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Estate Planning in Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks, CA Estate Planning Lawyer

A well-drafted estate plan not only ensures that taxes and costs associated with your incapacity or death are minimized, but it keeps the process of settling your estate as simple and efficient as possible. More importantly, your estate plan will ensure that your assets will be used to benefit the people or charities you choose, in the amounts you desire and in a responsible manner. Effective estate planning begins with a full review of a client's desires and objectives. We consult with individuals, their families, and their other professional advisors to review existing estate plans and to consider appropriate revisions.

We identify and address issues related to estate taxes, liquidity problems, and transfers of family businesses, as well plan for financial security of spouses, children and other beneficiaries after you pass away. People create estate plans primarily in order to avoid probate, avoid conservatorship, eliminate federal estate tax, distribute assets to beneficiaries, and nominate guardians for minor children. If you are interested in learning about how our Thousand Oaks estate planning attorney may be able to assist you or a loved one with estate planning, please contact our firm to schedule a no-obligation, 30-minute consultation.

The following are areas of estate planning on which we focus:

Benefits of an Estate Plan
A thorough estate plan can benefit both you and your family. Estate plans cannot only reduce possible taxes and fees associated with probate, but can ensure that the majority of your assets are transferred to beneficiaries after your death. Estate plans may also be constructed in such a way that families can avoid the probate process entirely, as well as name guardians for minor children or incapacitated loved ones.

Wills & Trust
Wills and trusts are incredibly important estate planning documents. When you create a will, you are giving your family and the probate court instructions on how to divide your assets and properties. You may also name a guardian and executor in your will. Trusts are often established in order to avoid probate, as well as provide for spouses and loved ones after you pass away.

Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney for property management is created in order to name a person, or agent, to manage your property should you become unable to do so. The person you nominate must act on your behalf and manage your property according to your wishes. It is ideal to choose an agent who is both trustworthy and experienced in managing assets. A power of attorney is specifically designed to address issues during one's lifetime, as is often required, in addition to a properly structured revocable living trust in order to deal with assets not held as a part of the trust.

Advance Health Care Directives
An advance health care directive is essential to ensure your named health care agent can make appropriate medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so. Additionally, this document allows you to clarify your desires with respect to medical treatment and living arrangements during incapacity, as well as life support and organ donations upon your passing. An advance health care directive tremendously simplifies the ability of your loved ones to make decisions with the confidence of knowing what you wanted.

Asset Protection Planning
While a basic estate plan that utilizes a revocable living trust will avoid probate and minimize or eliminate federal estate taxes, it will not protect you and your loved ones from your creditors or a lawsuit. For this reason, we recommend that "at risk" assets, such as rental properties and business interests, be held in legal entities, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Partnership or Corporation. Structuring your estate in such a manner will both minimize a creditor's ability to access the assets, as well as protect the balance of your estate (personal home, investments, etc.) from lawsuits originating within the entity.

Types of Trusts
There are dozens of trusts, but only a few may best benefit you. For example, irrevocable trusts cannot typically be changed or amended after established, whereas revocable trusts can be changed at any point up until the settlor's death. Trusts are established in order to put conditions on how and when your assets may be distributed after you die, minimize gift and estate tax, distribute assets to heirs without the high cost and time-delay of probate, and protect your assets from creditors and possible lawsuits. Other types of trust include charitable trusts, life insurance trusts, special needs trusts, and asset protection trusts.

What Our Firm Can Do

Our firm's attorneys have been helping clients create and revise estate plans since 1978. We understand the importance of this planning and strive to create personalized estate plans for each of our clients. For those who already have an estate plan but wish to amend a will, trust, power of attorney, advance health care directive or guardian nomination, we can help. Please contact an estate planning lawyer at Pederson Law Offices to learn more about estate planning and how we can help.

Pederson Law Offices
Pederson Law Offices - Thousand Oaks Estate Planning Attorney
280 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Suite A

Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Phone: (805) 495-3444

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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