Davis Estate Planning Lawyer Serving Northern California

estate planning lawyer in California
  • Pakpour Banks LLP is based in Davis, CA, and is proudly serving Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Vacaville, Dixon, Fairfield, Roseville, Elk Grove, and surrounding areas.
  • Our team has been successfully representing cases in Yolo County, Sacramento County, Solano County, Placer County, Colusa County, El Dorado County, and Yuba County.

Estate planning is an integral part of any family’s life. While there is a common misconception that estate planning is only for older adults or for people with significant wealth, that is simply not the case. Estate planning lawyers have a wide range of tools that they can use to help individuals and families from all across the economic spectrum—and at all stages of life—accomplish their goals. Even if you don’t believe you have many assets, anything that you have worked for over the years is important to you and your family. 

Speaking with a savvy estate planning lawyer can do more for you than you may think. Do you want the peace of mind that comes with detailing what type of end-of-life support you want? Do you want to specify who should make healthcare decisions for you if you become incapacitated? Do you want to clarify who should become guardians of your kids if you’re no longer here to care for them? Do you want to know how to protect your heirs from huge estate taxes? Or do you want to choose where your hard-earned possessions end up after you pass? Then you want to speak with one of our Davis estate planning attorneys at Pakpour Banks LLP. Contact us today.

Estate Planning is no longer limited to Wills and Trusts.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate Planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s lifetime, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life, and after death, while minimizing tax consequences. Estate planning also entails putting a plan in place to address both potential and inevitable events that everyone faces as they get older.  For example, estate Planning also includes establishing a plan for managing a person’s life, healthcare, and affairs in the event that person becomes incapacitated or too unwell to care for him or herself. Finally, Estate Planning includes providing directives for health care during one’s life, as well as carrying out that person’s wishes in regards to his or her remains after death.

What Does an Estate Plan Normally Include?

Every family has unique circumstances that require a customized estate plan. This is one of the reasons why the DIY estate planning tools don’t cut it for most families. While these tools provide some very basic level services, they fail to take into account your specific situation. For example, estate planning instruments often work together to accomplish your goals. Your will, trusts, healthcare directives, bank accounts, life insurance policies, and real estate holdings should all be structured in a way that furthers your end goal.

The contents of everyone’s estate plan will vary depending on their specific situation. Davis estate planning attorneys start with the same handful of tools and customize them according to a client’s needs. At Pakpour Banks LLP, a client’s Estate Plan typically includes:

  • A will,
  • Trust,
  • Durable Power of Attorney,
  • Advanced Healthcare Directive,
  • HIPAA Authorization,
  • and other documents.

While we are happy to assist our clients in any way they seek, Pakpour Banks LLP sees you as a whole person, requiring an Estate Plan that ensures minimal disruption to your life and those the lives of your heirs in the event of your death or incapacitation. Therefore, we typically prepare these documents together for one flat rate.

The important thing is that you have the peace of mind to carry on, knowing that your affairs will be in order should the unthinkable occur. Contact our California estate planning attorneys to schedule a consultation where we’ll discuss how we can help create an effective estate plan for you and your family today.

Wills

A will is a legal document that forms the basis of many estate plans. When you create a will, you first identify all of your assets subject to probate. Non-probate assets should not be included in your will because they pass automatically to the joint account holder or named beneficiary. You also name an executor—also called an administrator or personal representative—in your will. This is the person who will oversee the administration of your estate. It is important to select a trusted person for this role. But it is also helpful if your executor either has experience or knowledge of the probate process or is at least willing to learn.  

Advanced Healthcare Directive

Healthcare decisions are extremely personal. But who would convey your wishes to your doctors in the event you are unable to do so? Are you confident your family, friends, and doctors understand the type of care you want or don’t want? By creating an advance healthcare directive, you can provide details about the level of care you want to receive if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to convey your desires. For example, you can do the following in an advance directive:

  • Consent or refuse consent to any medical care, treatment, or procedure;
  • Clarify which facility you want (or do not want) doctors to discharge you to;
  • Consent or refuse consent to any diagnostic tests or medication;
  • Consent or refuse consent to artificial nutrition or hydration (a feeding tube);
  • Consent or refuse consent for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR);
  • Arrange for your organs to be donated; and
  • Direct how you want your remains disposed of.

Given the scope of an advance care directive, these documents are incredibly useful to lessen the burdens placed on family members during what is already a difficult time.

Trusts

A trust is another common estate planning tool. However, unlike a will, trusts come in many varieties and can be used to accomplish a much wider range of goals. At its most basic level, trust is a legally defined relationship between three parties:

Grantor: Sometimes referred to as the settlor, the grantor is the person who creates the trust.

Trustee: The trustee is named by the grantor in the trust document to oversee the trust’s administration.

Beneficiary: A beneficiary is the person or group of people for whom the trust was created.

Simply put, the grantor creates the trust, naming a trustee to administer the trust according to its terms for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.

Trusts have many purposes, so it may take a bit of effort to determine the type of trust that is most beneficial to you. However, as a general rule, trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. Revocable trusts offer greater flexibility in that the grantor can modify or terminate the trust at any time without anyone else’s permission. Revocable trusts remove assets from probate but do not provide any asset protection or estate tax benefits. On the other hand, once established, irrevocable trusts are permanent. Therefore, a grantor can only make changes to the trust with the consent of all the beneficiaries. However, irrevocable trusts offer the greatest protection from creditors and are useful tools to reduce estate tax exposure. Effective use of an irrevocable trust may also limit the need to spend down personal assets leading up to the Medicaid application process.

Contact the Experienced Davis Estate Planning Attorneys at Pakpour Banks LLP Today

If you do not yet have an estate plan or are in the process of creating a plan and have questions, reach out to the dedicated Davis estate planning lawyers at Pakpour Banks LLP. Formed in 2019 by the merger of two of Yolo County’s best law firms, Pakpour Banks LLP is a comprehensive estate planning law firm offering a wide range of services to clients in Yolo County, Sacramento County, Solano County, and the surrounding areas. As a part of our estate planning services, we offer business planning, legacy planning, and special needs planning. Regardless of your family’s needs, we can create a custom-tailored estate plan that will provide your family with peace of mind for years to come. To learn more and schedule an initial no-obligation consultation today. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form.

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Our experienced legal team handles other types of cases as well, including: