Why Create A Will Or Trust?
This is an excellent question. Creating these documents works to ensure that your estate, family and medical care are managed in the way that you want. A trust can work to protect your assets from going through California probate, which can be a long process.
Karen J. La Madrid has over 30 years of California estate planning experience. She and her staff at the Law Offices of Karen J. La Madrid will assess your situation and goals and explain how these documents can be of value to you and your loved ones.
What Can Be Included In A Will?
A will, or last will and testament, is a planning tool that can be as simple or detailed as you wish. By clearly naming specific people as inheritors of particular items such as jewelry, guns, furniture, china and sentimental belongings, a will can help avoid bitter disputes and other conflicts among family and loved ones.
A will can also include other documents, such as those involved in the following situations:
- If you are a parent, you will want to include designated guardians for your minor children so that, if the unthinkable happens, everyone knows what the plan is. If you have minor children, a trust (see below) may also be an option.
- A will can also contain your wishes for your own care. You can designate a power of attorney (POA). This is the person who is legally empowered to take care of your financial matters for you if you cannot. They can write checks, pay bills, open and close accounts – whichever powers you give them.
- You may want to designate a health care proxy. This is the person who is legally empowered to make medical decisions on your behalf.
- You can be as detailed as you wish regarding the medical care and services that you want or do not want in your advance directive plan (also called a living will). This directive is sent to your doctor. A copy is also given to your loved ones.
- Depending on your stage of life, you may want to include additional documents, such as a POLST form and a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, and your wishes for organ and tissue donation and funeral or cremation services.
You may wish to include specific instructions, stories, memories or your hopes for those who are still growing up. A will allows you to leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones and can be tailored to meet your preferences and needs. Wills and plans can also be updated at any time.
The Benefits Of A Trust
There are many types of trusts, each with a specific purpose. Trusts are immensely powerful and flexible tools. Trusts can serve to preserve your wealth, minimize your taxes and protect your family assets and business. A trust can also be set up to provide for minor children or children with special needs.
A well-prepared trust can preclude your estate from having to go through the California probate process because all the assets in a trust do not belong to you, they belong to the trust. So, if the value of the assets outside of a trust are lower than $166,250 (as of January 2020), your California estate will avoid probate.
Karen J. La Madrid and her staff can assist in the management and protection of your trust assets through tax reduction, creditor protection and charitable giving. She and the team will ensure that the multigenerational transfer of wealth is a smooth process. We also offer administration guidance.
The Experience And Personal Assistance You Deserve
Call 951-224-9209 to speak with a member of our staff about your California will and trust needs. With over 30 years of estate planning experience, Karen has the skill and know-how to help. You can also reach the Riverside firm via website contact email. We will help you make a plan, see it through and leave a legacy.