What if I don’t have an estate?
Everyone has an estate. An estate is simply anything that you happen to own. If you own a set of golf clubs and nothing more, then your estate is a set of golf clubs. If you own five office buildings, several homes, a dozen cars, some investment accounts and a couple of country club memberships, then all of that is what makes up your estate.
What is an estate plan?
An estate plan is a document or set of documents that set out what happens to your estate when you pass away or are unable to take care of yourself because of physical or mental disability. Documents that make up an estate plan typically include a will, a trust, an advance healthcare directive and a financial power of attorney.
Do I need an estate plan?
You already have one. Most people don’t know it, but the State of California has laws in place that say who gets your possessions (including your children) when you die. That is your estate plan unless you have your own plan created.
Whether you need more than what the State imposes depends on your family, your possessions, your income, and a variety of other factors. Simply fill out our secure online form for a couple or an individual HERE, then set up a free consultation and we’ll discuss whether you need something other than the State’s plan.
How long does it take to get an estate plan?
Creating an individualized estate plan with California Trust Pros® has several steps that determine the time it takes to prepare and deliver your final, personalized estate plan.
Immediately after you submit your information online you will be directed to set a date and time for a teleconference where we will go over the information you submitted and answer your estate planning questions. If you decide to move forward, we will send you a legal services agreement required by the State of California to formally establish the attorney-client relationship and ask that you to pay for one-half of the agreed-upon fee (the other half is not due until your final documents are delivered, or 45-days after delivery of your draft documents if you want more time to review your drafts).
After receiving your signed agreement and initial payment, we generally deliver your draft documents to you by secure email within five days. After you review your draft documents you will let us know if you have any changes, additions, or deletions and, if you want, set up another consultation to go over your draft edits. If you don’t want a second consultation, that’s ok, too.
After your second consultation or letting us know that you don’t need one, we generally deliver your final documents with one of our attorneys or notaries to oversee the proper signing of your documents.
Why do I need a lawyer to prepare an estate plan?
You don’t need a lawyer to draft an estate plan any more than you need a qualified car mechanic to repair the transmission in your car. If you really know how to repair a transmission or if you are willing to study and learn the ins and outs of repairing a transmission you can do it yourself.
Similarly, if you know how to draft a proper estate plan or if you are willing to study and learn all of the ins and outs of preparing an estate plan, you can do it yourself and know it’s done right.
Having access to a bunch of forms that may or may not be right for your individual circumstances is like having a box of transmission parts that may or may not work in your car.
California Trust Pros® makes the decision as clear as possible by making our prices nearly identical to those charged by the online do-it-yourself form sellers.
If you can get experienced, professional help for little if any more cost than doing it yourself, why wouldn’t you?