It is important to make plans for your future. These plans might include long-term care arrangements and guidelines for where your assets will go upon your death. Several legal documents—referred to as estate planning documents—can help you gain control over these processes.
An estate plan can include many components like a will, trust, living will, and business succession plan. Using these documents, courts can properly assign property to your loved ones, provide financial care for your family, and ensure a business remains in your relatives’ possession after your passing.
When forming an estate plan, it is crucial to recognize the unique aspects of estate planning in Orange County, including the applicable laws. Likewise, creating the documents in ways that will have the intended legal effect is vital to protecting your property. To learn more about estate planning details, reach out to a dedicated attorney today.
Working with People to Understand their Needs
The first step in creating an estate plan is for an individual to identify their needs and what they hope to accomplish. Common terms of an estate plan include:
- Ensuring that a person’s property goes to designated heirs after death
- Providing for the long-term care of someone’s children or adults with disabilities
- Supporting a charity
- Protecting an individual’s business interests
- Planning for a potential future injury or illness
Each document drafted to fulfill these goals has separate legal requirements under state law. For example, California Probate Code § 6110 says a valid will must contain a testator’s signature. Wills must also include the signatures of two witnesses who observe the testator sign the document. Similar rules apply to trusts and other forms of estate planning documents. An attorney in Orange County could provide more information about the selection and creation of testamentary documents unique to estate planning.
Drafting Documents to Form an Estate Plan
An estate plan is only as effective as the documents included in it. Therefore, estate planning documents must be as specific and clear as possible while meeting the relevant legal requirements.
In terms of specificity and clarity, it is essential to name assets and beneficiaries with as much certainty as possible. Naming these individuals informs heirs of their rights in the estate plan and prevents courts from invalidating a will or trust based on mental capacity.
Recognizing how these goals relate to state law is another unique aspect of creating estate plans. For instance, many people want to avoid a Probate Court’s application of the intestacy laws. Having comprehensive estate planning documents in place gives a Probate Court little opportunity to apply these rules.
Let an Attorney in Orange County Further Explain the Unique Aspects of Estate Planning
Estate planning requires a full examination of your current circumstances and plans for the future. For example, your goals may include transferring assets to heirs, protecting a business, retaining undivided property in your family, or creating instructions for future medical care.
Once you outline your goals, a knowledgeable attorney could draft the necessary documentation to give your plans the intended legal effect. An estate plan could also minimize any future complications regarding the distribution of property. Contact a legal team member now to schedule a consultation and learn more about the unique aspects of estate planning in Orange County.