Probate is for the living. It gives people peace of mind to know that they have:
- Communicated their wishes for emergency health decision making to someone they trust,
- Planned for the continued care of children in a loving home, and
- Provided for family, friends and charity by ensuring their assets are distributed as they intended.
Wills, trusts and health care directives (living wills) are all tools for proper probate. These tools protect your assets, limit your tax liability, and permit you to control where your assets will go upon your death.
Our firm handles a wide range of probate matters for clients throughout Southern California, including will contests and estate litigation.
Bennett & Erdman - Lawyers for Your Life
To discuss a living will, a financial or health care power of attorney, or other probate need with a Los Angeles wills and trusts attorney who is also a Certified Specialist, call 1-877-820-6534. You can also contact us online and a member of our firm will respond quickly.
Los Angeles Probate Lawyer
Probate offers benefits at any stage of life, for individuals and families, and particularly for gay and lesbian families who do not yet have the same protections that same-sex married couples enjoy.
If you are just starting out in life and do not have an "estate" to protect, you can still benefit from a healthcare directive that designates someone to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so, and advises your family of your wishes for medical care.
If you have a young family with children , it's essential to plan for the care of your children should you and your partner die or become unable to care for them. Naming a guardian can easily be done in a will or trust. You may also wish to plan for college, perhaps with an educational trust.
As you become established in your career and your estate increases, a variety of probate tools can be used to minimize the impact of taxes today and on your estate after death. There are a number of different types of revocable and irrevocable trusts. Work with an experienced estate tax planning lawyer who can help you understand which trust will best meet your goals.
If you own a family business , business succession planning can protect the assets of your company and ensure a smooth transition in management after you retire.
The retirement years are a time when many people give serious thought to the distribution of family assets and to charitable giving. We can help you with charitable trusts and charitable remainder trusts, as well as financial gifting to family members. Before you give any significant sum of money, talk with an attorney about gift tax issues.
This is also an important time to consider long-term care planning, to communicate your wishes regarding end-of-life care, and to designate powers of attorney for healthcare decisions and for financial management. If you are experiencing health problems or your spouse has been diagnosed with a progressive illness, Alzheimer's or dementia, it's critical to put these protections in place before they are needed.
Review and Modification of an Estate Plan
If you or your family recently experienced a change in circumstances — the birth of a child, a death in the family, a divorce — this is a good time to review and possibly revise your estate plan. We can assist you in updating your documents to ensure they are adequate and enforceable.