Estate Planning | Probate, Taxes & Trust Law Firm
– PROTECT WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY –
Proper Estate Planning Protects Your Loved Ones, Assets, and Legacy
Developing an estate plan affords you and your family the peace of mind and security that your desires are accurately detailed and described for the unknown future. While estate planning is often associated with preparing for one’s passing, the truth is that having an established estate plan in place guards against unforeseen situations, such as sudden health issues or becoming temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
While a sudden death should be considered, the majority of people typically have some type of warning. An illness or accident can present health issues that can prevent you from making competent decisions regarding your own care. These decisions can include the management of your assets, care for your children and loved ones, and personal health care desires.
Every Family Benefits with an Established Estate Plan
Taking the initiative to begin the estate planning process is an intelligent and logical process for pro-active individuals and families, no matter their current financial or health situation. With the assistance of an experienced law firm, the process can be very straight forward and easily done. Sacramento estate planning lawyers, Michael Abrate and Daniel Olsen, take the time necessary to educate you and your family on the process so you can make informed and sensible decisions.
5 Benefits of Estate Planning
Being proactive by developing an estate plan has many benefits for you, your family, and loved ones. Our goal is to guide you through the process to achieve these five core benefits of estate planning:
- Avoiding Probate
- Reducing Estate Taxes
- Specify How Your Assets Are Distributed
- Planning for Your Future Care and Needs
- Affordable Cost
1: Avoiding Probate
Avoiding probate by having an established estate plan, that includes a living trust and will, is the best-known way to avoid subjecting your family to the great stress and expense that can come with probate court. Dealing with the probate court proceedings can result in a long-drawn-out burden that can come from your unplanned death for up to two years.
2: Reducing Estate Taxes
Meeting with a law firm whose attorneys specialize in estate planning and tax laws can help guide your loved ones to a reduction of taxes by transferring your wealth to your heirs. Many families are shocked to learn that estate taxes, income taxes, and transfer taxes could diminish the value of your estate by as much as half if it’s not properly planned ahead of time. This is especially true as the tax laws surrounding your estate are constantly in flux and being debated. Although you’ve worked hard to provide for your family, the government can have a drastic impact on how your estate is distributed after your death.
Consulting with an experienced attorney in estate planning is one of the best decisions you can make for your estate. Attorneys Michael Abrate & Daniel Olsen can provide the legal guidance for developing a trust, a vital step in asset protection. Establishing a simple plan to make gifts during your remaining years can help your loved ones save considerable taxes.
3: Specify How Your Assets Are Distributed
A properly developed estate plan allows you to ensure that the assets you have spent your life building will be distributed as you wish. Completing the legal documents included in an estate plan outlines the specific details of how you would like your legacy to be distributed and who you would like it to be distributed to. An estate plan will also protect your spouse or partner, children, and other beneficiaries from loss due to their incapacity or immaturity, and from creditors that may later enter their lives.
4: Planning for Your Future Care and Needs
In the event that you are unable to make decisions surrounding your health care or finances, having a living trust, power of attorney, and advance care directive in place as part of your estate plan safeguards that your future care is carried out in the manner you desire.
5: Affordable Cost
One of the most common questions about estate planning is the cost. Working with a Sacramento estate planning attorney is not only affordable now, it is even more cost-effective for your future. Many individuals and families often delay the planning process as they don’t want to consider their final years. This delay can lead to many well-meaning individuals waiting until it is too late.
The truth is, working with an experienced estate planning lawyer is often less stressful and less expensive than a typical visit to your dentist. When you work with the Abrate & Olsen Law Group, we make the process simple for you to complete. You can rest assured that we will guide you through the process step by step.
Working with an Estate Planning Attorney Provides Protection That All Families Need
Taking the time to produce a detailed estate plan, can provide you, your family, and loved ones a strong measure of protection for the future. With the use of various wills, trusts, and other legal documents, many people have been able to successfully distribute their property to their intended beneficiaries while simultaneously limiting their exposure to unnecessary estate taxes and dramatically minimizing or completely avoiding the time and cost of probate.
The Abrate and Olsen Law Group provide estate planning services to clients in Northern California including, Sacramento, Folsom, Elk Grove, Roseville, Rocklin, Fair Oaks, West Sacramento, Davis, Citrus Heights, Stockton, and nearby cities. Mike and Dan take the time to meet with you and your family to understand your unique situation. Their mission is to provide you with legal guidance throughout the estate planning process and give you the personal attention that you deserve. The result is a custom-tailored estate plan that addresses your specific needs include the following legal forms and documents:
- Trust (Living Revocable Trust, Special Needs Trust, or a customized Trust)
- Advance Health Care Directive
- Durable Power of Attorney
What is an Estate Plan?
