San Jose Probate & Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate Planning Areas of Practice
Anyone who owns property or assets has an estate. Items such as bank accounts,
stocks, life insurance policies, and personal possessions need to be protected
both while you are alive, as well as after you pass away. Comprehensive
estate plans protect your assets and ensure that they are transferred
to the correct beneficiaries after your death. They also include your
wishes in regards to certain medical situations, and allow you to nominate
a guardian for your minor children or incapacitated loved one.
An estate plan can allow you to:
- Appoint a guardian for minor children if you become incapacitated.
- Nominate an executor (someone you trust) to settle your estate.
- Care for a special needs child without sacrificing government benefits.
- Reduce the size of your taxable estate for federal estate tax and income
- Control an inheritance for a child who is irresponsible with money.
- Reward beneficiaries for making good life decisions.
- Provide for long-term care (nursing home care) without draining your savings.
- Plan for Medicaid while avoiding Medicaid estate recovery.
- Appoint an agent to handle your finances and health care decisions in case
- Establish life insurance policies for beneficiaries.
It is ideal to create an estate plan now, and update it when necessary.
That way, in the event that you become incapacitated, your assets and
wishes are legally protected. My firm's
San Jose estate planning attorney may assist anyone who needs assistance in the following areas:
Advance Health Care Directives
This document allows you to specify what types of medical treatment you
do or do not want at the end of your life. It informs doctors, family
members, and friends of your decisions, so they do not have to guess about
what type of treatments you may or may not want.
Benefits of Probate:
While there are certainly valid legal procedures used by will-makers and
trust-makers to avoid probate, from a beneficiary point of view, there
are definite benefits to the probate process. Probate can also give individuals
peace of mind knowing that once they die, the distribution of their estate
will be supervised by the court in order to ensure that all distributions
are made in accordance with California State laws.
Components of an Estate Plan
There are many important documents that are used to create a comprehensive
estate plan. Each item is equally important, and can be personalized to
meet every person's needs. They protect your assets and your health
care wishes, and ensure that your estate is properly transferred to beneficiaries
after you pass away.
Estate administration is the act of collecting, inventorying, managing,
and distributing a decedent's estate according to California State
Law, or the deceased's will. It also involves paying taxes and debts,
as well as handling potential creditors' claims. The person in charge
of administering the estate is known as the personal representative.
A guardian or guardians are needed if both parents of minor children pass
away, or become unable to care for them. A guardian may be solely in charge
of a child, or singularly responsible for a child's property. Oftentimes,
parents will elect the same person to act as both a property and personal
guardian for their minor children.
Powers of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a document that a person, who is known
as the principal, creates in order to give legal authority to another
person, known as the agent. The agent will act on the principal's
behalf in the event that the principal is unable to make medical decisions.
Probate is the process of validating a decedent's will, and distributing
the estate among the selected heirs. If a person dies without a will,
they are known as dying intestate, and the State of California must divide
and distribute the deceased's assets according to their laws. It may
be a fairly simple or extremely complicated process, depending on the
Revocable Living Trusts
Revocable living trusts are useful estate planning tools. They can determine
who will receive your estate after you pass away, while still allowing
you to manage your assets you placed in the trust while you are alive.
They are known as living trusts because they are created and effective
during your lifetime, not only after you pass away.
When a grantor dies, the person named as a successor trustee has a myriad
of responsibilities. They must follow the terms of the trust, and use
their discretion when handling any item or money placed in the trust.
A successor trustee is responsible for every item that is in the trust,
and may be held liable for misusing or mishandling the trust.
Wills are an essential document in an estate plan. They allow a person
to document which of their assets will go to who after they pass, as well
as elect a guardian for their minor children or incapacitated loved ones.
A will also allow a person to name an executor, or a person who will be
in charge of managing and distributing the estate after the person who
created the will passes.
Need estate planning assistance in San Jose, CA?
Searching for a lawyer to create an estate plan in San Jose? The Law Offices
of Timothy D. Henry can assist clients in Campbell, as well as people
who live in the Santa Clara county. I have extensive knowledge in the
estate planning field, and I am more than prepared to help a client create
any of the previously listed documents. If you have an out-of-date estate
plan, I may also be able to assist you in amending your documents. Please
feel free to
contact my firm to learn more about estate planning, and how I may be able to help you
and your family! ¡Yo hablo español!