The Law Office of Mark Rodiles-Peterson
While it's often difficult to discuss the practical effects of death or disability, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important and effective ways that you can protect yourself and your loved ones. A well drafted estate plan can help put you in charge of your finances and help spare your family of the expense and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.
An estate plan for a typical client will usually include either a Will or a Revocable Living Trust to help manage and distribute the client's assets after death, an a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive to help manage finances and health care decisions if the client were to become disabled. In addition to these essential documents, there are a variety of other tools that a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can recommend in order to handle issues such as providing for minor children or adults with special needs, charitable giving, and reducing your tax liabilities.
Without a well drafted estate plan that is specifically designed for you, individuals and married couples run the risk of making costly financial mistakes. With the help of the Law Office of Mark Rodiles-Peterson, Esq., you will be able put in place an effective estate plan that carries out your wishes.
Probate & Estate Administration
When one passes away, his or her estate often goes through a court-managed process called probate administration. During this process, the estate's assets are managed and distributed under the guidance of the probate court. With a well drafted estate plan, it is often the case that no court-managed administration is necessary as your designated estate administrator (often a trustee for your Revocable Living Trust) will handle that process.
The time and expenses that come with the probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the local rules of probate court in your area. While every probate is unique, most involve the following steps:
>>> Filing a petition with the proper probate court.
>>> Notice to heirs under the Will or to statutory heirs
(if no Will exists).
>>> Petition to appoint Executor (in the case of a Will) or Administrator for the estate.
>>> Inventory and appraisal of estate assets.
>>> Sale of estate assets.
>>> Payment of estate taxes, if applicable.
>>> Final distribution of assets to heirs.
High-net-worth individuals and families often find themselves the targets of predatory lawsuits in California. At the Law Office of Mark Rodiles-Peterson, our attorney can work with you to protect your wealth by setting up barriers between your assets and the people who might want to take them away from you. A well-devised plan to protect the wealth you have accumulated is vitally important to you and your family. We use the appropriate legal tools and structures to limit your estate's risk of exposure to lawsuits and future potential creditors.
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