An estate plan is a collection of legal documents that describe your plans when you can no longer communicate them. This includes how you want your assets, including money and property, distributed and your desires for the care of yourself and your family. Having an estate plan in place gives you the peace of mind that any legal issues will be easier for your loved ones to handle during a time of grief.
Why You Need an Estate Plan
Having a valid will in place directs the state run probate court to order the assets of any person, who owns property in his or her own name upon death, to be distributed as the individual desired. In the unfortunate circumstance where there is no will in place, the court will interject itself by the laws set forth by Intestate Succession for Estate Administration.
Forward planning can protect your family and loved ones from the long and potentially costly probate process. With the absence of a will, complete strangers have the ultimate authority to rule over the distribution of the assets you have spent your life building.
Fortunately, it is not hard to ensure that you will make the final decision regarding your assets, removing the court’s say. Having a will in place also protects your parting legacy from being a publicly recorded ordeal.
It is important to understanding that probate can be a long, time consuming process, that results in court costs and can be psychologically draining to those that outlive you. However, for most families, drafting a living revocable trust can help avoid the unnecessary complications that come with probate.
The Advantages of Having an Estate Plan
- Provides the swiftest, most effective, least costly solution to transfer property to the people you want
- Saves loved ones on costly income and death taxes
- Protects against the expensive and prolonged probate court process
- Affords emotional security for you and your loved ones
- Ensures that you select your heirs and what property will be distributed to them rather than the legal system
- Ensures that your wishes for health decisions are established if you are unable to express your desires
Probate and Trust Administration
Following your passing, the individuals that you have designated in your will must step into action to administer your estate according to the instructions that you provided in your will. This is known as probate, a court-supervised process for distributing your assets according to specific and detailed requirements of the California Probate Code.
Probate administration can be complex and confusing for your beneficiaries and loved ones. However, we are here to provide them with experienced counsel to make the process run smoothly. You can rest assured that we will advise them in the important decisions and responsibilities they are required to make. These decisions and responsibilities can include:
- Preparing Inventories of your property
- Maintaining detailed financial records
- Collecting income owed to you
- Preparing tax returns
- Signing important documents on your behalf
At the Abrate & Olsen Law Group, we provide your loved ones with straightforward and complete guidance that is sensitive to their grieving process.
The best strategy to avoid probate, is through the use of a living trust. Similar to a will, a living trust is a legal document that details your instructions for the disbursement of your assets after your death. However, with a living trust you designate a Successor Trustee who takes the place of the probate court.
We understand that during this time of grieving, a successor trustee can quickly be overwhelmed with the situation. Our experienced trust administration attorneys can guide the successor trustee through their various responsibilities. At the Abrate & Olsen Law Group we take the time to fully provide for your needs including:
- Removing any uncertainty by answering any questions
- Give a detailed explanation of trustee responsibilities
- Fully review and explain the trust document
- Ensure that deadlines are met
- Provide estate tax analysis
- Aid in the gathering of all trust assets
- Aid in the collection of death benefits
Common Trusts for Estate Planning
In many situations, no matter the fluctuation of average incomes, many people have a spouse or partner, children or other loved ones that would benefit from receiving part or all of your assets. A common and effective estate planning instrument is a revocable living trust teamed with a pour-over will. Having a revocable living trust in place protects you while you are alive and relieves your heirs and loved ones from the legal issues associated with probate court after your death.
For some married couples, an estate planning lawyer can develop a plan that provides a revocable trust that is divided into new Trusts upon the death of the first spouse. These new trusts are known as a survivor’s trust, an exemption trust (also known as a bypass or B trust), or a marital trust (also referred to as a QTIP trust). The Sacramento estate planning attorneys at the Abrate and Olsen Law Group are available to meet with you to explain how these optional trust strategies may benefit you and your family.
Specialized Trusts to Provide for Minor Children, Immature Adults, and Special Needs Situations
You may have a circumstance where you feel that it would not be in the best interest to leave a beneficiary with a large distribution. These situations may include a beneficiary with a special need, or a level of immaturity, or a beneficiary that is simply too young to receive a substantial distribution of your assets at the time. After meeting with attorneys Michael Abrate and Daniel Olsen they can provide you legal guidance on various trusts to meet your needs such as discretionary trusts, special needs trusts, trust for minors, or an IRA designated beneficiary trust.
Contact Abrate and Olsen Law Group for Specialized Estate Planning
The attorneys at the Abrate and Olsen Law Group have years of experience navigating estate and probate legal issues in Northern California. Mike and Dan understand you and your family may have questions about starting an estate plan. Their goal is to provide you with the proper personal attention and legal guidance you deserve to give you peace of mind. To learn more about creating an estate plan and get answers to the questions or concerns you may have, contact the Sacramento estate planning attorneys at the Abrate and Olsen Law Group today to schedule a complimentary and confidential meeting.