What Does an Orange County Estate Planning Lawyer Do?
An Orange County estate planning lawyer will help you manage important aspects of your estate.
The term “estate” means all of your assets, which includes the businesses you own, the cash in your bank accounts, stocks, real estate, jewelry, and anything else you own.
As an Orange County estate planning lawyer, I help you create a collection of legal documents – your “estate plan” – to protect, preserve, and eventually transfer your assets to your beneficiaries. I explain the purpose behind each of these documents below.
How to Save Time and Money with a Revocable Trust Instead of a Will
The main benefit of using a trust instead of a will is to avoid probate court. Probate court can take many months, or even several years, to process your will and transfer your assets to your beneficiaries. This process not only takes time, but it will cost you unnecessary court expenses that could have been avoided if you had set up a revocable trust instead.
A revocable trust helps you save time and money by keeping you out of probate court. The revocable trust is a legal instrument that allows a trustee to hold title to your assets in order to manage them according to your wishes. Normally with a revocable trust, you are the initial trustee of your trust, or alongside your spouse as a co-trustee.
The revocable trust is flexible, because it allows you to transfer assets in and out of the trust during your lifetime. Upon your death, the trust acts like a will and disburses your assets to your beneficiaries according to your instructions.
Don’t Leave Your Loved Ones Guessing, Do This to Avoid Wasting Time in Court
Estate planning includes more than protecting and transferring your assets. Part of creating an estate plan also includes planning for the circumstances that occur as you age – such as incapacitation, ongoing medical care, and deciding what happens after you pass away.
In California, these areas of concern are addressed through three main documents.
#1 – Your Power of Attorney. The power of attorney allows you to appoint one or more of your loved ones to help you conduct business matters and legal contracts on your behalf. This can include access to your financial accounts, the power to transfer title to your assets, or the power to enter into an agreement on your behalf. You can decide which persons have access to which powers, and you can decide when those powers are to take effect and terminate. This helps you conduct your legal affairs if you are sick, unconscious, or incapacitated.
#2 – Your Advance Healthcare Directive. In some states this is called a “medical power of attorney.” Similar to the power of attorney, the advance healthcare directive allows you to give another person the power to make medical decisions on your behalf, when you are unable to do so for yourself. Further, the advance healthcare directive allows you to be specific about the medical care you wish to receive or decline in case you are incapacitated and unable to communicate with your doctors. This also gives the agent you appoint some direction as to your wishes.
#3 – Your HIPAA Authorization. The HIPAA release form allows you to grant one or more of your loved ones access to important medical records that will help them carry forth your wishes for your medical care. Without the HIPAA release form, your medical providers are legally required to keep your documents confidential. This could seriously inhibit your family or other agents who need to analyze your medical records in order to make decisions for your healthcare.
If these three documents are not in effect before you become incapacitated, your loved ones will have to request the probate court for a conservatorship, which will waste your family’s valuable time and money. These documents give the same powers a conservatorship would give, except the conservatorship is granted by the judge in probate court vs. by you through these express authorizations.
How Much Does an Orange County Estate Planning Lawyer Cost?
Estate planning is not something only rich people do, it for every household who wants to take easy steps now to care for their family, their loved ones, and their beneficiaries, in order to avoid a huge headache later.
You really can’t afford not to make an estate plan, because if you fail to do so, the time and expense later can cause extreme hardship for your family.
For those who are on a tight budget but still need help, Denni Law, Inc. helps you prepare your estate plan in small, simple steps.
For only $100, we can create your power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, and HIPAA authorizations. By setting these documents up in advance, you will save many hours in court and potentially multiple hundreds or thousands of dollars in probate court fees.
Since the revocable trust requires specific tailoring to your unique situation, our fees will vary depending on your needs, but payment plans are available to make the cost more manageable, if needed. No one should be denied the right to form an estate plan because it is prohibitively expensive.
Call us today (949-973-6478) or use the contact form below for help with your estate plan.
How Do I Hire an Orange County Estate Planning Lawyer?
Getting help is easy.
You can meet me in person or virtually so we can explain the process, and create a plan to meet the needs of you and your family. Just text me at 949-973-6478 to get started.