San Diego

Estate Planning Attorney

If you have a family or a small business, it’s safe to assume that you want to keep them protected, even after you’re gone.

Working with a San Diego estate planning attorney allows you to build a plan for your family and your assets ahead of time, so that there’s no confusion about your wishes or difficulty following through with them.

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If you have a family or a small business, it’s safe to assume that you want to keep them protected, even after you’re gone.

Working with a San Diego estate planning attorney allows you to build a plan for your family and your assets ahead of time, so that there’s no confusion about your wishes or difficulty following through with them.

Estates and assets

Your estate includes all of the assets that you collect over your lifetime.

This can include:

  • Stocks and bonds
  • Securities and accounts receivable
  • Personal items of value (i.e., furniture, jewelry, cars)
  • Property and real estate
  • Money in checking and savings accounts
  • Investments
  • Intangible assets (patents, trademarks, etc.)

You don’t want these assets getting to someone before you think they’re ready for them — or worse, your assets falling into the wrong hands or your family fighting over everything.

That’s where estate planning comes in.

How does estate planning work?

Having a plan in place ensures all of these assets go where you want them to go at the time you designate.

An estate planning attorney can help you organize a system that will facilitate the transfer and management of your assets after your death. If you don’t have a plan in place when you die, you give up your ability to decide how everything will be divided.

Your attorney will work with you to create all the elements relevant to your plan:

Will

The most well-known tool in the estate planning process is the will. As most people know, wills outline your wishes to your family in regards to inheritance and distribution of property, as well as guardianship of your children.

Some negative aspects of choosing a will instead of a trust include:

  • The will becomes a public record.
  • The will can be subject to probate (a lengthy, complicated court supervision of this process).

Trust

Trusts are not only for the uber-wealthy. Like wills, trusts explain exactly which family members should receive your assets and when, but trusts also allow you to continually manage your affairs while you’re still alive.

Positive aspects of a trust include:

  • Different types of trusts — A revocable trust (or living trust) can be changed, modified, or revoked at any time. This also includes information for health care providers as to your end-of-life wishes (if you are unable to communicate them yourself). An irrevocable trust, however is set in stone.
  • Trusts are not subject to public record.
  • Trusts also bypass the probate process.

Power of Attorney

Via a Power of Attorney, you designate an agent — someone you trust — to make decisions for you if you are alive and unable to make them yourself. POAs are usually for health care needs (Health Care Power of Attorney) or financial/property decisions. If you entrust someone to handle your financial affairs and decisions if you are sick or incapacitated, you won’t need to file for guardianship or worry about writing checks, selling real estate, etc. Once you die, however, the agent in your Power of Attorney is no longer able to act on your behalf.

It’s difficult to have a conversation about the future — especially one where you aren’t around. But it’s important to discuss your wishes with your family members or the people who will be taking over your business. Always be sure that someone knows about your plan (even if they don’t know the specifics) so that they can get in touch with your estate planning attorney after your passing.

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Estate planning for my San Diego business

Including your business in your estate planning process is extremely important. An estate planning attorney can help you figure out the logistical and financial decisions of who will take over your business upon your death, disability, or even retirement.

As a business owner, you’ll need to be thinking about the following items in conjunction with your family’s plan:

  • Business succession planning via
    • Co-owner,
    • Heir,
    • Key employee,
    • Outside party,
    • Company
  • Asset protection
  • Tax planning
  • Business succession planning via
    • Co-owner,
    • Heir,
    • Key employee,
    • Outside party,
    • Company
  • Asset protection
  • Tax planning

No matter what needs to be done, ensuring that you have a competent, compassionate attorney is the most important step to making a plan that works for you, your family, and your business.

Contact The Reardon Law Firm today

Our San Diego-based Reardon Law Firm has seen the mess that can happen when a plan isn’t put into place — or a plan that isn’t well-thought-out or comprehensive falls through. That’s why we want to work with you to ensure that your plan is perfect for your family.

Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

CALL 619-930-9420 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

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