Estate Planning is often minunderstood as some sort of complicated exercise reserved for the wealthy. It is not. In fact, you already have an estate plan, whether you know it or not. This estate plan was created for you by the State of California and can be found in the Probate Code (SPOILER ALERT: You may not like it).
The state's plan results in your estate going to probate court, where the state's laws -- and ultimately the judge -- determines who will manage your assets and affairs and who will ultimately inherit your estate. Probate is typically a lengthy and costly process, which may also be quite contentious between your surviving family members.
Without a proper estate plan, a judge may decide who will make financial and medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated, who will be the guardians of your children upon your incapacitation or death, and how and to whom your property will be distributed. Surely these are decisions you want to make yourself.
Chris Whyte Law offers comprehensive estate planning packages to give you control of what would happen upon your death or incapacitation. All trust-based estate planning packages include:
1. Initial consultation and estate planning meeting
2. Revocable living trust
3. Pour-over will(s)
4. Certification of trust
5. Durable powers of attorney
6. Advance health care directives
7. HIPAA authorizations
8. Deed to transfer real estate
9. Instructions/letters to financial institutions
10. Legal updates from Chris Whyte Law
Chris Whyte Law charges a flat fee for its estate planning packages. Click here to request a current schedule of fees. Some estate planning packages that are more complex and/or involve the creation of additional or different types of trusts will cost more. For those who do not require a revocable living trust, a will-based estate planning package costs less. At Chris Whyte Law, the initial consultation and estate planning meeting is always free. The various estate planning options are discussed and decided at the initial meeting, so the exact fee for your particular estate plan cannot be determined until then. There is no obligation to pay any fee until we come to an agreement on the specific plan and fee for that plan.
Probate is the process adminstered by the court to determine the distribution of a deceased person's assets according to a will or, if no will exists, according to the laws of intestate succession. While it is generally preferable to avoid probate as much as possible with proper estate planning, if a loved one dies and you face a probate proceeding, Chris Whyte Law can represent you in court and help you navigate the lengthy probate process. The fees for this representation are determined by state law, based on a percentage of the estate assets, and paid from the estate.
Child Custody and Support
Consult Chris Whyte Law
For more information on the services provided by Chris Whyte Law, please complete the following form. I will promptly respond – within 24 hours at the latest.
Wage & Hour Violations
Pregnancy and Other Leave Violations