Walnut Creek Estate Planning Attorney
A comprehensive estate plan is the foundation that your financial future is built upon. It should not be some cookie cutter piece of paper or fillable form, but rather a carefully crafted document that is custom-built for your precise needs and goals with sound advice and professional assistance from an experienced attorney. Walnut Creek estate planning attorney Aaron Feldman has been helping individuals and families in Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County meet their personal estate planning needs for over 35 years. Not every family requires a self-funded or third-party special needs trust, but every individual can benefit from quality estate planning. The Feldman Law Group crafts the right set of wills, trusts and advance directives that meet your specific goals and desires, in addition to having the knowledge, skills and experience to assist with special needs estate planning as needed.
Every estate should have a will to appoint a guardian for minor children if needed, name an executor for the estate, leave a legacy to future generations, and ensure that all the property that belongs to your estate is distributed according to your wishes, even if you are disposing of your property through one or more trust instruments. From the simple to the complex, we’ll draft the will that meets your needs in a manner you can count on to be valid and enforceable in the California probate courts.
Placing assets into a trust avoids the expense and delay of probate. A $1,000,000 estate will cost as much as $50,000 to probate and can take well over a year before the assets are distributed. To administer a trust with the same assets will cost as little as $2,500 to administer, and assets can be distributed much sooner. The Feldman Law Group can establish a revocable living trust that avoids or minimizes probate while giving you the capacity to manage assets and distribute them appropriately. We can also advise and assist you regarding a variety of irrevocable trusts or other instruments to address other special needs you may have.
It is important to have a Health Care Directive so that your final wishes are honored if a decision has to be made about continuing care and what measures you want taken if you are too ill to express your wishes to your doctors. It is also important to have a general power of attorney that becomes effective if you ever become incapacitated. This will allow your agent to sign important papers for you regarding legal and financial affairs as well as medical matters. If you don’t have the right documents in place, decisions will be made on your behalf by people you don’t know and who don’t know you, or by anguished family members who may not know what you would want or who disagree over how to proceed. Making decisions in advance or tasking trusted individuals with decision-making authority spares your loved ones from emotional pain and anguish at a difficult time and helps ensure decisions are made in accordance with your expressed wishes.
Special Needs and Long-Term Care
Some families need to plan to protect assets where one or both spouses have chronic debilitating conditions such as Alzheimer’s and will require expensive long-term care. To qualify for assistance with such care requires spending down all non-exempt assets and can result in an expensive Medi-Cal lien against the remaining assets. Certain types of irrevocable trusts should be considered in these situations, and the expertise of the Feldman Law Group can help address your long-term care planning needs.
If your family has other special needs, such as a child with autism or other developmental disabilities, attorney Aaron Feldman is well-versed in the full range of special needs estate planning services, including self-funded and third-party special needs trusts, litigation special needs trusts, and autism and special needs support. Addressing these needs in your estate planning will help give you the peace of mind that your loved ones with special needs will be well taken care of and looked after appropriately.
Call an Experienced Walnut Creek Estate Planning Attorney
For skilled, professional estate planning with an experienced attorney who will listen to you and work directly with you throughout the entire process, contact the Feldman Law Group in Walnut Creek at 925-283-6691.