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Estate Planning Attorneys Serving Vallejo and Fairfield, CA

Understanding estate planning

Estate planning involves taking inventory and arranging for the distribution of your assets and property to your family and loved ones. A lawyer can help you plan strategically in a way that maximizes inheritance for your beneficiaries, minimizes their taxes and avoids other unnecessary expenses. You should periodically update your estate plan to reflect your status, and especially in the event of a significant event such as a birth, death, marriage or divorce. At the law firm of Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC in Vallejo, our knowledgeable attorneys are here to help you prepare for the future.

What is the purpose of an estate plan?

Completing a comprehensive estate plan is respectful to your loved ones and provides you with security. It allows you to make end-of-life choices for yourself instead of forcing them to make difficult decisions without knowing your wishes. Documents such as wills and trusts help you achieve the following:

  • Provide for your immediate family — For your surviving spouse and children, you can plan for life insurance to be quickly distributed. You can also protect your property from creditors during the allocation process. Additionally, you can arrange for guardianship, education and religious upbringing of your surviving children under age 18, if applicable.
  • Provide for non-immediate relatives — You can include inheritance and other provisions for extended family members such as grandchildren by setting up special trust funds for any desired beneficiaries.
  • Plan for post-death — You can plan and pay for funeral and other expenses, and decide whether your body should be cremated, buried or donated to medical science.
  • Minimize taxes and other expenses to survivors and beneficiaries — With the help of your estate planning attorney, you can organize property transfer and inheritance distribution in order to avoid unnecessary costs and taxes, and even learn how to avoid probate.
  • Prepare for retirement — When you work with an estate planning law firm early enough, you can plan to diligently manage your funds in order to finance a comfortable retirement.
  • Plan for incapacity — Make advance decisions regarding life support and resuscitation, and designate a trusted family member or other individual to make decisions about medical care if you are incapable.

Three frequently asked questions about estate planning

  1. What documents are included in an estate plan? Estate plans may consist of documents such as a Last Will and Testament, Revocable Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, Advanced Health Care Directive, Community Property Agreement, Generation-skipping Trust, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust, Qualified Personal Residence Trust, Special Needs Trust and Charitable Trust(s).
  2. Can I write my own will? While you may certainly draft your own will, it is only valid once it has been properly authenticated and notarized. An estate planning lawyer from Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC can help you with this.
  3. Can I challenge a will I believe to be fraudulent? Yes. If you believe that foul play was involved, such as forcing, deceiving or unduly influencing the person who wrote the will, or if he or she was mentally incapacitated, our lawyers can help you contest the will. We can also help you with all types of trust litigation.

Make a smart plan for the ones you love

It’s never too early to begin an estate plan. To learn about the steps you can take today, call the skilled lawyers of Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC at 707-552-3630 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC maintains office locations in Vallejo, Fairfield and St. Helena, California, and represents clients throughout Solano County, Contra Costa County and Napa County. We maintain flexible hours and gladly schedule appointments outside the normal workday when needed. Members of our staff speak Spanish, Tagalog and Ilocano in order to best accommodate our diverse client base.

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