Authoritative counsel drafting and executing wills and trusts
Everyone has an estate plan even if they don’t know it. Unfortunately, without legal preparation the State of California uses its plan to distribute your assets, and their priorities are likely much different than yours. Redkey Gordon has built a strong reputation in Calaveras County and the Sacramento area by helping individuals and families achieve their estate planning goals. Our estate planning attorneys provide comprehensive advice so that our clients are fully aware of their options and can make informed decisions that protect their assets and their family’s future.
Experienced attorneys advising you on will preparation
Your last will and testament is just one part of a comprehensive estate plan. We will give you detailed advice on a will’s role in preserving and transferring your wealth while clearing up some common questions and misconceptions. Some things you should know about wills include:
- A will has no legal authority until the person dies. Accordingly, it does not help to manage a person’s affairs if they are incapacitated by illness or injury. A trust or durable power of attorney can take effect in those instances.
- Some people believe that a will can help them avoid probate, but this is not true. Wills are legal documents submitted to the probate court. They serve as an “admission ticket” to probate court, not a note excusing you from it.
- The Federal Estate Tax Exemption has been set at $5.45 million for 2016. It is annually indexed for inflation and does not include money transferred under the annual gift exclusion, which remains at $14,000 for individuals and $28,000 for married couples in 2016.
At your free consultation, Redkey Gordon attorneys can explain how your will can fulfill your final wishes and how it can combine with other devices to offer you the most advantageous estate plan for your circumstances.
Transferring your property through a living trust to avoid probate
Redkey Gordon has created a wide variety of trusts for clients. These instruments can offer tax or investment benefits, as well as the ability to transfer property without the hassle of probate court. Living trusts allow trustees to hold property for the benefit of someone else. You can remain the beneficiary until the time of your death and name the person to whom the assets will pass afterward. An effectively managed trust can also avert problems if the trust-maker becomes incapacitated.
Assistance with guardianship documents to protect your children
Parents of minor children should set forth complete instructions on where and how their children will be raised in the event that the parents die before the children are grown. This can be done in the will along with financial provisions for the children’s expenses and education. Family disputes over custody can be extremely emotional, making a tragic situation even worse. If you have children under the age of 18, Redkey Gordon can advise you on preparing a guardianship document to protect their future.
Help with formulating advance directives in case of medical emergencies
Estate planning encompasses much more than property transfers upon one’s death. We also help clients prepare healthcare documents such as advance directives. These documents are legally binding in California and allow you to decide whether your life will be prolonged in certain dire medical situations.
Contact a Calaveras County estate planning law firm for your free consultation
For legal advice on estate planning and will preparation, contact Redkey Gordon. You can call us at [ln::phone] or contact us online. From our office in Sutter Creek, we represent clients in Calaveras County and throughout the Sacramento area.