Wills and Living Trusts
We will advise you on selecting the best representative that will work in your situation. In selecting your representative, pick someone who is a very good record keeper and who has the time to take over your affairs. Remember, this person will step into your shoes to pay your bills, do your banking, perhaps sell your home and securities, distribute your personal effects, and deal with your heirs at a very emotional time. You can have a personal representative who lives outside of California, but consider the complications of time and distance.
Since we also handle Trustee representation, we will also be available to assist your representative in administering your estate.
We will assist you to setup your revocable trust in which you remain in control of the funds and can even be the trustee. You hold title to your property in your name, as trustee. You can end (revoke) this kind of trust whenever you wish or amend the trust during your lifetime. Revocable Trusts are also called Living Trusts or Inter Vivos Trusts. These trusts can be set up to serve a variety of purposes.
If you have a will, your personal representative is called your executor. If you do not have a will, the court will appoint a representative, called an administrator.
In selecting your representative, pick someone who is a very good record keeper and who has the time to take over your affairs. Remember, this person will step into your shoes to pay your bills, do your banking, perhaps sell your home and securities, distribute your personal effects, and deal with your heirs at a very emotional time. You can have a personal representative who lives outside of California, but consider the complications of time and distance.
Title to Assets
You may be surprised to find out that the title to your property controls its disposition. Title takes priority over your will or trust.
For example, if your assets are in joint tenancy with your son, they will pass to your son at your death. Even if your will directs the equal division of your estate between your son and daughter, the jointly held assets will pass only to your son because joint tenancy property passes to the surviving joint owner. Similarly, the same is true of life insurance, annuities, IRA, and pensions because these assets pass directly to the named beneficiary and not under the will.
Therefore, it is very important to coordinate how you hold title with your entire estate plan.
As part of a complete estate plan, we will also prepare your Last Will and Testament. This type of Will is considered a “Pour-Over Will” which ensures that any assets outside of your trust will transfer into your trust after death.
Probate can be a lengthy and expensive process. It can take months, and sometimes years, after the death of a loved one to completely distribute assets through probate. A total of about five percent (5%) of the estate can be paid to your attorney and executor for their services. Simply having a will does not avoid probate, and everything that happens during the probate process becomes public record.
With help from Robinson & Wilson, A Law Corporation, in Rancho Bernardo in the city of San Diego, you can plan your estate to pass directly to your beneficiaries without probate. Our firm can educate you on how to avoid probate.
Our law firm makes every effort to keep matters as efficient and cost‑effective as possible. With more than 40 years of experience, our attorneys can assist with all issues that may come up during the process, including tax, liquidation and beneficiary concerns. We maintain constant communication with clients and their beneficiaries, even if those beneficiaries are out of state. Our experienced legal team includes an attorney who is a California Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, as well as an attorney with an advanced degree in Taxation.
Probate is a process for validating a will (if one exists), paying debts and distributing a deceased personʹs assets. It is a court supervised process that inventories all assets and investments. Beneficiaries are able to request notifications as the process progresses, and it can also help to prevent disputes between involved parties.