Santa Clara County Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate Planning to Protect Your Assets & Future
Mention an estate and people think of vast property holdings, stocks in
major companies, or a collection of rare and valuable art. However, hard
to believe as it is, everyone has an estate. Whether substantial or modest,
your estate is everything you own, including your car, home, real estate,
bank accounts, stocks and investments, insurance, even the furniture in
your house. And you have heard this before: You cannot take them with
you when you die.
So what happens to your personal possessions when you pass on? You would
probably have a certain plan in your mind as to whom you might leave your
property—whether to specific persons, or even perhaps to a favorite
charity or cause. Our Santa Clara County estate planning attorney at Napolitano
Law Office can help you create the proper legal setup to ensure that your
wishes are carried out.
- To ensure that your wishes are executed, you need to provide very specific
- Who will receive something that you own
- What you want to pass on to them
- When they are to receive the items
At the same time, you would want to ensure that the legal fees, court costs,
and taxes associated with the process do not become burdensome to those
receiving the items. In a nutshell, this is estate planning. It is an
advanced plan that names persons or organizations whom you want to receive
your property after you die.
What Should an Estate Plan Include?
- In addition to the simple overview listed above, a good estate plan would
also take into consideration a number of factors and would include instructions on:
- Healthcare decisions, including instructions for your care if you become
disabled before you die
- The name of a guardian and inheritance manager if there are minor children involved
- Providing for family members with special needs
- Passing on the values you have cultivated to your heirs, including your
values in religion, education, hard work, and so on
- Providing for the transfer of your business at your retirement, disability, or death
- Insurance in various forms such as life insurance to provide for your family
at your death, disability insurance to replace income lost if you cannot
work due to an illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to cover
your health care expenses in case of extended illness or injury
A well-executed estate plan is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing process
that takes into consideration changes in your family or financial situation
over your lifetime. Our caring and knowledgeable attorney can help you
create a plan that protects your loved ones and safeguards your wishes.
What Documents Make Up An Estate Plan?
An estate plan is made up of several crucial documents that each serve
a unique purpose. Some documents will let you choose what sort of care
you would receive in the hospital in case of illness, some can set up
trust funds for your heirs, and others would designate the person who
will run the family business.
- The most common estate plan documents are the following:
Last Will and Testament: The most important part of the estate plan, this document lets you choose
who will inherit your assets. It designates guardians for your children
and names an executor to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
Living Will: This lets you plan for the care that you want in the event that you are
hospitalized and your decision-making capabilities are impaired. Some
people, for instance, have strong religious beliefs about being administered
certain drugs or procedures. These among other things may be included
in the living will.
Healthcare Power of Attorney: This serves the same purpose as above but instead of specifying your choices
in a document, another person is named to make decisions about your hospital
care. Generally, the spouse or a close family member or friend becomes
the designated person.
Financial Power of Attorney: This document will designate a trusted agent to act on your behalf and
handle your finances.
Trust: A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that will allow a third party, or trustee,
to hold and manage assets on behalf of the beneficiary or beneficiaries.
This document will allow you to set aside money and other assets for heirs
or your chosen charity. With
trusts, your beneficiaries gain access to these assets in a shorter amount of
time than they might if the assets were transferred using a will. Furthermore,
if an irrevocable trust is drawn up, fewer taxes may be due upon your
death because it is not considered part of the taxable estate. Assets
put in a trust do not pass through probate, which saves time and court
fees and reduces estate taxes.
Our Estate Planning Firm Builds Relationships with Clients
One of the focus areas of Napolitano Law Firm is estate planning. We believe
that wise planning and choosing the right documents to formulate your
estate plan has the potential to make a huge difference in protecting
and controlling your assets. We can work with you regardless of the size
of your estate. Whether substantial or modest, our Santa Clara County
estate planning attorney is here to answer your questions and to assist
you in crafting a sound estate plan, so your assets are given to the people
and / or organizations that you intend to receive them.
Schedule Your Free Estate Planning Consultation in Santa Clara, CA
Napolitano Law Office can consult with you, gather pertinent information,
take into consideration all your preferences regarding your estate, and
discuss with you which options will yield maximum benefits. Set up your
free overview phone consult today. We look forward to working with you!
Call Napolitano Law Office at (650) 399-9545 to schedule your free consultation
with our Santa Clara County estate planning firm.