Estate Planning Attorney in Orange County, California
No matter how young or old you think you are and whether you have any health problems, it is always a good time to plan for your family’s future. Your family deserves a feeling of security and so do you. At The Farano Law Group APC, our attorney has more than four decades of experience providing a wide range of estate planning services to clients throughout Orange County and Southern California.
Our estate planning attorney in Orange County, California, is compassionate about helping you achieve your long-term goals by ensuring that your intentions are clearly written and your documents are in order. We are here to assist you with all of your legal needs to ensure that your best interests are protected and your legacy is preserved for future generations. The Farano Law Group APC serves clients in Orange County and the neighboring Los Angeles and Riverside counties.
What Is Estate Planning?
Many people do not realize they have an estate. They mistakenly believe that only the richest people have “an estate.” However, an estate is something we all have. It is your car, house, bank account, retirement benefits, and even your furniture. In legal terminology, an estate encompasses all the things we leave behind when we pass away.
Estate planning is the process of arranging the management and ownership of all the things you own. While an estate plan allows you to control what happens to your assets after you die, distributing your property to your heirs is not the only thing you can accomplish with estate planning. Among other things, you can also name guardians for your children and appoint the people you trust to handle your personal, financial, and healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated. An estate plan can be tailored to your specific goals and needs to reflect your current situation.
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The Estate Planning Documents
Contrary to popular, an estate plan is not just your Last Will and Testament. A comprehensive estate plan can contain more than a will. Depending on what you want accomplished, estate planning documents include but are not limited to:
Last Will and Testament. The Last Will and Testament, commonly referred to as a will, is a legal document that communicates the testator’s wishes to distribute their assets upon their death. Wills must be drafted and executed in accordance with California law, which requires these documents to be in writing and have them signed by at least two people, known as “witnesses,” who are present at the same time. When a person dies without a will, they leave all of their property up to the court to decide how it should be distributed to their heirs based on the state’s intestate succession laws.
Living trust. With a living trust, the trustor gives another person, the trustee, the authority to make decisions about the property held in the trust for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiaries). However, the trustor retains full control of the assets within the trust during their lifetime. The most prominent benefits of creating a living trust include bypassing probate, minimizing estate taxes, and protecting privacy.
Power of attorney (POA). This document is a written permission that gives another person, the agent, the right to act or represent the interests of the principal (the person who creates the document). Depending on the type of decisions the agent can make, a power of attorney can be financial or medical. A financial POA authorizes the agent to make financial decisions on behalf of the principal, while a medical POA gives them the right to make health care decisions.
Advance directive. An advance directive is a legal document that spells out a person’s wishes and instructions for health care. In fact, a medical POA is often considered to be a type of advance directive. Another common type of advance directive is a living will, which allows a person to express their preferences regarding medical treatment and end-of-life care.
At this point, you might be wondering, “But what estate planning documents do I need?” When it comes to estate planning, there is no universal solution that would meet everyone’s needs and circumstances. The documents you need as part of your estate plan depend on your particular situation. A consultation with an estate planning attorney at The Farano Law Group APC can help you understand what you need and how to get started on your plan.
What Are the Benefits of an Estate Plan?
Since everyone’s situation is unique, the potential advantages of estate planning will vary from one person to another. Generally, having an estate plan is associated with the following benefits:
Avoid or minimize the cost and delays of probate
Protect your hard-earned assets from estate taxes
Make sure that your wishes for the distribution of your assets are honored after you are gone
Plan for your incapacity
Avoid family conflicts over inheritance
Maintain your privacy
Our attorney at The Farano Law Group APC can advise you on the best way to structure your estate to ensure that you and your family can enjoy as many of the benefits as possible. We are here to help you plan ahead and take the burden of estate planning off your shoulders.
Estate Planning Attorney in Orange County, California
At The Farano Law Group APC, we understand that estate decisions can be complex and emotional. Our estate planning attorney in Orange County, California, is here to help you build a bridge to your future and protect your legacy. We are a small firm with a big heart and the expertise necessary to devise the best estate planning solutions for clients. Get in touch to schedule a consultation and get the individualized attention you deserve.