15th Apr 2013

Last January 2013, a large estate in Northern California reportedly sold for about $117.5 million, which was ostensibly the second most expensive estate ever sold in the US. If you were blessed to own such a property, chances are that passing it on to your heirs after your death can be a complex legal concern. A living trust may suffice for the time being, but finding a trustworthy California estate planning attorney is also necessary for people with such expensive assets.

Estate planning is quite simply the process of preparing all of your financial assets and property for distribution to your loved ones upon your passing. This is not as mundane as you might think, as reputable estate attorneys like Dwight Edward Tompkins have seen countless heirs engage in bitter feuds over the assets of a deceased loved one mainly due to a poorly written will. There’s also the matter of federal estate taxes to consider. Luckily, estate planning attorneys can help you manage your assets through the following services.

Probate Administration

If the value of your estate exceeds $150,000, you’ll need to open a probate case in a Superior Court. This step ensures that your loved ones will legally inherit your property. Probate administration is the legal process that involves appraising all of your assets, paying estate taxes when appropriate, and distributing the said assets to the appointed beneficiaries.

Living Trusts

A highly competent living trust attorney in California can help manage your assets and name your beneficiaries while you are still alive. A living trust is often faster and cheaper to process than a probate case. While a living trust is no substitute for a clearly stated will, it can allow you to simply “pour over” the assets in a living trust into your will.

Special Needs Planning

A special trust is necessary to take care of a disabled loved one in the unfortunate event of your death. Special needs trusts are typically incorporated into the overall estate plan to cover for that person’s needs. These trusts can also be absorbed into a living trust.

When considering your own mortality, you’ll inevitably need to grapple with matters of a temporal natural. The legal process of inheritance can be quite daunting, particularly if you’re dealing with considerable assets. Through advanced planning and the help of an estate planning attorney, you’ll have fewer things to worry about.

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