Creating a comprehensive estate plan can help ensure that your desires and needs are met, even if you cannot issue statements about your desires on your own. If you’re ready to start planning for your needs, an Arroyo Grande estate planning attorney can help you determine your next steps to ensure that those needs are met.

What Is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan details the distribution of your assets following your death and lays out any final wishes you may have. It may also include protection and care arrangements in the event you are unable due to incapacity or death for minor children and an outline of your medical wishes in the event of an emergency. An estate plan offers a legally binding way to make your wishes clear in cases—including death or serious illness—where you might not be able to make those desires clear for yourself.

Who Needs Estate Planning in Arroyo Grande?

Anyone who has assets that they want to distribute formally after their death should consider the importance of an estate plan. You should also create a comprehensive estate plan if:

  • You have a known health issue that could lead to an increased need for medical care or services in the future, and you want to be sure your wishes are met
  • You have minor children or dependents with special needs
  • You need to designate someone else to handle legal or financial tasks on your behalf if you are incapacitated for any reason

If you have questions about how you might benefit from an estate plan, talk to an Arroyo Grande estate planning lawyer to learn more about your specific situation.

Estate Planning Documents

Estate planning documents may depend on the specific concerns you have and the assets you need to distribute. Your planning may include all of these documents or may include only the ones that are relevant to you and your needs.

  • Your will: The legal document that lays out how you would like for your assets to be distributed in the event of your death
  • Revocable living trust: This document can help you avoid probate and protect your children from predators, creditors, or divorce.
  • Guardianship designations: Legal documents that dictate who you would like to take custody or guardianship of any minor children in the event of your death
  • Beneficiary designations: Designations for any assets that do not have to pass through your will in order to be distributed to your heirs
  • Healthcare power of attorney: A legal document that lays out who you want to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are for any reason unable to do so for yourself
  • Legal power of attorney: Legal documentation that lays out who can make legal or financial decisions on your behalf or manage your assets for you if you are incapacitated for any reason

Your estate planning lawyer may also help you create trusts that will help protect your assets and pass them on to your heirs according to your wishes.

How Can an Arroyo Grande Estate Planning Attorney Help?

An estate planning attorney can offer vital assistance as you create and manage your estate plan. An Arroyo Grande estate planning lawyer may:

  • Help decrease or avoid estate taxes and avoid a long, drawn-out probate process for your beneficiaries.
  • Provide comprehensive information in a holistic manner that concerns your legal, financial, and health care needs and how your preferences impact the right decisions for you
  • Keep up with the latest laws related to estate planning and inheritances
  • Provide you with information that will ensure that you will is legal
  • Offer vital advice and support when the time comes to update your estate plan for any reason

If you have questions about your estate plan and how Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law can help, contact us today for more information.


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Our Process

Dedicated to Protecting Your Assets, Supporting Your Family, And Providing Peace of Mind

 Our Process

1You Schedule A Call

  • Meet briefly to learn more
  • Understand your specific business needs
  • Determine if we can help

2We Suggest A Solution

  • Know what you’ll spend
  • Know how long it’ll take
  • Know if you & loved ones are eligible

3We Work Together

  • Gather & create your docs
  • Create your plan
  • Provide updates without you even asking

4Enjoy Peace Of Mind

  • Your plan is in place
  • Your family is protected
  • You’re in control
  • We got your back when you need changes

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Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s Face It — You Have Questions.

Do people with few assets really need an estate plan?

Creating an estate plan, including a will, can make processing your assets and managing your final needs much easier for your family. Even if you do not have considerable assets to pass on, you may want to designate what assets you do have and determine how they will be handled. Otherwise, the State of California has a plan for you — and it is called probate.  Under probate laws, your assets may be distributed to people you never intended. Furthermore, you may want to carefully consider things like guardianship of minor children or healthcare planning.

What is the difference between a will and an estate plan?

A Will is only one ingredient of a solid estate plan and requires a probate proceeding with court approval prior to your assets being distributed to your named beneficiaries. An estate plan contemplates more than what happens when you die, An estate plan also concerns what happens if you live. It’s like a recipe for life, which includes other ingredients depending upon your tastes. It may also include a designation for guardianship of your minor children. An estate plan, on the other hand, takes all of your needs and desires into consideration, including concerns like healthcare power of attorney and legal power of attorney, which will allow a loved one to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated for any reason.

When do I need to revisit my estate plan?

You may need to revisit your estate plan regularly in order to ensure that it continues to meet your wishes and your needs. You should revisit your estate plan when:

  • Your family structure changes due to birth, marriage, or death
  • Your financial status changes, particularly if you note a sudden increase or decrease in assets
  • Your desires change
  • Your state laws regarding inheritance change in any way

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