California Estate Planning

The State Bar of California has online pamphlets on a variety of topics such as estate planning, living trusts, when to get a will, finding the right attorney, kids and the law, seniors and the law, just to name a few.

On the topic of estate planning, the State Bar website asks the following useful questions if you’ve been thinking about whether or not to contact a qualified California attorney to discuss estate planning:

  1. What is estate planning?
  2. What is involved in estate planning?
  3. Who needs estate planning?
  4. What is included in my estate?
  5. What is a will?
  6. What is a revocable living trust?
  7. What is probate?
  8. Can I name alternative beneficiaries?
  9. Who should be my executor or trustee?
  10. How should I provide for my minor children?
  11. Will my beneficiaries’ inheritance be taxed?
  12. Does the way in which I hold title make a difference?
  13. Are there other ways of leaving property?
  14. What happens if I become unable to care for myself?
  15. Who should help me with my estate planning documents?
  16. Should I beware of “promoters” of financial and estate planning services?
  17. How much does estate planning cost?
  18. How do I find a qualified lawyer?

On a different topic, living trusts, the questions that follow ought to be a part of your thinking when considering having a living trust prepared by an attorney:

  1. What is a living trust?
  2. What can a living trust do for me?
  3. Should everyone have a living trust?
  4. How could a living trust be helpful if I become incapacitated?
  5. How could a living trust be helpful at my death?
  6. Who should be the trustee of my living trust?
  7. How are my assets put into the living trust?
  8. What are the disadvantages of a living trust?
  9. If I have a living trust, do I still need a will?
  10. Will a living trust help reduce the estate taxes?
  11. Will I have to file an income tax return for my living trust?
  12. What other estate planning documents should I have?
  13. What other kinds of trusts are there?
  14. Who should draft a living trust for me?
  15. Should I beware of “promoters” of financial and estate planning services?
  16. How much does a living trust cost?
  17. How do I find a qualified lawyer?

On a very basic level, the question of when to have a will drafted, these questions are useful:

  1. What is a will?
  2. Does a will cover everything I own?
  3. What happens if I don’t have a will?
  4. Are there various kinds of wills?
  5. What if my assets pass to a trust after my death?
  6. Can I change or revoke my will?
  7. How are the provisions of a will carried out?
  8. Who should know about my will?
  9. Will my beneficiaries have to pay estate taxes?
  10. What other planning should I do?
  11. How can I find a lawyer to write a will for me?