Chula Vista Estate Planning and Probate Attorneys
Giving Your Loved Ones a Plan
Building an effective estate plan is essential to protecting your and your loved ones’ futures. Who will receive your property after you pass away? Who will take care of your children? Who will work to ensure your wishes are honored, and what will happen if you become so ill you cannot advocate for yourself? Properly validated estate planning documents provide legally enforceable answers to all of these questions, protecting your interests and giving you peace of mind.
Our Chula Vista estate planning and probate lawyers at The Sexton Law Firm can help you plan for your future. We can listen to your goals and guide you through innovative legal solutions that can help accomplish them.
Why You Need an Estate Plan
Many mistakenly believe that estate planning should only be considered as you grow older. The truth is that people of all ages benefit from a robust estate plan, as an accident could render you unable to communicate at basically any time. Taking the proactive step of preparing what you wish to happen in a variety of scenarios – including your passing – can work to protect your and your loved ones’ interests and avoid unnecessary hardship.
When someone fails to create an estate plan, they lose control of what happens to them and their property once they become incapacitated or pass away. Those who die without a valid last will and testament in place will have their property become subject to intestacy laws. Assets will be divided proportionally amongst a surviving spouse, children, parents, and/or siblings. You will have no say in who gets what, and you will also have no input in who will take guardianship of your minor children.
Some fail to realize that a written document describing what they want to happen to their estate does not necessarily constitute a will. A will must be formally validated in the presence of witnesses and/or a notary in order to be considered enforceable.
Contents of your will are a matter of public record, and disputes can often erupt when loved ones are frustrated about the document’s directives. This can lead to protracted conflicts in probate, delaying the disbursement of funds or assets and placing an additional burden on your already grieving family. You can use trusts to shield property from the probate process and avoid costly and exhausting legal battles.
Our Estate Planning Services
Our firm offers a full range of estate planning services. We are prepared to help you plan for what will happen to your and your assets after you are gone as well as ensure your interests are protected while you are alive.
Our Chula Vista estate planning and probate attorneys can help you with:
- Wills. A last will and testament allows you to appoint a personal representative to manage your estate, designate a guardian to care for your minor children, and name beneficiaries to your property. Wills must be properly formalized, and its contents can be subject to probate. We can help you draft, update, and validate your will.
- Trusts. Trusts are a powerful and flexible instrument of estate planning. They come in several forms and confer numerous benefits, including the avoidance of some estate taxes and probate, enhanced privacy, increased control and protection. We can help you explore trust options that suit your estate planning goals and incorporate them into a broader estate plan.
- Guardianship. Guardianships are established when a minor child is without parents who are able to care for them. Adults with disabilities can also sometimes warrant guardianships. We can help you petition for guardianship and ensure you obtain the legal permissions you need to properly care for your loved one and their interests.
- Powers of Attorney. Medical and financial powers of attorney can be appointed to take action on your behalf in situations where you become incapacitated or unable to communicate. You can determine the scope of a power of attorney’s responsibilities and guide critical medical decisions through advanced healthcare directives. We can help you select appropriate powers of attorney and file the appropriate documents to make your appointments official.
- Special Needs Trusts. Individuals with special needs require tailored estate planning tools that provide them with security and support without disqualifying them for public disability benefits. We can help you explore and establish special needs trusts.
Let Us Help Protect Your Interests
Our Chula Vista estate planning and probate lawyers at The Sexton Law Firm have substantial experience helping individuals and families prepare for their futures. We understand how effective estate plans are built and can help you avoid common mistakes, including those that can result in extended probate conflicts. Our team can also evaluate any existing estate planning documents to identify potential vulnerabilities and recommend any necessary updates.
We Listen to Your Story and Create a Strategy to Achieve Your Goals
With offices in Chula Vista, Oceanside, and La Mesa, we serve clients throughout all of Southern California
We Offer Free Consultations - Regardless of the Legal Matter
We Offer Phone and Video Consultations For Your Safety and Convenience
We Are Bilingual and Serve Our Clients in English and Spanish
We Are a Family Owned and Operated Law Firm