Riverside Estate Planning Attorney
Estate Planning is the process of assuring the your personal and financial needs and desires are met during a period of disability and after death. Your desires can include designating a person to make health care and/or financial decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so for yourself, avoiding a conservatorship proceeding if you become incapacitated, pre-planning for the devastating costs of long term care, avoiding probate at your death, reducing estate taxes, protecting your wealth and assuring it goes to your intended beneficiaries, avoiding family disputes and passing on family values and life lessons.
Key Components of a Comprehensive Estate Plan
- A revocable living trust to hold and protect your assets, avoid probate, and assure an easy transition of management of your assets in the event of disability or death.
- A pour-over Will as a safety mechanism in case a probate is necessary (proper funding of your estate plan during life should avoid the necessity of a probate proceeding in the Riverside County Probate Court or San Bernardino County Probate Court).
- A Financial Power of Attorney to assist with the management of your finances in the event of disability.
- An Advance Health Care Directive to designate the person who will make health care decisions for you (in the event you cannot make these decisions for yourself) and to designate your health care wishes. An Advance Health Care Directive should be accompanied by HIPAA Authorization Forms, in order to facilitate communication between your trustees and agents and any health care professionals.
- A General Assignment Form to transfer ownership of your tangible personal property to your revocable living trust.
- A Community Property Agreement to balance estates with large retirement plans and to assure maximum income tax savings for the surviving spouse after the death of the first spouse.
- Funding instructions to assure that title to your assets are property transferred to your trust during lifetime. This crucial step, which is often missed by clients after they have their estate plan documents executed, is necessary in order to assure that a probate is avoided upon death. You should also get instructions regarding beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and retirement accounts.
- Estate planning memorandum to designate how your trustee is to distribute personal items that may have little financial value but could have significant personal meaning. These items, such as grandpa’s old rusted shotgun or the plate that belonged to great-grandma are often the subject of major disputes among family members after death.
- Direction letters, location lists, death and disability worksheets and a trustee handbook to help your successor trustee administer your estate in the event of your death or incapacity.
- A conversation about legacy planning and how you can preserve and pass on what is many times more important than money – family history, personal values and life lessons that may prove invaluable to your loved ones.
Estate Planning Fees
The fee for a comprehensive estate plan is a fixed fee. There are no hidden charges. The fee varies slightly depending on the complexity of the client’s situation. Our 2013 fee schedule is:
- Unmarried individuals: $2,500 – $3,000
- Married couples or LGBT / Unmarried Partners: $3,000 – $4,000
If you have a special needs loved one, very large retirement assets, or desire extensive asset protection provisions as part of your estate plan, the flat fee for your comprehensive plan may be slightly higher.
What to Expect
Your one hour consultation with one of our estate planning and tax attorneys is free. At the conclusion of your meeting, you will be quoted a flat fee for the services you desire. Charges for other estate planning services, such as the amendment of an existing trust or preparation of health care documents only can vary, but the fee for these services is generally less than the fee for a comprehensive estate plan.