Wills and Trusts

Estate Planning

If you or someone you love is planning their estate, it can be a difficult and complicated process trying to wade through all the legal jargon and regulations that pertain to such a task. The Sexton Law Firm is here to help you with your estate matters. Our expertise in wills and trusts will lighten your burden and make your job easier. We offer a range of attorneys who specialize in wills and trusts, including our Estate Planning Attorneys.

Free Consultation with Our Estate Attorney

We offer free initial consultation to any potential client, and will sit down with you to hear your needs and concerns, before making a recommendation for a legal consultant to help in planning your estate. Once we have your initial information, we will set you up with a lawyer for wills and trusts.

If my estate goes through probate, what costs could my family expect?

First of all, probate can be avoided with proper planning and document preparation. All of the time and expense associated with probate can be avoided. If you do not plan for the future of your estate and the assets are more than $100,000, the state courts will be involved in the probate process. Fees are dependent on the gross value of the estate’s assets (see below chart). While the assets are considered in the fees, the amount which you owe is not. For example: Let’s say the gross value on your home is $250,000. Your mortgage however is $275,000. The gross asset value used to determine your probate fees is still $250,000 because what is outstanding on the mortgage is not considered. The following chart outlines the minimum fees established by the state of California for probate cases. They are tied to the gross asset value of an estate and do not include any special fees which may be accrued, like those for tax preparation, the sale of assets, and litigation.

Gross Asset Value
of Entire Estate
Minimum Probate Fees
WITHOUT
Proper Estate Planning
Probate Fees
WITH
Proper Estate Planning
$400,000$22,000*$0
$500,000$26,000*$0
$750,000$36,000*$0
$1,000,000$46,000*$0
$2,000,000$66,000*$0
$3,000,000$86,000*$0
$4,000,000$106,000*$0

We offer free will and trust estate planning workshops. Please attend to learn more!Or, you can call our offices at (619) 476-9436 to schedule a free consultation.

Consulting with an Estate Planning Attorney

A will is a legal document which expresses one’s wishes for how his or her property will be distributed after one’s death. If you are thinking about writing your will, or updating your current will, then there are several important things that a Will and Trusts Attorney can help to you consider. One of the first things is naming an ‘executor’ for your estate – someone you would entrust to see that your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries you have named in your will. If you have young dependent children, you will also need to name a guardian for them. Our Wills and Trust Lawyer can help you to examine the range of important factors in putting together or updating your will, to make sure you do not overlook any key items.

Estate Planning Attorneys Specialize in Writing Wills and Trusts

Many individuals have a handwritten or homemade will that they hope to use to distribute their assets in the case of their death. Unfortunately, many are unaware that these documents are not official legal documents, and often are not honored by courts. In the case of death, if you do not have an official will or trust, you will not be able to be certain that your property will be given out your intended beneficiaries. If you do not have a will for yourself, the State may make a will on your behalf after you pass away, and they will decide how your assets are divided and who the beneficiaries will be. Consulting with our Will Lawyers will help you to rest easy and ensure that your estate will be handled according to your wishes, and not according to the wishes of someone else’s agenda.

If you have dependents or other young beneficiaries to whom you want to pass on your assets, a living trust may also be something you might want to consider, and can discuss with your Estate Attorney. A living trust is a legal agreement that is created when a person is still alive, in which the trustee holds the assets for the intended beneficiary until the time that is assigned in the trust – usually either upon the trustee’s death, or when the beneficiary reaches a certain age, or upon another date or condition determined by the trust creator. Your Estate Lawyer can provide you with all the legal details, and can advise you whether this is a good option for your needs.

For more information, please check out Advantages of a Living Trust