Pasadena Lawyers Create Wills and Living Trusts to Protect Your Assets
Assisting Los Angeles County clients with their estate planning needs
Wills are a powerful tool that can be used to make sure your wishes are carried out when you die. They allow you to choose how your property will be divided. Living trusts provide you with even more flexibility and have the benefit of allowing your family to avoid the probate process. Attorney Eugene Alkana has been handling estate planning issues and writing wills for more than 40 years. Alkana Law provides representation and planning services to clients throughout Pasadena and eastern Los Angeles County, CA.
Creating a valid will under California law
If you wish for your property to be divided in a certain way when you die, it is essential that you have a valid will. You will need a will even if you have a trust. Anyone who dies without a will is said to have died “intestate” and their estate will be divided based on California law. This division leaves little room for interpretation and often creates results the decedent (deceased person) would not have wanted.
There are two basic types of wills in California, holographic wills and statutory wills. A holographic will must be totally handwritten. It must also be signed and dated. While these wills are usually valid, their wording may not have the intended effect. Working with our firm ensures you that your wishes will be documented in a way the law recognizes.
Statutory wills must be signed and witnessed by two people who also sign. Wills do not need to be notarized in California. We help make the process of writing a will easy.
What can I include in a will?
A will can be used to divide your property in nearly any way that you see fit. You can also use it to make charitable donations or to leave property to non-relatives. The document can also contain a choice of guardian for your children in case you pass away while they are still minors. You can appoint a personal representative or executor of your will, although a court may later review this choice. Our firm will help you understand all of the options a will affords you.
Understanding how a living trust can help you
You don’t need a massive estate to be a good candidate for a living trust. In fact, these estate planning tools are helpful for anyone who wants to exercise complete control of their estate both during and after their life. When your attorney helps you create a living trust, you sign all of your property over to that trust and appoint yourself (or someone else) as trustee. As trustee, you maintain control and use of all of your property and can sell or distribute it as you wish. When you die, the trust will either distribute assets according to your plans or maintain ownership of your property and distribute the income your assets generate. It is important to have a will to cover any property that isn’t in the trust at the time that you die. Your attorney can help you understand the options available to you when you create a trust.
Most people do not need to use a trust for the purposes of avoiding an estate tax, as the federal tax only applies to estates valued at over $5.43 million. In cases where taxes will be an issue, attorney Eugene Alkana will advise you of options such as an AB trust, which can be used to mitigate the effects of the estate tax for married couples.
Trust an experienced attorney to create your will or living trust
When it comes to documenting your final wishes, it is essential that you seek the assistance of an attorney with experience. At Alkana Law, we have been helping people create estate plans and draft wills for more than 40 years. Trust us to help plan your family’s financial future. Call us today at (626) 796-8170 or contact us online to schedule a free phone consultation. We serve clients in the Pasadena area.