Estate Planning Attorneys in Mendocino Protecting the Wealth of Families
Considering that you will one day pass away and that your family may need financial planning can be a difficult item to cope with. Our compassionate and caring attorneys not only want to make the legal process easier for you, but we also care about your wishes and feelings at every step of the way. DeCarli Law takes pride in helping all families prepare for the future, including:
- Non-traditional and blended families (families with children from a previous marriage or relationship)
- Grandparents and other individuals with custody of minor children
- Individuals who own real estate, including their own home
Attorney Debra DeCarli has many years of experience and her legal team has the expertise to help you get what you need out of your estate plan. Whether your situation requires a will, a living trust, another kind of trust, or any documentation as part of the estate planning process, we can ensure that the documents drawn up reflect your unique needs and wishes.
Our law firm has locations in Pleasanton, CA, and also in beautiful coastal Mendocino. We are also pleased to offer virtual appointments as well as handling meetings by phone if you prefer. Reach out to us today for a free initial consultation at (707) 937-2701.
What Does Estate Planning Mean?
When most people think of estate planning, they only think about creating a will. While a will is an important part of preparing for your death, there are many other options to consider that can offer more benefits and protection for your hard-earned assets. The following are some ways individuals use estate planning to better prepare for the future:
- Indicating how to distribute assets, which protects your estate from going through the lengthy and expensive process of probate where the court makes these decisions for you
- Choosing a guardian for any minor children, as well as who, will handle the finances on their behalf until they are old enough to do so
- Make sure any property you own is being held in the best way to minimize taxes due when it is passed on to your heirs
- Establishing how retirement funds—like a 401k or IRA—is to be distributed can also protect your wealth from as much taxation as possible
- Determining how your finances and healthcare will be managed if something should happen that causes you to be unable to do so yourself
- Indicating who you want to administer your estate after you die, which could be an individual or an institution
All of these choices and decisions can be overwhelming, but the beauty of estate planning is the diverse ways it can be handled, leaving a perfectly unique plan that is best suited for your family and situation. The estate planning lawyers at DeCarli Law take pride in listening to your concerns and will make sure your wishes are carried out in the most optimal way possible.
What Documents Make-Up Estate Planning?
While estate planning comes in a wide variety of documents tailored to your family, there are a few general aspects to an estate plan that many individuals will include. These are:
- Trusts (these can include a living trust, a marital trust or AB trust, a special needs trust, or a charitable trust)
- Durable powers of attorney (for financial or other important matters should you become incapable of caring for these things yourself)
- Transfer-on-death deeds
- Advance healthcare directives or living wills
State and Federal laws govern how a person’s estate is taxed and passed on after they die. To minimize the effect that taxation and probate have on your property and assets, you will want an estate plan suited to your situation. For example, if you own property in another state, those laws may also apply to that portion of your assets. Our law firm is prepared to help with whatever needs may arise during your real estate planning. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.
Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?
With such rigid laws that govern inheriting property and the possibility of losing so much of your hard-earned income to taxes, your greatest choice may be to take action now to prepare for the event of your death. There is always the possibility of becoming unable to care for yourself as well, at which time you would benefit from having a trusted individual designated to handle your estate and a plan for them to carry out your wishes.
Having an estate plan can also be a critical step in preventing your wealth from being subject to probate court, which can be a lengthy and expensive process. Estate planning can also protect your privacy, as information about assets that go through probate becomes available to the public. Leaving these important decisions up to the court can also mean that close friends or unmarried domestic partners will receive nothing from your estate if you pass away.
Minimizing the taxes to be paid on your inherited property is no small matter, either. Setting up your will and trust funds can play an important role in preserving as much wealth as possible for your family’s financial security.
Can Mendocino, CA Estate Planning Lawyers Help Protect Your Future?
While it can be daunting to think of all the aspects of estate planning, taking a few simple steps today can ensure that your assets are protected and administered the way you want them to be. Estate planning lawyers who know how to assess your needs and get you the proper legal protection are waiting to talk to you today. Please reach out to us for a free initial consultation at one of our offices in northern California, including our location in lovely coastal Mendocino. We also offer virtual appointments and can provide services by phone for clients who prefer not to meet in person. Give us a call today at (707) 937-2701.