Estate Planning That Protects You And Your Loved Ones
There are countless good reasons to have an estate plan in place. You might have a young family that you want to protect with a carefully constructed will or trust. Maybe you want to spare your loved ones as much of the complex probate process as possible. Or perhaps you are concerned about passing on your business or farm, or you are interested in minimizing estate tax exposure.
No matter where you are in life, a skilled estate planning attorney creates a customized plan tailored to your needs, so that you can protect the people most important to you. From our offices in Santa Maria, Michael S. Hardy, Attorney at Law, helps you take care of your loved ones and preserve the assets you worked so hard to create.
We also help you protect yourself with tools safeguarding your health care choices and finances should you be rendered unable by illness or injury to make decisions yourself.
We know how important it is to develop trust in clients so that they can speak openly about their priorities and goals. We have been forging relationships with people in North Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo County and across California’s Central Coast for more than 40 years.
Legal Tools, Legal Knowledge
It is crucial to have on your side an estate planning attorney who knows how to use the law to create comprehensive protections. Among the legal tools we use to safeguard your heirs and beneficiaries are the following:
- Living trust: You help your heirs avoid probate for assets such as your home, other real estate holdings, savings, vehicles, business stock and so on.
- Pour-over will: Used with a living trust, it transfers property intentionally or inadvertently left outside the trust, to the trust.
- Financial powers of attorney: This document protects you if you are injured or become ill and are unable to take care of your finances.
- Advance health care directive: With this, you can name someone to make decisions about your health care in the event you become incapacitated. It also makes clear your wishes regarding health care, organ donation, disposition or remains, and whether or not to be resuscitated in the event that you have no chance of recovery.
- Revocable transfer on death deed: A legal tool enabling you to transfer real property to the person of your choice, revocable by you at any time.
If you have recently lost a loved one and are now facing probate or trust administration, we can help you get through these daunting processes.
Taking Care Of Business
For business owners and farmers, a well-structured business succession plan is a critical component of comprehensive estate planning. Succession plans are not only important to the future financial well-being of your family, but also to your own peace of mind.
We help you plan a smooth transfer of your business or agricultural concern, weighing tax implications, operating agreements and other legal matters crucial to an orderly transition.
Our skilled lawyers also have extensive experience in enabling clients to give to causes, charities and foundations important to them, while being mindful of maximizing tax benefits in charitable giving.