Estate Planning

San Francisco Estate Planning Lawyer

“Sometimes a good outcome is very clear – getting a restraining order against an abusive spouse, or getting spousal support against a spouse who’s hiding income. Other times, a good outcome is far more nuanced. Without fail, all of our best outcomes, our big wins, come about because only one side did the work. And a big, big part of that is deeply understanding the people involved and what makes them tick.”

Amy Laughlin

An Estate Planning Attorney in San Francisco on Myths and Misconceptions.

Estate Planning is one of the least understood areas of family law. Estate Planning attorneys in San Francisco find themselves, more often than not, correcting misconceptions. We’ve asked Lucas Pastuszka of Laughlin Legal, a family law and Estate Planning law firm in San Francisco, to walk us through what we absolutely need to know about Estate Planning.

What is an Estate Plan? And are Estate Planning attorneys and the plans they draft just for rich people?

An estate plan is a set of legal documents that safeguard your assets while you’re alive and capable, and manages the allocation of those assets according to your wishes following your incapacity or passing. At the best Estate Planning law firms in San Francisco, those documents are drafted clearly, precisely, unambiguously, and can stand up to legal challenges.
According to Lucas Pastuszka, an Estate Planning lawyer in San Francisco, “Rich people aren’t the only ones who have assets. Most people have them. A bank account is an asset. A car, no matter how old it is, is still an asset. In short, everything you own is an asset including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, retirement accounts, personal property, etc.”

How one particular Estate Planning lawyer in San Francisco keeps people safe from bureaucracy and public exposure.

Though it’s uncomfortable for many to imagine a time in the future when you’re unable to care for yourself or a member of your family, the alternative is much, much less comfortable. If you fail to draft an estate plan based on your wishes, the decisions regarding your assets are managed will no longer be up to you or the people you love most. Instead, the distribution of your assets will likely be subject to the default government plan, which almost invariably consists of long, time-consuming, expensive and public bureaucratic judicial processes.
This is why you want to do your homework. Google: best Estate Planning attorney San Francisco, and find an Estate Planning attorney who’s experienced, thoughtful, and trustworthy. The San Francisco Estate Planning attorneys at Laughlin Legal can help protect you, your family, your estate and your legacy by creating a plan that will allow your estate to be distributed in the way you choose to the people you choose, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Is an estate plan just about identifying assets? What else do the best Estate Planning attorneys in San Francisco build into an estate plan?

An experienced Estate Planning attorney will work directly with you to create a custom, comprehensive, unambiguous estate plan package that’s strong against challenges. They will consider every asset you own, allow you to manage your estate easily throughout your life, allow you to appoint individuals you trust to step in to manage your estate in times of need, provide for your needs, provide for the needs of the people you love, honor your wishes, minimize taxes, and avoid living probate (conservatorship) and death probate.

What services should you expect the best Estate Planning lawyers in San Francisco to provide?

Lucas Pastuszka, Estate Planning attorney in San Francisco, again, “This is what I provide beginning with the centerpiece of an estate plan – your living trust or will…

Drafting of revocable living trust and irrevocable trust. The objective here is to avoid costly and time-consuming probate, to preserve wealth, minimize taxes, ensure the distribution of your estate is in keeping with your wishes, and provide for minor children.

Preparation of last will and testament that will accompany your trusts.

Preparation of critical supplemental documents for instance, a general transfer and assignment, nomination of guardians for minor children, certification of trust, and status of property agreement.

Special Needs Trust (SNT). This is designed to ensure that any disabled loved one who inherits from you is not disqualified from public benefits.
Incapacity Planning. If you become incapacitated through an accident or health condition, a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) allows you to name someone to handle your financial affairs. An Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD, sorry, more letters!) allows you to name someone who understands your personal beliefs and wishes to handle your healthcare and make medical decisions on your behalf.

Trust funding. This means adding your valuable assets to your trust, including the preparation and recording of real property deeds to transfer your real estate to your trust.

Disinheritance. This is one of the more emotional topics because it prevents specific individuals from inheriting your assets by directly disinheriting and excluding them from your estate. It’s tough to talk about, but it can be essential.

Substance abuse planning. This is another topic most would prefer not to plan for, but that’s when you get into trouble. This provides for the structuring of trusts to promote recovery and to support a beneficiary who’s struggling with substance abuse and dependence, while simultaneously protecting your trust assets by restricting a substance-dependent beneficiary from gaining immediate and complete access to the trust assets.

Finally, I encourage clients to review their estate plans regularly in the event that circumstances change. An estate plan is not a set it and forget it proposition!”

Do you need an Estate Planning law firm in San Francisco?

If you or someone you love doesn’t have an estate plan in place, learn more about how an experienced Estate Planning attorney in San Francisco can represent you and your values. Call us now at 650-239-6064 to schedule your first consultation with us. If you’d prefer, you can email us to set up your appointment. If we miss your call, we will respond promptly and call you back as soon as possible.

Laughlin Legal Family Law Group
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about Divorce & Family Law

Want some of the best legal advice you can get from one of the best divorce lawyers and child custody lawyers around? Want it for FREE? Every first Tuesday of the month at 12pm pst, Founder & Partner Amy Laughlin meets with Laughlin Legal clients on a group zoom call for 60 minutes to answer questions and offer FREE advice. If you’re currently a client, click HERE to reserve your spot!

The FOREFRONT A divorce & family law blog

Think About It: Is It Really So Strange To Have A Transactional Real Estate Lawyer At A Family Law Firm? We find it

You’re in luck because you’re in California, a community property state. And that makes the division of assets simple in that everything acquired

Amy Laughlin, a divorce and child custody lawyer in San Mateo, knows better than most what’s at stake for the children of divorcing parents.

You have rights.

Let’s talk about your options.

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LAUGHLIN LEGAL Divorce & Family Law Group   650.343.3486
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