Ontario Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning is a legal process many forego but can significantly alter their family’s lives. Many people neglect estate and tax planning, thinking it’s only for the wealthy. Anyone who wishes to preserve the fruit of their labor and provide a better life for their family should consider securing an estate plan.
If you need expert legal advice, our Ontario estate planning attorney can help. Estate planning has many facets, and dealing with the intricacies of this legal process by yourself can overwhelm you. Schedule your free consultation now and start securing your future.
Secure Your Future With the Help of an Ontario Estate Planning Lawyer
An estate plan is a legal tool used by individuals who wish to protect their assets, minimize the tax burden, and secure the future of their family members. With an established estate plan, you have more control over how you want your assets distributed or who you wish to inherit them with after your passing.
Without an estate plan, the court can interfere with your asset distribution and have them undergo the probate administration process. This time-consuming process could take away a significant portion of your assets, leaving your family with less than what they deserve.
You can prevent this from happening with just a single phone call. Speak with our experienced estate planning attorney now and secure the life you envisioned for your family.
The Importance of Estate Planning
Estate planning is organizing and preparing to transfer your assets after you die. Planning your estate administration is important for various reasons, such as:
Your estate will never go to unintended heirs: By naming your beneficiaries, you ensure that they are the only ones who will benefit from what you leave behind. Anyone, including charities, friends, and family members, can be named beneficiaries.
You guarantee your family’s way of life: Estate planning provides a financial buffer through investments and insurance. It allows your family to live without adjusting their quality of living.
You minimize taxes for inheritors: The law requires your beneficiaries to pay significant taxes before collecting their inheritance. You can significantly reduce this expenditure by estate planning. For example, you can establish a trust so that your beneficiaries do not have to pay taxes on inherited assets.
You eliminate family conflicts: Naming beneficiaries and specifying their inheritance can minimize disputes between family and relatives. Having a clear plan in place leaves less room for argument.
Estate planning can be a complex and time-consuming process. Therefore, it is best to get the help of an experienced professional.
Critical Estate Planning Tools
There are various estate planning tools available for anyone. From trusts to healthcare directives, there’s a perfect option suitable for your needs. We enumerated some of the most common estate planning tools below to help you further understand the significance of each.
Trust and Living Trusts
Probably one of the well-known estate planning tools, trust is a familiar word for many people. Trust refers to the relationship between the trustor (the owner of the asset) and the trustee (the temporary holder of the asset). The role of the trustee is to ensure that the trustor’s wishes are followed and that his assets are distributed accordingly.
Trust can be further classified into many different types, such as testamentary trusts, irrevocable trusts, asset protection trusts, and special needs trusts, but the most common is the living trust. Living trusts are named because the trustor creates them while he is still alive, and the property transfer occurs after death.
With living trusts, you can avoid the lengthy probation process and skip hiring a probate attorney. This process also ensures your assets are distributed upon your wishes.
Trust administration involves distributing the trustor’s assets to the beneficiaries, paying outstanding debts, settling taxes, managing investments, and many more.
Ensuring trust security doesn’t stop at establishing a legally-binding trust. Administering trust is a complicated and time-sensitive process and might require legal assistance to ensure you are following the appropriate process.
Wills and Living Wills
Another well-known form of estate planning document is a will. Similar to trusts, wills also exist in several types, with living wills as the most commonly used.
Because of the similarity between trusts and wills, they are often interchanged by the common population. A will dictate how the grantor wants his assets distributed, and a trust appoints trustees to execute the asset distribution and protection.
Wills take effect after the death of the grantor. In contrast, trusts can take effect when the grantor wishes to utilize a trustee. Unlike wills, trusts are only in effect for a certain period or until the grantor specifies in the document.
Regardless of which of these two you choose, it’s better to have one than nothing at all.
Probate and Probate Administration
Probate is the legal process of analyzing the grantor’s assets and debts, and how the court should distribute them. With a will, the grantor’s representative could avoid the entire probate proceedings and administer the assets as it is written in the will.
Unfortunately, an intestate estate, or an asset without a will, must undergo probate proceedings as stated by the law. In this case, the probate court will determine how your assets must be distributed to fulfill your obligations to your creditors.
Moreover, the court might require your representative to hire a probate lawyer to represent your case. The cost of the lawyer’s fee could also be deducted from the grantor’s estate. However, opting for the expert assistance of a probate attorney could help minimize the asset you could lose in the probate process.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal warrant allowing the holder to act on behalf of another person. In estate planning, you are giving someone the right to decide for you if you’re incapable of deciding for yourself.
You decide the extent to which you will allow your representative to decide for you; it could be in the form of financial decisions, healthcare instruction, or property distribution.
A healthcare directive is a legal authorization you give your primary care providers regarding your healthcare when you’re physically or mentally incapable of making decisions in the future. This includes orders such as DNRs or “Do-not-resuscitate,” treatment preferences, organ donations, etc.
Creating a business succession document is vital if you own a successful business you want to pass down to your heirs. A valid business succession document allows you to decide who you wish to inherit your business, how you want to organize the positions in your business after your passing, and even minimize the special tax implications.
Organ Donation and Final Arrangements
Creating an organ donation and final arrangements is crucial if you want to donate your organs or body for science or a good cause. Establishing this document before you die is critical because organs are sensitive and could expire a few minutes after extracting from your body.
Estate Planning Requirements in California
Here are some requirements you must prepare when creating an estate plan in California:
Your list of assets and credits
Documents proving your ownership over your assets
Bank statements, life insurance policies, and investment statements
Government accounts and social security account number
Other than these documents, you also need to prepare the records of your representatives and benefactors. Some estate planning tools, such as wills and trusts, requires you to have at least two witnesses during document validation.
Different estate planning tools have different requirements. Ultimately, you would want to hire an experienced estate planning attorney to help you create a legally-binding estate plan.
How Can Estate Planning Lawyers Help
Estate planning lawyers are proficient in several aspects of the law, such as family law, elder law, and taxation law. Seeking their legal specialization when developing an estate plan is critical. Creating an estate plan entails several complicated processes; hiring an estate planning lawyer can help you:
Minimize errors: Mistakes in estate planning could be costly to alleviate. Hiring an experienced estate planning lawyer ensures you are following the appropriate procedure.
Create customized estate plans: Creating an individualized estate plan is crucial if you want to maximize the security of your assets.
Lessen avoidable tax liability: Contrary to popular belief, some of your estate taxes can be waived. An experienced estate planning lawyer knows which is which and could help you save a lot in tax exemption.
Experienced legal representation: Some processes, such as the probate proceedings, requires the representative to present before the court. Hiring a highly-skilled attorney can help you navigate these procedures seamlessly.
Schedule a Consultation Now
Estate planning is not an option you can disregard, especially if you have many assets and properties you want to preserve. Securing an estate plan is a way of ensuring the safety of your family in a time when you can no longer provide for their needs.
There are countless law offices in Orlando, FL, providing assistance and solutions regarding estate planning matters. When selecting a law firm to assist with your estate plan, it’s essential to look into their experience, provided results, and credentials.
At Alden Law Firm, our experienced and highly proficient estate planning lawyer have been assisting individuals in establishing a solid estate plan for almost ten years now. We helped our clients secure over $1 million worth of assets and ensure their families receive the full benefits they deserve.
If you’re ready to do the same for you, call us now at (213) 214-6937 for a free consultation. You can also use our online contact form to reach us.