Estate Planning Lawyers for Garden Grove residents
Welcome to Mortensen & Reinheimer, PC, a premier Estate Planning law firm serving residents of Garden Grove, California. We advise clients throughout Orange County on designing and implementing wills and trusts, as well as probate administration. Our objective is to provide each of our clients with the information and resources they need to protect their assets and take care of their loved ones.
All estate plans should include the following important estate planning instruments: a living trust, a durable power of attorney for finances, a power of attorney for health care, and a pour-over will.
Revocable Living Trusts
A living trust refers to a trust that may be revocable by the trust creator or grantor. Living trusts are often used because they may allow assets to be passed to heirs without going through the process of probate. Living trusts also can be utilized to plan for unforeseen circumstances such as incapacity or disability. Living trusts in practical terms, tend to be driven to large extent by tax considerations. If a living trust fails, the property will usually be held for the grantor/settlor on resulting trusts, which in some notable cases, has had catastrophic tax consequences. A living trust is not under the control and supervision of the probate court, and property held by such a trust is not part of a descendant’s probated estate.
A “pour-over” will works in conjunction with a trust. The “pour-over” will is a safety net in the event that an asset in your estate has to be probated because it “pours” the asset back into your trust at the end of the probate. So, if you forget to put an asset into your living trust, or if the asset is worth more than $100,000, it will have to be probated. However, your executor will be directed to distribute the money or property according to the terms of your trust, not in accordance with the intestacy laws of California.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney or letter of attorney is an authorization to act on someone else's behalf in a legal matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, granter or donor (of the power), and the one authorized to act is the agent or the attorney-in-fact.
California Advance Health Care Directive is a combination of what is sometimes called a living will and a power of attorney for health care. An Advance Health Care Directive accomplishes two different goals within one document: (1) The Advance Health Care plans for your medical treatment if you ever become incapacitated, and (2) the Advance Health Care Directive allows you to provide instructions on what lengths your doctors should go to if you are in a terminal condition with no hope of recovery. Through your directive, you can tell doctors as well as family members what types of medical treatments should be used or withheld, including treatment for pain relief, and whether or not you want feeding tubes or artificial hydration.
As to a power of attorney for finances, when a principal requests a securities broker to perform extensive investment functions on the principal's behalf, independent of the principal's advice, power of attorney must be formally granted to the broker to trade in the principal's account. This rule also applies to principals who instruct their brokers to perform certain specific trades and principals who trust their brokers to perform certain trades in the principal's best interest.
To learn more about our full range of Orange County estate planning services, call Mortensen & Reinheimer, PC at (714) 573-7149, or e-mail us and we will contact you to schedule an initial estate planning consultation.
We are in the business of helping families just like yours plan for the future in the most sensible and beneficial ways possible, and we are proud to have been successful in that effort. Read the testimonials of our previous clients to understand what it's like to work with our Orange County estate planning attorneys.
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