Our Estate Planning Services
Many estate planning tools are designed to protect your loved ones and assets once you are gone. Estate planning can also protect you while you are still alive, and much of our practice focuses on aiding the elderly and planning for emergency crises.
Our Santa Maria estate planning attorney can assist you with:
- Advanced Health Care Directives. This document can allow you to define what types of medical care you wish to receive should you become unable to communicate. Many advanced health care directives provide instructions for end-of-life care, but they can also be used to enforce whether you wish to be resuscitated, given risky surgery, or kept alive on a ventilator.
- Business Succession Planning. Privately held and family-owned businesses can be subject to significant and damaging disruption if the businessowner retires, passes, or becomes incapacitated without a clear and enforceable succession plan in place. We can assist you in building a plan that will protect the company’s operations and ensure that you and your family will be appropriately cared for.
- Elder Abuse. Abuse, exploitation, and neglect of elders are frighteningly common and can sometimes occur in plain sight. If you suspect that your elderly loved one is the victim of abuse, our team can evaluate the situation and help you explore your legal options.
- Planning for Incapacity. Incapacity refers to the inability to effectively advocate and care for oneself. Many seniors will become more susceptible to conditions that can trigger incapacity. We can aid in planning for this possibility and ensure that your elderly loved one’s needs will be met in any scenario.
- Powers of Attorney. Agents can be given the authority to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf on a temporary or permanent basis. By giving someone medical powers of attorney, you give them authority to enforce advanced health care directives and make other decisions involving your care should you become incapacitated. Financial powers of attorney can conduct transactions on your behalf within a scope that you define.
- Probate. Most estates will need to be settled with a California court. The personal representative, typically assigned by the deceased’s will or through a court appointment, is responsible for managing all matters of probate. We can guide you through this lengthy and involved process.
- Wills. A last will and testament allows the testator to designate beneficiaries to their property, a guardian for their minor children, and an executor to manage their estate. We can assist you in drafting, updating, and formalizing your will.
- Trusts. Trusts are in some ways similar to wills in that they allow the trustor to decide what happens to their assets once they are gone. Unlike wills, trusts enjoy privacy, tax efficiencies, the avoidance of probate. They also are highly customizable, allowing you to define the circumstances in which bequeathals occur.