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Estate Planning for Your Family

What is Estate Planning?

A comprehensive estate plan is a set of documents that allows you to plan for incapacity, determine who inherits your assets and according to what terms, and  select an individual to serve as guardian of your minor children, if any. 

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

Every adult, regardless of age or what they own, needs an estate plan.  What will happen to your property after you die? What will happen if you become incapacitated? Who will look after your children if you can no longer do so? A comprehensive estate plan answers all these questions.

ESTATE PLAN PACKAGES

Incapacity Plan

 

  • Durable Power of Attorney Financial

  • Advance Health Care Directive

  • HIPPA Authorization 

Will Plan

 

  • Will

  • Durable Power of Attorney Financial

  • Advance Health Care Directive

  • HIPPA Authorization 

Trust Plan

 

  • Revocable Living Trust

  • Pour-Over Will

  • Durable Power of Attorney Financial

  • Advance Health Care Directive

  • HIPPA Authorization 

  • Transfer of Real Estate to Trust

  • Certification of Trust

  • Funding Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that allows you to specify how your assets and property should be managed during your lifetime and after your death. Generally, a living trust allows you to avoid probate upon your death.

What is a Will/Pour-Over Will?

A Will is a legal document that allows you to specify how your assets and property will be distributed after your death. Generally, a will does not avoid probate. However, if you die without a will, the probate court may decide for you who receives your assets through the laws of intestacy. A will is typically used for naming guardians for minor children. A Pour-Over Will is a type of will used in conjunction with a trust that allows for assets not titled in the trust to be directed into the trust upon your death.

What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

A will is a testamentary instrument which governs the distribution of the decedent's property through the probate process. A valid will obligates the probate court to distribute your assets according to its instructions. Without a will, a probate court will decide how your assets are distributed, regardless of your personal preferences or the needs of your family. Wills become public records on the death of the creator.  A trust also governs the distribution of the decedent's property; however, administration of a trust typically does not need to go through probate court. A trust allows you to specify how you want your property to be distributed. Trusts are private documents.

What is Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised process to distribute a decedent's assets. In California, probate must be opened for anyone dying with more than $150,000 in personal property (bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, furniture, etc.) or more than $50,000 in real property (based on appraised value of the home regardless of whether the home has a mortgage). That means for most people in California who own a home, their estate will likely have to go through probate absent a valid trust. Probate is not easy. It is a long, expensive process and is a public record. An estate that goes through probate is subject to steep statutory probate fees for both attorneys and executors.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters?

A Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters allows you to authorize a person, an "agent," to act on your behalf on personal and financial matters if you become legally incapable of doing so. If you are incapacitated and do not have a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters, a Conservatorship proceeding may need to be commenced for appointment of a conservator.

What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

An Advance Health Care Directive is a legal document that allows you to appoint another person as your health care agent to make health care decisions for you when you can no longer make them yourself. This document may also contain statements of wishes concerning life sustaining treatment and organ donation. If you are unable to make health care decisions for yourself and do not have an Advance Health Care Directive, a Conservatorship proceeding may need to be commenced for appointment of a conservator.

Do You Take Payments for Estate Planning?

For most estate planning, a flat rate is charged so you know up front how much your estate plan will cost. Generally, half of the payment will be made when you decide to hire us and sign the fee agreement. The other half is due on signing. Under certain circumstances, a payment plan may be arranged. 

Call Today For A Free

Confidential Case Evaluation

Law Office of Jennifer L. Newkirk

2531 Forest Avenue, Suite 100
Chico, CA 95928

Phone (530) 213-1375

Serving Chico, Oroville, Paradise, and surrounding communities