We are a Roseville estate planning attorney, living trusts, probate, special needs planning, elder law, wills and trusts law firm.
Other Services include:
- Business Succession Planning
Estate planning is the creation and implementation of clients’ needs and desires to provide for the client’s incapacity and to assure the proper distribution of the client’s assets on death. Your estate plan should meet your needs for today, and meet your needs for the future, as circumstances change over the years.
When choosing an estate planning attorney, a potential client should consider the attorney’s type of practice and experience. Guy R. Gibson has been in the practice of estate planning for over 34 years and a certified estate planning specialist for 20 years.
There are several types of documents that should be discussed prior to the implementation of any estate plan. The type of documents generally include the following:
1. Revocable living trust. A revocable trust is one of the many tools that estate
planning attorneys use to implement an estate plan for a client. It is created for
the client and continues in existence through the client’s lifetime and for some
period of time after the client’s death. It allows the client and family to remain in
complete control of their assets and to minimize the costs of probate and related
fees at death. It may also be a more complex document dealing with issues such
as special needs trusts, estate tax issues, and other individual needs based on the
2. Will. A will is a legal document that provides instructions for the distribution of assets upon a client’s death. It also includes naming an executor to manage those assets. A will can be an effective tool in estate planning, however, they often have several draw backs, including a delay of distribution and costs related to attorneys’ fees and court costs.
3. Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney can provide for an agent to step in the shoes of the client to act on his or her behalf during the client’s lifetime. A durable power of attorney can be a very important document to gain access to assets such as retirement accounts and deal with employers, tax returns, and related issues.
4. Health Care Directive. A health care directive allows for the client to appoint an agent to make medical decisions for the client if he or she cannot make those medical decisions as a result of an accident, injury or serious illness. Most health care directives also include a living will or directive to physician dealing with end of life issues.
Probate is the legal process that takes place on a client’s death in order to pass title to assets that are not distributed directly by beneficiary designation or through a revocable trust. Many clients plan ahead through the estate planning process to avoid a probate of their estate. However, there are circumstances which an individual has not made the proper prior arrangements to avoid this costly court proceeding. Our firm has handled probate and related cases and is well versed in the law to efficiently and expeditiously handle probate of an estate.
A client’s revocable trust sets forth the control of the trust assets and its ultimate distribution. Although the creation and implementation of a trust avoids a probate proceeding, there are several crucial steps that should be followed in administering the trust. There are important tax and financial decisions that need to be made by the trustee and several legal requirements as set forth by the California Probate Code. Usually those steps include notice to the beneficiaries and heirs, completion of an asset list as of the date of death, accounting issues, and the filing of proper tax returns. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist the trustee in the administration of the trust and the distribution to the beneficiaries.
Elder law refers to the assistance with estate planning needs for the elderly. It is not a separate practice of law for most estate planning attorneys, since we deal with the estate plan issues for clients of all ages. However, attorneys specializing in unique problems for the elderly are trained to provide legal assistance to senior citizens in the planning of their estate as well as unique issues regarding their care. In addition to all of the issues normally found in the estate planning process, several other issues can occur, including management of assets and Medi-Cal issues.
It can be very important for the elder client to make decisions regarding their estate and the management of their personal and financial needs while they still have an ability to make those decisions. A client should consider the appointment of a trusted family member or friend to step in to assist with an elderly individual as their ability to manage these complex problems can be affected by their health. Having an elderly client make these decisions will avoid unnecessary legal expenses and assist the family in the management of the client’s personal and financial needs and avoid unnecessary family complications and issues in the future.