Death is almost always an uncomfortable subject. That may be the main reason almost two-thirds of Americans do not have a will. Many feel no pressing need to draw up estate planning documents while many others do not think they need such instruments at all. Both of these assumptions are just plain wrong.
A Pasadena estate planning attorney can help families set up estate plans, either through testamentary or living trusts. These documents give you even more control over your assets. Many times, the settlor (the person who creates the trust) also serves as the trustee (the person who administers the trust). As a bonus, trusts usually do not require court supervision. A trust also offers the benefit of having a backup plan in place if you become seriously ill or disabled.
Why Do I Need a Will?
When people die intestate (without wills), a probate judge will make all the important decisions. That might even include things like the guardianship of minor children, payment of debts and distribution of assets. California, like most other states, has one-size-fits-all intestacy laws. The court cannot bend the rules to accommodate your wishes, or your family’s particular circumstances.
The fact is that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. And, since Pasadena estate planning attorney Silvio Nardoni can put together a custom will in as little as one office visit, there is no reason to put things off. We also offer pre-will advice and a document signing ceremony. So, you know you made the right choices and that your wishes will be legally enforceable. Online do-it-yourself will kits offer neither of these important features.
We also offer advanced estate planning vehicles, including:
- Living Will: A directive to physicians gives you a voice in end-of-life medical treatment matters. Such documents also let you make these decisions in the relaxed environment of our office instead of an emotionally-charged hospital room.
- Power of Attorney: Many people enjoy traveling later in life and they need someone to manage their business affairs back home. Other people become unexpectedly incapacitated and need someone to assume this role for a longer time. A power of attorney does both these things.
What Are Some Kinds of Trusts?
Many people are concerned about the costs, time delays, and uncertainties often associated with California probate matters. In most cases, a trust enables families to bypass the probate process altogether. After an extensive and confidential consultation, Pasadena estate planning attorney Silvio Nardoni can set up a wide variety of trusts, including:
- Irrevocable Trust: Once assets go into the trust, no one, including the settlor, can take them out. These trusts often have significant tax advantages and may shield assets from creditors.
- Revocable Trust: A living trust often does not offer the same asset protection and tax benefits. However, the settlor can subtract or add to the corpus (the money or property in the estate) almost at will. It allows flexibility for future changes in your family’s needs, whether because a child or grandchild has special needs, or the size of your estate increases and allows use of new kinds of planning techniques.
- Charitable Trusts: These vehicles transfer assets to a preferred charity, and the donee (the person receiving the gift) usually need not pay a gift tax. The charitable remainder trust allows the donor (the person making the gift) to transfer the property and retain the income derived from that property during his/her lifetime.
- Spendthrift Trust: A spendthrift trust places limits on the beneficiary’s access to the corpus. This vehicle also shields trust assets from creditors.
Talk To a Pasadena Estate Planning Attorney
A comprehensive estate plan can provide numerous financial benefits for your family. Such arrangements also give you peace of mind. For a free consultation with an experienced Pasadena estate planning attorney, contact the Law Offices of Silvio Nardoni. Home and after-hours appointments are available.