Santa Cruz Estate Planning Attorneys Provide Knowledgeable Counsel
Our firm develops sound wills, trusts, and advance health care directives
Establishing a proper estate plan is a serious responsibility that should not be delayed. At Santa Cruz-based Penrose Chun & Gorman LLP, we provide knowledgeable counsel on wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives. Whether you’re looking to draw up a simple will or have concerns regarding complex issues such as tax avoidance and business succession, we will give you the information you need to make these important decisions with confidence.
What is the purpose of estate planning?
Effective estate planning matters often involve complex tax issues and particular sensitivity to family dynamics. After extensive discussions about your particular circumstances, we’ll outline the best ways to give your long-term wishes legal force. Our attorneys have significant experience in trust and estate litigation, giving us unique insight into how to draft estate plans that can be carried out easily and without unnecessary problems.
What is the difference between a will and estate planning?
A will is one element of a comprehensive estate plan. Some people might choose to distribute most of their assets through a will, while others might prefer other types of legal instruments, such as trusts. However, even if you rely mostly on trusts, jointly held accounts and assets with a designated beneficiary, it’s critical to have a sound will in place to address property that might have been overlooked.
What are some common California estate planning documents?
Led by Steven D. Penrose, a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law, our firm’s attorneys prepare individually tailored, tax-sensitive estate planning documents designed to accomplish our clients’ goals, simplify the estate administration process and minimize or eliminate potential transfer taxes. Specific instruments that we prepare include:
- Revocable living trusts — Through a living trust, you can retain access to your assets for the rest of your life, then, upon your death, pass what remains to your beneficiaries while avoiding probate. Our firm creates revocable living trusts and assists with the funding and administration of these instruments.
- Wills — Even if you’ve decided to use a living trust or some other method to transfer the property in your estate, drafting a clear, enforceable will is still a critical step. Our attorneys can advise on pour-over wills, which are designed to work in unison with a revocable living trust. When clients have minor children, we assist with language stating their preferences regarding guardianship for their children.
- Durable financial powers of attorney — We prepare durable financial powers of attorney designating a person or persons to manage the financial affairs of a client in the event they become incapacitated.
- Advance health care directives — With an advance health care directive, you can appoint one or more individuals to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to express your wishes with regard to health care procedures, life support, and other decisions concerning medical treatment.
Regardless of your particular needs, our knowledgeable attorneys make every effort to simplify the estate administration process and minimize or eliminate potential transfer taxes.
What is the estate planning process?
Each circumstance is different, but our trusts and estates attorneys provide numerous services to see that our clients’ objectives are achieved, such as:
- Outlining probate avoidance techniques so that intended beneficiaries can avoid delays and hassle
- Developing advance directives and other contingency plans in case you become incapacitated
- Advising on potential estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax consequences
- Ensuring that property is properly titled and trusts are appropriately funded
- Coordinating beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement benefit accounts so that they fulfill the goals of your overall estate plan
We have extensive experience in advanced estate planning involving large and complex estates and are known for crafting creative strategies that can include elements such as irrevocable trusts, business succession planning, and charitable planning.
Our Santa Cruz firm handles estate plan maintenance, revision, and administration
In addition to preparing effective estate planning instruments, our firm is also available to review, revise, and administer existing plans. You should periodically examine wills, trusts, and advance directives to be sure that they still reflect your intentions. Should you desire a change, we will prepare an appropriate codicil, amendment, or an entirely new document, if warranted. Our firm also advises estate representatives on the probate process and other administrative responsibilities.
Contact an experienced California estate planning attorney
Please call Penrose Chun & Gorman LLP 831-515-3344 or contact us online for your estate planning needs. Our office is in Santa Cruz.