Estate Planning Attorney

San Diego Estate Planning Attorney

Many people have the false assumption that Estate Planning is for senior citizens or the very wealthy. This misconception seems to be held by folks because of a misunderstanding of what “Estate Planning” really means. Many are surprised to learn that much of an estate plan is to protect and advance your families’ well-being and wealth while you are alive.

There are many estate planning tools, instruments and techniques but by far the most common and effective estate planning tool is the well-known “living trust,” a powerful instrument that can provide most people with their most common and effective estate planning needs.

A typical Living Trust will provide solid financial security for you and your family, account for special education or health needs of a loved one, allow you to manage your assets during your lifetime, provide medical and financial instructions in the event that you become incapacitated and unable of making these decisions, allow your under-aged children to be properly cared for in the event of a serious debilitating illness or premature death, minimize estate tax liabilities and avoid the unnecessarily expensive and time consuming probate process if you fail to create a viable estate plan.

Estate Planning Attorney & Living Trust Lawyer in San Diego

Creating a Living Trust is a process where you should work with an experienced and skilled expert – preferably an attorney who specializes in tax law. The cost of hiring a Tax Lawyer is insignificant when compared to having a trust haphazardly set up by someone who is not well-versed in tax laws. When we set up your Living Trust, we must transfer your key assets into the trust. Typically, your most significant assets must be re-titled into the name of the living trust in order to be properly owned by the trust which is a legal entity. Forgotten or overlooked assets that that might not be listed in a living trust would not benefit from the provisions of the trust. Therefore, to make allowances for overlooked and other assets that may come and go, it is advisable to have a pour over will which would essentially add your unlisted assets into the trust instrument. Living Trusts are flexible and easily modifiable too. During your lifetime, you can change and control how your assets are to be used, sold or distributed. Upon your death, the living trust distributes your assets to those parties you have named as beneficiaries of your living trust, thereby bypassing the usually long and overly-expensive court directed probate.

Can a Living Trust Reduce Estate Taxes?

A simple living trust created just for probate-avoidance –while better than nothing– has virtually no effect on taxes. That is one reason why you should have your Living Trust drafted by an experienced Tax Attorney who can create you a more more sophisticated living trust which can often significantly reduce the federal estate tax bill for people who have high-value assets. That way, in addition to taking care of your loved ones and avoiding probate, a we can also help you reduce or even avoid many taxes so that you can leave as much of your assets to your heirs and not to the government. For example, a more thorough AB trust which often goes by other names, including “ABC trust,” “credit shelter trust,” “bypass trust,” and “exemption trust.” With such a trust, each spouse leaves property, in trust, to the other for life, and then to the children. An AB trust can save hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in estate taxes, money that will be passed on to the couple’s final heirs. Take a look at an ABC Trust Flow chart – a more sophisticated trust to preserve wealth for the benefit both the living (surviving spouse) and their heirs.

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e-Mail Chris Cooke, Esq. Map to Office
I am your San Diego Tax Attorney Chris Cooke, Esq. Every day I have the privilege to meet good people struggling with tax issues that if not handled correctly can cause stress, anxiety or over payment of unnecessary taxes. Often times we discover that with some simple planning we can significantly reduce the taxes that they as an individual or business owner will owe next year and for years to come. Yes! The tax laws are complicated and ever-changing, which is why you need someone who lives and breathes Tax Laws & Regulations 365/24/7... No matter the complexities of your financial or tax challenges, I can assure you that working with a full-time lawyer who works with tax laws will go a long way to finding a solution that makes sense... Knowledge is Power and I will share my extensive legal and tax law knowledge with you when you have me partner with you.
Call my office to schedule an appointment with me, San Diego Tax Attorney, Chris Cooke, Esq. My offices are open 9 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Call (800) 235-0894