We are your will and trust attorneys—designing, drafting and maintaining Orange County and greater southern California residents' estate planning documents.


What does an estate planning attorney do?

With all this talk about estate planning being important, you might be wondering what exactly an estate planning attorney does. Put simply, an estate planning attorney should design and draft all of your estate planning documents including your will, living trust, irrevocable trusts, power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, living will, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release at a minimum. However, there are many varying circumstances for individual people and their families that prompt the need to incorporate additional estate planning documents.

Still you might be wondering, "why do I need an estate planning attorney?" Well, here's the gist: When an individual passes away, his or her property must be distributed to another person. There are two main ways this distribution will occur: probate or an estate plan created by the decedent. Every individual has the right to determine how his or her assets are distributed upon his or her death. If an individual fails to create an estate plan, their assets will be distributed as determined by California's default rules regarding intestacy.

As you estate planning attorneys, we ensure you take advantage of your right to choose how your assets are distributed so you aren't left to the whim of the California legislature. Partnering with us to handle all of your estate planning documents allows you to determine how and to whom your assets will be distributed. You will also be able to to utilize protection strategies to minimize potential estate taxes and other unnecessary costs.


We are your Trust attorneys.

Looking for a Living Trust attorney in Orange County or greater southern California? We are your trust attorneys. When it comes to trusts, you should know there are generally two types: living trusts and testamentary trusts. Living trusts include revocable and irrevocable trusts, while testamentary trusts can only be testamentary trusts. Most estate plans a driven by a Revocable Living Trust. For a greater understanding of the difference between living trusts and testamentary trusts, visit our Resources. If you have time, please also read our discussion of living trust attorney fees to better understand how our estate plan packages work.

 

What is a Trust lawyer?

A trust lawyer should design and draft all of your estate planning documents including your will, living trust, irrevocable trusts, power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, living will, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release at a minimum. The best trust lawyers will design personalized estate plans based on your particular set of circumstances, and maintain the efficacy of your estate plan through all of life's experiences.

Do I need a lawyer for a trust?

While you don't need a lawyer to create a trust, we recommend using one because trusts can be confusing and knowing and when to use which trust is complicated. Sure, we're biased but think of it this way: people use financial advisors because they want strategic guidance with their investments and they use accountants because taxes can be confusing. In the same way, smart people use lawyers to design and draft estate plans because the law is confusing and the consequences of getting a plan wrong can have some serious repercussions.

Being your trust attorneys means we'll handle the full spectrum of trust documents including, but not limited to A trusts (Survivor’s trusts, Marital Trusts), B trusts (By-pass trusts, Credit Shelter trusts, Family trusts), C trusts (Qualified Terminable Interest Property trusts (QTIPs)), Qualified Domestic trusts (QDOTs), Children’s trusts, Common trusts, Irrevocable trusts, Totten trusts, Qualifying Subchapter S trusts (QSSTs), Revocable trusts, Separate trusts, and Special Needs trusts.

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Smarter planning doesn't have to complicated.

 

We are your Will attorneys.

We are also your Will attorneys. When it comes to Wills, there are generally two types: those that are the driver of a Will-based estate plan and those that are complimentary to a Trust-based estate plan; these are where Pour-Over wills come into play. For a greater understanding of the difference between Will-Based estate plans and Trust-Based estate plans, read our blog post What Type of Estate Plan is Best for You? If you have time, please also read our discussion of Will attorney fees to better understand how our estate plan packages work.

Being your Will attorneys means we'll create Wills and Will-based estate plan documents including Wills, Pour-Over Wills, and Living Wills. For a discussion regarding Advance Directives vs. Living Wills, please visit our Resources.

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Meet your estate planning attorneys.

 

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS


We will handle all of your estate planning documents.

Wondering how to get a Power of Attorney? What about an Advance Healthcare Directive? We offer a variety of estate plan packages to help ensure you get an estate plan that is on the one hand personalized to your needs. All of our packages are offered at a fixed fee so you know what to expect. All packages include all of the necessary estate planning documents including a Power of Attorney, Advance Healthcare Directive and Living Will. While most of our clients choose our middle of the road package, we also offer packages for those that are just looking for the basics or, in the alternative, are looking for us to handle everything for them.

Each estate plan package is built on our core principles: a simplified approach that builds value—real tangible results. We've eliminated traditional barriers so we can deliver cost-effective, yet robust solutions that are typically reserved only for the wealthiest clientele. Visit our Resources for answers to frequently asked estate planning questions.

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Foundation

Our plan for those who don't have many assets, but would like to ensure their minor children are cared for, their health care decisions are made ahead of time and certain individuals can act on their behalf in case of incapacity.

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Wealth

Our plan for those who have assets they would like to ensure are kept in the family, transferred to heirs outside of probate, and sheltered from taxes and creditors where possible. All funding and asset and asset titling in this plan is handled by the client.

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Legacy

Our plan for those who fit our Wealth plan, but would also like total assurance everything will be handled by our team from outset and through the first basic amendment.

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Live and play comfortably in Orange County and greater southern California, knowing we'll maintain all of your estate planning documents for you.

Maintenance Program

Once your plan is finalized, you'll have the option of enrolling in our Client Maintenance Program so you can focus on what's most important to you. As a member, you'll retain us as either estate or business planning counsel for ongoing individually-tailored guidance, service and support, as well as regular plan reviews and compliance with corporate formalities. We'll also coordinate with other advisors you may have and make sure your documents are secure and accessible.


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© 2018 SCHLAU|ROGERS is a California based estate planning and business law firm, serving Laguna Beach, along with all of Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and Los Angeles counties. All rights reserved.