Torrance Estate Planning Lawyers
Greet the Future with Confidence - Call (310) 626-4404
Although it can be difficult to consider the future of your loved ones after you are gone, it is important to do so while you are still capable of making decisions for yourself. Estate planning is a critical part of life, regardless of your age, and this process can make it easier to walk into the unknown with confidence. To ensure that your family and assets are protected, turn to the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of James C. Shields. We want to give you control of your assets by guiding you through the complexities of estate planning.
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Don't put the future off any longer. Call our Torrance estate planning lawyers at (310) 626-4404 for a FREE consultation. We serve the South Bay and beyond.
We Believe Planning for Tomorrow Starts Today
Some people assume that estate planning is only necessary for elderly individuals or extremely wealthy families, but we know that this is far from the truth. No matter the dollar amount on your bank account, estate planning offers protection to your loved ones and gives you the say-so of your most cherished assets.
There are many different layers to estate planning, and what works for one person may not suit your own circumstances. Our Torrance estate planning attorneys offer a personalized approach to each case, which means that we will work with you to establish solutions you are most comfortable with.
The Law Offices of James C. Shields can assist you with:
- Drafting wills
- Estate administration
- Estate tax planning
- Trusts / trust administration
- Establishing powers of attorney
- Arranging a guardianship
- Establishing a conservatorship
- Planning for special needs care
- Applying for Medi-Cal benefits
- Business succession plans
- Long-term care
Complexities of California Estate Planning Law
California has its own provisions when it comes to estate planning. While California does not impose its own state taxes on estates, certain taxes will still need to be filed on behalf of the deceased, including federal and state income tax returns, federal estate tax returns, and federal estate and trust income tax returns.
Additionally, California is a community property state. This means that all property a married couple receives during marriage, except for gifts and inheritance that are provably kept separate from the rest of the marital property, automatically becomes joint property. This can affect the estate planning and probate process.
If you have questions about how to create a solid plan or how to avoid the probate process, reach out to the skilled estate planning attorneys in Torrance at the Law Offices of James C. Shields.
These are just a few examples of the various ways that state laws can affect your estate plan. Our estate planning lawyers in the South Bay can look over your unique situation to determine the best strategy that is legally compliant with both state and federal law.
Common Oversights in Estate Planning
From the first decision to the last, the success of your estate plan depends on the correct execution of many different factors. Those who choose to go without legal representation quickly discover why hiring an attorney is so helpful. There is a lot at stake with your estate plan, and now is the time to perfect the details.
Estate planning has a lot of moving parts, so it's only natural that oversights happen. At the Law Offices of James C. Shields, our Torrance estate planning attorneys place a high value on efficiency and perseverance. When you work with our firm, we'll navigate you toward a plan you feel comfortable with, while helping you avoid common pitfalls.
Some of the most common oversights in estate planning include:
- Failing to plan: Nobody likes to think about life after they're gone, but failing to create an estate plan does a disservice to your family and could put everything you've worked for at risk.
- Ignoring tax apportionment clauses: If you don't designate which assets your state and federal estate taxes will come out of, it can lead to some messy situations. Always specify the details of your taxes.
- Confusing probate and non-probate assets: Confusing these two very different types of assets may negate your will or cause your assets to go to someone you never intended.
- Foregoing a trust: Many people choose to leave assets to their beneficiaries right away, but this can become a recipe for disaster. Trusts allow you to decide when beneficiaries receive their assets.
At first glance, an estate plan appears extremely daunting. There is a lot to consider, but with our estate planning lawyers in Torrance on your side, you're never alone. We ourselves on offering client-centered strategies that truly work.
Tips for Successful Estate Planning
Planning your estate can be a long and confusing process. Reach out to a Torrance estate planning attorney at the Law Offices of James C. Shields for experienced guidance on creating your estate, otherwise, below are some tips on how create a successful estate plan.
- Make sure that important documents such as your will are updated regularly (legal address, children, guardians, status of marriage, etc.)
- Keep track of your beneficiaries to make sure that they are not going to someone that you do not want
- Ensure that the liquidity of your estate is maximized so that your family is able to pay for funeral expenses, taxes, and more. If your family is unable to quickly turn assets into case, they may need to sell your assets instead.
- Mix risky and stable investment risk in your estate plan.
- Choose a responsible and dependable executor and/or trustee for your estate.
- Make sure that a guardian is named for your minor children. Consider a separate guardian for the children's property -- the guardian who will raise them may not be the best person to manage their money or property.
- Consider a simple estate plan that will save your family in estate taxes.
- Be sure that the right assets are left to the right people.
- Estate planning is important for everyone, and is especially important if you own a business. The succession or buyout of the business must be discussed and planned.
Take the First Step by Contacting Our Firm
Estate planning is extremely personal and involves in-depth assessments of your finances. You can trust our estate planning attorneys in Torrance to treat your case with respect and integrity, always placing your best interests at the forefront of all that we do. For the past 20 years, individuals throughout the South Bay have looked to our firm for reliable legal counsel. We would be honored to make you a part of our family.
The best way to get started is with a FREE consultation with a Torrance estate planning lawyer. Schedule yours today by calling (310) 626-4404.
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