Estate planning is essential, not just after your death but even when you are alive. There are several finances, documents, and other aspects involved with it. Your money, assets, and property won’t be efficiently managed or distributed amongst the nominees without a proper estate plan. It would be a great help if you also had a reliable and trustworthy executor whom you can trust. San Diego recorded 2,059 probate cases between 2018-2019, as per the latest data available. Having an estate planning attorney San Diego will help you avoid unnecessary hassles or run into legal difficulties while managing your estate, creating a revocable living trust, or planning a guardianship nomination. Here is some information you must know about estate planning and how your attorney can help you out.
Helping You with the Will
Creating a Will
It is a legal document that clearly states how you want your property, bank balances, and assets to be distributed after your death. For the document to be valid for writing in California, you must be over 18 years old, which should be typed, or handwritten. As the testator, you should have the mental capacity to know what you are doing and make decisions. Your lawyer will help you create a will while offering valuable legal suggestions.
Submitting the Will
However, after your death, your attorney must submit your will to the Court of the County (in this case San Diego), the place of your estate’s administration. Usually, the county would be where you lived when you died. This work will be done by your estate planning attorney, who will ensure that the process is carried out smoothly while paying attention to things such as stiff backing, paying the fees, and a stamped envelope as required.
Assisting with the Probate Process
What Is Probate?
Probate is a court-supervised process whose purpose is to identify and gather the deceased person’s assets, pay taxes, debts, and expenses, and make sure the balance is distributed to the beneficiaries. If you want to avoid probate, you could consider creating a living trust, giving your assets to others as a gift, or having joint asset ownership. According to the laws of San Diego, estates with a total value of assets below 166,250 USD$ will not have to undergo the probate process.
Why Do You Need an Attorney?
Even though you might not need to hire an attorney to assist you with the probate process, it would be advisable to do so, mainly if the estate is large. A large estate will undoubtedly have a lot of complications attached to it, and your lawyer will ensure you have filed all the correct documents and met all the essential deadlines. For instance, you will have to file some forms for an estate’s probate, such as the Petition for Probate, Original Will or Codicil, and Duties of Personal Representative. They will also know the latest filing location of the probate (in San Diego, it is the Central Courthouse in 1100 Union Street), according to the local rules of the Superior Court of California.
Following the Time Limit
The law of California, including the County of San Diego, states that a personal representative should complete the probate no later than one year from the date of the appointment unless they file a federal estate tax. The time limit for completing probate is 18 months.
Planning and managing an estate is not an easy task, which involves several legal complexities and dimensions. Still, your estate planning attorney in San Diego will take care of it smoothly and efficiently. If you don’t have an attorney yet for your estate planning, you might consider getting one immediately.