At The Law Offices of Daniel Hunt, we offer our clients personalized, comprehensive estate planning. We focus our law practice exclusively on probate and estate planning matters. Our experienced staff is skilled in handling the most basic estate planning as well as incredibly complex estate planning issues. Our estate planning attorneys work closely with clients to prepare wills, trusts, and any other legal documents that are necessary to carry out the goals of our clients.
As busy Americans, it is easy to put off planning for the future. Many Americans lack a will or any other kind of estate plan. When a California resident passes away without a will, the state probate courts determine who will receive the assets of the deceased. Estate plans allow Californians to direct the distribution of their estate according to their goals.
Making an estate plan can help the family of a loved one who passes away. Comprehensive California estate plans make it easy for loved ones to access necessary accounts and information. Estate plans also honor the wishes of the deceased. The skilled Sacramento estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel Hunt can help you set up a comprehensive estate plan. We tailor our clients' estate plans to their individual needs. Contact our Sacramento law office today to schedule your initial consultation.
Why Should Californians Create Estate Plans?
Taking the time to engage in thorough estate planning can be extremely beneficial. Creating a well-thought-out estate plan can help someone:
- Define his or her wishes regarding end-of-life treatment or other critical medical decisions
- Care for a spouse, significant other, or domestic partner after one’s death
- Reduce or in some instances eliminate expensive probate-related costs
- Minimize estate taxes allowing more assets to pass to surviving family members
- Disperse property per the wishes of the estate planner
- Provide for a special needs child, the needs of an elderly parent or another beneficiary who would benefit from a trust structured to meet their needs for life
California Will Lawyers
For thousands of years, people have created last will and testaments to direct the distribution of their assets after death. Executing a will can be a relatively simple process. However, the testator who is creating the must complete the will in compliance with California law. California only recognizes written wills as valid. The will can be typed or hand-written. Testators cannot simply scratch out parts of their will or add new sections by hand. Doing so may open up the will to challenges. If you would like to amend your will, one of the attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel Hunt can help you. We can help you create a valid codicil or addition to your will or help you revoke your old will and create a new one, if necessary.
The testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind when he or she signed and dated the will. At least two people must witness the testator signing the will and must sign themselves. Witnesses must sign an affidavit stating that the testator had the mental capacity to create the will. Finally, a will must designate one or more beneficiaries who will receive the assets of the estate. If you are concerned that your current will is not legally valid in the state of California, we can help. Contact our law office today to schedule an initial appointment. One of our probate attorneys can discuss any legal issues with your will and advise you going forward.
California Trust Attorneys
Trusts are useful estate planning tools. In some instances, creating a trust is more beneficial than relying solely on a will. Trusts are legal entities that own and transfer property. Trusts are useful because they can shield assets from tax liability. Trusts also allow for the smooth and automatic transfer of ownership of assets at the death of the trust creator or grantor. Our clients often enjoy the privacy that trusts provide.
At The Law Offices of Daniel Hunt, we help many clients create trusts to transfer their assets to beneficiaries smoothly. One of the best aspects of using trusts in estate planning is that we can easily tailor your trust to meet your specific needs and goals. We have created all of the following kinds of trusts:
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
- Intentional Defective Grantor Trusts
HIPAA Authorizations and Advance Health Care Directive Sacramento Attorneys
In addition to creating wills and trusts, we also help our clients make Advance Health Care Directives (AHCD). An AHCD designates an agent to make decisions on behalf of a person who becomes incapacitated and unable to make critical end-of-life and other health care decisions. In addition to appointing a healthcare agent, creators of AHCD can give instructions about their wishes and goals in the event of incapacitation. Many clients include the types of treatments they would like to help keep them alive.
An AHCD can also include whether or not the individual would like to receive life support in the case of a coma or severe illness. More generally, an individual can add a definition of what having a good quality of life means for them. We often advise our clients to sign HIPAA authorizations that allow medical caretakers to discuss their treatment and condition with authorized agents and approved family members.
Durable Powers of Attorney for Personal and Financial Affairs
Durable Powers of Attorney are legal forms often used in estate planning. A Durable Power of Attorney ensures that an appointed agent can make financial decisions on behalf of an incapacitated person. Our estate planning attorneys help our clients create tailored Durable Power of Attorney documents.
Contact Our Law Firm to Discuss Your Estate Plan
Taking the time to create a comprehensive estate plan is extremely beneficial. At The Law Offices of Daniel Hunt, we have helped many clients and their families develop effective and personalized estate plans. Whether you already have an estate plan that you would like to update or you would like to create your first estate plan, we can help. Contact our Sacramento law office today to schedule your initial consultation.