. Medi-Cal, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income) be compromised.  Creating a Special Needs Trust allows the family to develop a plan of care for the family member with a disability.