Our services range from probate proceedings to drafting a variety of Estate documents including Wills and Trusts.
We work with all Clients regardless of the size of their Estate to come up with a plan that suits their needs and ensures their beneficiaries receive assets in the Estate in the most effective manner. Coming up with an Individualized plan for each Clients situation is the cornerstone of our strategy.
Why Should You Have an Estate Plan?
Estate Planning is one of the most important steps a person can take to ensure their loved ones are provided in their absence, the final property passes according to their wishes, and their health care wishes are honored. Our firm provides each Client with a comprehensive estate plan and the necessary documents that are required to enact that plan.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate Planning is process of anticipating and making arrangements during person’s life to prepare for the disposal of a person’s assets at death and during their lifetime. Some of the goals of Estate Planning are to minimize estate tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, income tax, ensure assets pass to the people you intend, and to make certain your assets and you are properly taken care of in the event you are incapacitated.
Who has an Estate?
Almost everyone has an Estate. An Estate consists of assets such as real estate, automobiles, bank accounts, stocks, bonds and personal property such as jewelry or artwork.
Who needs Estate Planning?
Not everyone needs a comprehensive Estate Plan. Most people that have assets should execute a Will. The decision to have an Estate Plan is a personal one and depends on the size of your Estate.
What Are The First Steps?
Determine what assets you possess and who you want to receive those assets. Next you should determine if you have a taxable Estate.
What A Will & Trust Can Do For Your Future:
Wills and trusts are important estate planning tools you should consider. An experienced Santa Barbara wills & trusts attorney can help advise you on setting up the proper plan, and they can help you with the following legal matters:
• File to admit a Will or Codicil for probate with the Probate Court
• Assist relatives of a decedent who did not leave a Will (intestate)
• Call (805) 453-3560 or contact us online set up a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney in CA.
What Is The Difference Between A Will And A Trust?
A common myth is that a Will is enough to pass your estate to heirs. However, a Will alone is not enough as it takes at least one year in New York to validate or “probate” it in court, and until the court actually gives its permission by issuing “Letters Testamentary”, no one can touch even a dime from your estate. A Will is practically useless if your estate has significant value, or if you have real estate in different States, or if you have minor children or children from different marriages.
You need a Trust to pass your estate on your children without a challenge and court proceedings. A Will always has to go through probate. A Trust does not go through probate. A Trust allows your loved ones to get direct access to your estate immediately after you pass away.
Special Needs Trusts
Parents or grandparents of a disabled child should leave assets to them in a special needs trust, to avoid the child being disqualified from receiving government benefits, such as SSI and Medicaid. The reasoning behind these special needs trusts is simple — prior to the protection now afforded by these trusts, parents would simply disinherit their disabled children rather than see them lose their benefits. Since the state wasn’t getting the inheritance monies anyway, why not allow it to go to the disabled child for his or her extra needs, above and beyond what the state supplies, such as:
• Essential dietary needs
• Hobbies, sports, exercise
• Tickets for events
• Health care costs and medical procedures
• Vocational rehabilitation
• Household goods (appliances, furniture, computer, television)
• Personal care products
• Personal services (lawn mowing, housecleaning, babysitting, etc.)
• Real property
• Automobile (including gas and insurance)
• Transportation (buses, cabs, trains, domestic airfare)
Ms. Kaur is a highly experienced attorney in Santa Barbara and neighboring areas for her expertise and skills in all aspects of estate planning. Contact us for a free consultation.