Granada Hills Estate Planning Attorney

Granada Hills Estate Planning Attorneys Take a Multifaceted Approach to Craft Comprehensive Estate Plans

While most people might believe that a will or trust is sufficient to ensure the orderly distribution of assets after death, in most cases a much more individualized estate planning strategy will be required to avoid probate and ensure that your wishes are carried out. In reality, a multitude of factors must be considered in developing an estate planning strategy that not only takes these two primary considerations into account but also works to minimize taxes, protect beneficiaries and provide for future generations. The exact elements of your estate plan will depend upon your specific circumstances and goals.

At the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman, our estate planning attorney has decades’ worth of experience in successfully crafting comprehensive estate plans for our Granada Hills clients. Our experience has taught us the often difficult and overlooked questions that must be asked in order to formulate the best possible plan for each individual client.

We know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning, which is why we take the time to get to know all of our clients personally in order to make sure that each clients’ goals are met. Remember that there is no estate too small to require an estate plan—a successful estate plan encompasses much more than ensuring simple asset protection and distribution.

Elements of a Successful Estate Planning Strategy in Granada Hills, CA

Every client’s estate will have its own set of issues that can require much more than a simple trust document designed to shield estate assets from probate administration. At the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman, we evaluate each client’s estate to determine whether any of the following documents may be required:

  • Living trusts,
  • Revocable living trusts,
  • Wills or pour-over wills,
  • Powers of attorney,
  • Advance health care directives or living wills,
  • Revocable or irrevocable trusts,
  • Credit shelter or asset protection trusts,
  • Special needs trusts,
  • Spendthrift trusts,
  • Community property agreements,
  • Marital trusts, qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trusts, or qualified domestic trusts (QDTs or QDOTs),

In most cases, some type of trust structure will be required in order to protect the client’s assets both from a tax perspective and from the expense of probate administration. Clients will also require a will that will specify how assets will be distributed upon their death, as well as an advance health care directive that will provide detailed instructions as to end-of-life care and the client’s medical wishes.

Experienced Attorneys at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman Offer Granada Hills Clients Four Decades of Estate Planning Knowledge

While almost any estate planning lawyer can draft the basic documents that every client should have in their estate plan, the experienced lawyer at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman is proud to offer legal services that go far beyond the basic. Any number of scenarios can exist to complicate an individual’s estate planning needs, including:

  • Concern for a beneficiary’s ability to responsibly handle an inheritance can spur the need for a spendthrift trust that limits the beneficiary’s access to that trust,
  • QTIP trusts can be used to provide a surviving spouse in a second marriage with income protection for life, while simultaneously ensuring that the decedent’s children from a former marriage eventually receive the underlying trust assets,
  • QDOTs can help in situations where the surviving spouse who inherits the assets is not a U.S. citizen.

In addition to the various specialized needs of the modern family, our attorney understands the need for digital estate planning in today’s society, and can help our clients craft a plan that allows beneficiaries to access digital accounts and files, as well as provide instructions as to what should be done with those assets.

Schedule an Appointment With Our Compassionate Estate Planning Attorney Today

Discussing a plan for how your assets will be distributed after death can be extremely difficult even if you are in good health. Our experienced team of Granada Hills estate planning professionals are here to provide empathetic and smart legal advice in order to craft a comprehensive and personalized estate plan in your case. Complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation with our skilled estate planning lawyer today. Our office is conveniently located at 8912 Haskell Ave., North Hills, CA 91343.

About Granada Hills, CA

Granada Hills is a suburban neighborhood in the Los Angeles, California area, and is located in the San Fernando Valley. Granada Hills is relatively lightly populated, with approximately 54,000 residents as of the 2008 census. Granada Hills is a higher income, and highly diverse, portion of Los Angeles, and is known for its mid-century modern architecture. In fact, many of its homes have historical significance and have been featured in movies or on television. Other areas of Granada Hills are known for their cedar tree-lined streets, and some areas have even been declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments because of their cedar trees.

FAQ: Why is it important to make a comprehensive estate plan?

Your estate plan will specify your wishes upon death or incapacitation. A properly structured estate plan can help you avoid taxes, avoid the time and expense of probate, and ensure that your loved ones are provided for upon your death. Importantly, a clearly drafted and updated will can minimize any conflicts between your loved ones after your death. Many estate planning documents are necessary formalities, but it is also important to include family members in the estate planning process so that they are not surprised—and are less inclined to challenge your wishes—after your death.

FAQ: I’ve read that the new tax law exempts over $11 million of my assets from estate tax. Why do I still need an estate plan if my family gets along and I have significantly fewer assets than this federal exemption amount?

First of all, the new tax reform law only temporarily increases the exemption—after 2025, it will be cut in half to about $5.6 million unless Congress acts to extend the new rules. Since it is impossible to predict when you will die, or how the tax code could be changed, federal estate taxes might continue to be an issue. But an estate plan is about much more than avoiding estate taxes—it’s about specifying what you want to happen with your hard-earned assets after you are no longer here to make those decisions for yourself. For many clients, it’s about ensuring that loved ones are protected financially. Even if your family gets along, conflicts can arise that can be difficult to predict or resolve. Further, while there is no state-level estate or inheritance tax in California, your estate may be subject to California probate even if it is much less valuable than the amount exempted from federal tax.