Do you have an estate plan? Perhaps you, like many adults in South San Francisco, believe estate plans are only for the wealthy. In fact, if you own virtually anything, having an estate plan will ensure those you love are taken care of after your death. Equally important, an estate plan can name a person of your choice to make decisions in the event of your incapacitation. If you were to become ill, or be involved in a serious accident, who would make your health decisions? If you were incapacitated, who would run your business or make financial decisions on your behalf? If you have minor children, who would take care of them? All of these questions can be answered in your estate plan. South San Francisco estate planning attorney Mark Gullotta will customize your plan to your loved ones’ unique needs and to honor your wishes. The Law Office of Mark Gullotta has been helping those in South San Francisco and San Mateo County prepare for the future for more than a decade.
Estate Planning in South San Francisco, CA
If you have failed to leave an estate plan, your loved ones could be left with a very chaotic situation to deal with. This is true, whether it is after you die, or if you were to become incapacitated. Far too many people fully intend to have an estate plan prepared, but never complete the process. Unfortunately, even if you assume everyone in your family “knows” what you would want done, that carries no legal weight.
If you have minor children, it is imperative you name a guardian for those children. Otherwise, the courts will name a guardian and it could be someone you would not be happy with. If you have a business, do you know what would happen to it if you became incapacitated? If you have adult children, do you want to have a say in who would get your assets? If you want to ensure that you decide the answers to these questions, you need to speak to a knowledgeable South San Francisco Estate Planning Attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Mark Gullotta can answer all your estate planning questions, ensuring your estate plan fits your unique situations.
How a South San Francisco Estate Planning Attorney Can Help with Wills and Trusts
A Revocable Living Trust allows California estates to avoid probate. Probate is the court process that oversees paying creditors and distributing assets. Wills must go through probate. A Revocable Living Trust offers more privacy, since probate is a public process. Probate can also take a significant amount of time and money, so it could be wise to avoid probate when possible.
Many people implement a Will to name a guardian for their minor children, and a Trust to manage assets, a business, or their own incapacitation. The state of California does allow smaller estates (those under $166,250) to avoid probate or qualify for a streamlined probate process that could make a Revocable Living Trust unnecessary.
South San Francisco estate planning attorney Mark Gullotta can help you determine whether you could benefit from a Will, a Trust, or both. Mark Gullotta is a highly experienced trust lawyer who can make the process much simpler.
Probate Administration in South San Francisco
In the state of California, the legal process through which an estate is administered under court supervision is known as probate administration. If named in the estate planning documents, the named personal representative must be approved and appointed by the court to act on your behalf. If no personal representative is named, the court must appoint one. The tasks involved in probate administration will vary considerably from one estate to another.
The personal representative must attempt in good faith to carry out all the decedent’s wishes, as stated in the Will, including funeral and burial instructions, arrangements for pets, and organ donations. California law provides a few shortcuts for probate that will make it quicker and easier, particularly for those with smaller estates.
Upon the death of the testator, the personal representative will submit the Will, along with a petition for probate, to the county probate court. South San Francisco estate planning attorney Mark Gullotta can help those named as personal representatives, as well as those who want to name a personal representative. Contact probate lawyer Mark Gullotta today!
Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples
California laws are somewhat different for unmarried couples than for those who have a state-sanctioned marriage. One of the differences lies in the fact that the unlimited marital deduction applies only to those deemed married. This means it may be exponentially more difficult to eliminate estate tax on the death of the first partner of an unmarried couple. Unmarried couples might consider purchasing life insurance, designating one another as beneficiaries to cover these potential estate taxes.
South San Francisco Advance Directives, Powers of Attorney, and Guardianship Issues
An estate plan does not simply consist of Wills and Trusts. You can use an Advance Health Care Directive to state who you want to speak for you in the event you are unable to speak for yourself to make your medical decisions. This means if you were to become incapacitated, you would have named a person who would make the decisions you if you could not make them on your own. An Advance Health Care Directive also allows you to state whether you would want heroic measures taken on your behalf, and other healthcare decisions.
You might also want to consider a Power of Attorney document that gives another person the right to make certain financial decisions on your behalf. A Durable Power of Attorney is like an Advance Health Care Directive, in that it gives another person the right to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated..
South San Francisco Estate Planning Attorney Mark Gullotta Can Help
Probate lawyer Mark Gullotta has the experience and knowledge to help you create the best estate plan for you and your current situation. Mark will ensure your estate plan can grow with you through the years, as your circumstances change. Contact estate planning lawyer Mark Gullotta today for all your estate planning needs.