California Estate Planning Attorneys Help You Plan for the Future
San Diego firm helps preserve your family’s wealth for future generations
No one knows what tomorrow may bring. But you’ve worked too hard in life to risk your retirement, your personal security, or the legacy you plan to leave your heirs. Pena Law helps clients throughout California plan for the inevitable and guard against the unpredictable. Whether you have an opulent estate or a modest home and financial holdings, we can design an estate plan that fits your circumstances and addresses your concerns.
Putting together the essential elements of a successful estate plan
What are the issues you’re concerned about for your future? Do you want greater protection from liability and creditors? Do you worry that a lengthy illness for you or your spouse could deplete your savings? Do you want to maximize giving to your heirs? Preserve a vacation home? Provide for a child with special needs? Appoint a decision-maker in case you’re incapacitated? For all these concerns and more, you can rely on Pena Law. We are prepared to help with a comprehensive estate plan, which can include:
- Will drafting, execution and review
- Living trusts
- Advance healthcare directives (living wills)
- Powers of attorney
- Estate and gift tax issues
- Guardianships and conservatorships
- Choosing the appropriate executor
Pena Law works closely with you to determine your goals and create precise instruments to carry out your intentions.
Securing your legacy
You’ve worked hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well-being and financial security can bring you great comfort. We thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones.
Drafting your advance directive and last will and testament
A will is essential at every stage of your life. Your advance directive (or living will) sets the parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated. This ensures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored.
Your last will provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pet — making decisions that might not reflect your desires.
We can draft valid wills that ensure your intentions are honored. After you execute your will, you should have us review it every couple of years to keep it current with your circumstances.
Customizing your estate plan with appropriate trust instruments
A will is not always the best way to transfer wealth to your heirs. When you set up a trust, you can enjoy your property during your lifetime and then transfer wealth seamlessly at your passing, without having to go through probate. Trusts allow you to put conditions on gifts and provide an allowance for a beneficiary rather than a lump sum. Trusts are extremely flexible and can be designed to fit your unique needs.
If you have minor children, your will allows you to make decisions about their future care. Naming a guardian is especially important if you are a single parent, but even married couples must consider the remote possibility of perishing in a common incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint one whose decisions may be in conflict with your parenting goals. You can also make arrangements for your pets’ care in your will, even naming a guardian to assume ownership.
Contact an estate planning law firm in California you can trust.
For comprehensive estate planning services in San Diego, call Pena Law at 619-955-8520 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.