We would like to thank our neighbors in Westminster, California for visiting our website. If you are looking for a licensed estate planning attorney in Orange County, you have found a reliable local resource. Located in northern Orange County, Westminster is also commonly referred to as Little Saigon – home to the largest population of Vietnamese Americans in the country.
Serving Our Neighbors in Westminster, CA
Like most people, one of your goals is to preserve your estate for your loved ones. That is why you need an estate plan. Without estate planning, your family could be left with unnecessary tax burdens, as well as other unwanted consequences. You may also be leaving many of the decisions regarding your estate to the court instead of making them yourself.
What do Westminster Residents Need to Know About Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a method for preparing yourself and your family for what happens after your death. Estate planning also allows you to plan for unexpected incapacity. Planning ahead gives you a chance to specify who will inherit your property after your death while helping you to reduce the taxes your estate will have to pay. If you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated, your estate plan can provide the protection you and your family will need.
Westminster Residents Don’t Need to be Wealthy
No, estate planning is not only necessary for the wealthy. Estate planning can protect anyone who has anything they want to leave behind for their loved ones. Even the smallest estate needs to be planned in order to protect both the assets themselves and the beneficiaries to which they will be passed. In fact, most middle-class families need a plan just in case a family’s breadwinners are no longer able to provide.
Using Estate Planning to Reduce Estate Taxes
If you want to be sure that your heirs will not pay more than absolutely necessary in estate taxes, then you need to have an estate plan. Estate planning can help you protect your heirs from a huge tax burden, by allowing you to transfer your assets to your heirs while maintaining the smallest tax burden possible. Estate planning can help you take advantage of the right exemptions and deductions.
Preventing Family Disputes Over Inheritances
By leaving very specific instructions in your estate plan, you can avoid family disputes over money and heirlooms. Ultimately, you don’t want to see your family fighting over your personal possessions after your death. An estate plan you can help you to avoid many of the challenges that come with distributing an estate.
Which Westminster Residents Can Create a Will?
In order to create a will, you must first be old enough. The age of majority is different in each state. In California, you must be at least 18 years old. In most states, it is presumed that the testator has the necessary mental capacity to make a will unless someone challenges that capacity. If that happens, the court will determine whether the person who created the will was incapacitated at the time.
Generally speaking, in California you are considered mentally competent to sign a will if you understand the nature and extent of your property, meaning you know what you own and how much you own; you can remember and understand who your relatives and descendants are and are able to articulate who should inherit your property; you understand what a will is and how it disposes of property; and you understand how all these things relate to each other and come together to form a plan.
Should Westminster Residents Use Online Do-it-Yourself Estate Planning Documents?
There are a few risks in using a do-it-yourself will, most commonly, not getting the document witnessed properly, in compliance with the legal requirements in their state. Most states require two witness signatures for a will to be valid. Another problem clients often have is that names were misspelled or notations on the will were unclear, which requires intervention by the court. Some of the mistakes that are typically seen with a do-it-yourself will can lead to serious legal issues that cannot always be corrected quickly.
When Should Westminster Residents Consult with an Estate Planning Attorney?
The job of an estate planning attorney is to provide expert legal advice. Estate planning is an important area of the law that typically involves drafting complex legal documents. Those documents can result in serious legal consequences is not drafted properly. For that reason, it would always be wise to consult with an expert when you begin your estate planning.
If you have questions regarding estate planning, trust contests, or any other trust administration issues, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us in Los Angeles at (310) 337-7696, and in Orange County at (562) 346-3209.
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