Preserve Your Legacy with Guidance from the Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC
We cannot predict the future, but we can be prepared for it. With help from our experienced lawyer, you can prepare an estate plan that is effective and responsive to your needs. Attorney Jonsson has over 15 years of experience and is highly qualified to handle any estate planning need.
Every family is unique. When it comes to designing the best estate plan for you, you should consider both your needs today and your goals for the future. As we work with clients on their estate plans, we also take the time to get to know them and their family dynamic. With such a personal approach, we ensure that we keep the client's needs front and center.
Which Estate Planning Tools Are Right for You?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to estate planning. Additionally, there is no single estate planning document or method that answers all of your needs. Instead, you will likely draft a carefully curated selection of the estate planning documents that best fulfill your needs. When beginning your estate planning, a good place to start is with wills and trusts.
Wills are helpful in that they help identify beneficiaries and an estate executor and provide guidance to the court during the probate process. However, wills do not offer protection from probate fees or taxes. The only way to protect your estate from these things and protect your privacy is to establish a living trust. A living trust takes effect while you are still alive and transfers to your beneficiaries upon your death.
Other highly effective estate planning tools include:
- Advanced health care directives
- Business entity formation
- Cohabitation agreements
- HIPAA release documents
- Marital agreements
- Power of attorney for asset management
- Trust modification
We also offer professional trust administration services. Being named a trustee is a big responsibility. Failure to fulfill your duties can result in punitive penalties. In addition to being accountable to the courts, you are also responsible to the beneficiaries. In situations where the trust administrator mismanages the trust funds, beneficiaries can file a petition with the court. Working with an experienced attorney, like ours at the Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC can help ensure that the process is handled smoothly and without incident.
Turn to a Trusted Probate Lawyer for Help
When someone dies, probate is the legal process of settling their estate or “proving” their last will. Most estates are subject to probate, even with a valid will in place. The process is long and expensive. In Los Angeles County, probate can take upwards of a year and a half. The probate code mandates probate fees. Because they are typically a percentage of the estate's value, the larger the estate, the more significant the probate fees. Therefore, it is important to plan for probate proactively and, when possible, avoid it by establishing a trust.
The probate process includes:
- Filing a petition with the court
- Notifying beneficiaries and creditors
- Attending probate hearings
- Working with a probate referee to appraise and inventory the estate
- Collecting tax records and other important documents
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries
- Filing a rile report with the court
This is just a glance at some aspects of the probate process. As far as legal processes go, probate is complicated and requires meticulous attention to detail. The steps must all be followed exactly and in the correct order. Though it may seem overwhelming, you do not have to do this alone. Our probate attorney can help you navigate the county probate courts.
Consultations Are Confidential
Selecting your beneficiaries and other estate planning matters can be tricky. This is often an emotionally fraught process. Our Pacific Palisades estate planning and probate attorney understands how the probate courts work and can help you structure an estate plan that makes the process as smooth and conflict-free as possible. We want you to feel confident when making these important legal decisions. If you have questions, we happily answer them, and we work to ensure that you understand your legal options. When you want to work with a lawyer who genuinely cares about you and your family, turn to the Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC.