ESTATE PLANNING AND PROBATE LITIGATION
Everyone has an estate. Your estate is comprised of everything you own – your car, house, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate.
Regardless of your situation, you need estate planning. It is so imperative that even if you fail to plan for yourself, the state has created a plan for you – one in which you have no input. However, with a small investment of time and money, you can be assured that your desires and wishes will be fulfilled and followed.
The attorneys at Thornton Koller work to efficiently carry out the personal planning wishes of our clients. We will help you control and protect your property while you are alive, and assure that your property will be used to take care of you and your loved ones.We carefully advise our clients on the terms of the trust or will. We will advise Trustees and personal representatives regarding their duties and obligations, and work to resolve issues as cooperatively and beneficially as possible. Whether we use a simple will or a living trust or more complex estate planning, the attorneys at Thornton Koller can help you implement the right plan for you. Please contact Thornton Koller at 760-688-0600 for a free consultation with Carlsbad estate planning attorney Charles Koller if you have questions or need advice regarding your estate plan.
Thornton Koller offers comprehensive Trust and Estate Litigation services as well. Attorney Charles Koller’s estate planning practice and civil litigation background provides him a significant advantage in trust and probate litigation and conservatorship litigation. Carlsbad attorney Charles Koller represents clients in probate courts throughout San Diego County and Riverside County in trust, estate and conservatorship litigation. If you need representation in probate court or are involved in a dispute concerning your estate, trust or conservatorship, please call Thornton Koller today at 760-688-0600 for your free consultation.
Do I Need Estate Planning?
To help you understand, the following sections address some estate planning needs that are common among very broad groups of people. These are merely overviews.
Since incapacity can strike at any time, all adults over 18 should have a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advanced Medical Directive, both of which let you name someone to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated.
Young and Single:
If you have any material possessions, you should at least have a Will. Without a will, the property you have will likely go to your parents and that might not be what you want. A simple will lets you leave your possessions to whomever you choose.
You’ve committed to a life partner but aren’t married. Without a will, state law may prevent your partner from inheriting from you. Through a will, a trust or other mechanisms, we can assure that your wishes are honored.
People in this category need special advice as the estate tax and trust rules have changed dramatically in the last few years. A married person can give an unlimited amount to your spouse, during life or through your estate plan with no tax applied–this is the unlimited marital deduction. If your estate is over $5,250,000, estate taxes are an issue. Under the American Taxpayer Relief Tax Act Of 2012 or ATRA, starting for deaths in 2011, and now going forward, widows and widowers can add any unused exclusion of the spouse who died most recently to their own $5.25 million tax-free exemption amount.
If you have children, you want your estate plan to let the court know your wishes as to who should care for your children should something happen to both of you. You may also want to begin establishing various trusts for your children or grandchildren. And, as with all estates, we can set up trusts that allow you to avoid probate and save your heirs significant time and money when it is time to distribute your estate.
Elderly or Ill:
If you are elderly or ill, you will want to have a will or trust, make sure that your advanced health directive is up to date and valid, as well as planning should you need long term care. We will work with you to be sure your family and your doctor have copies of your important papers or know where to locate them.
At Thornton~Koller, we will work with you to make sure that your desires are known to those you leave behind as well as making the distribution of your assets as easy and problem free as possible.