Law Offices of Jessica Rachelle Blair

1968 S. Coast Hwy, Suite 685
Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (
Phone: (949) 446-8615
Fax: (949) 861-6207

Don’t think you need an estate plan? Many people think that they don’t have a large enough or a complicated enough estate to warrant an estate plan.

However, there are many important reasons for almost anyone to create one.
Avoid Probate Court

A properly executed estate plan allows your family to sidestep Probate Court. This has many important benefits, the main one of which is avoiding the hassle and expense of going through Probate. Even a very simple estate in California can easily cost twenty or thirty thousand dollars in fees. If the estate is larger and/or complicated in any way, that amount can quickly skyrocket. Further, during much of the lengthy process of putting an estate through probate, the assets from the estate are frozen and while those assets are frozen, certain bills have to be covered out of the pockets of family members or friends. Additionally, Probate is a public process, and many families would prefer to keep their affairs private.

Many people erroneously believe that having a Will is enough to avoid Probate Court. This is untrue. Probate Court interprets the validity of a Will, and it is the proceeding that then takes place to determine who will receive the property in the estate and who will be in charge of managing those distributions as well as the estate expenses. If someone has no Will their estate will also be stuck in Probate. The way to avoid Probate Court is through a properly drafted and properly funded living trust.

Minimize Taxes

Proper planning through an estate plan allows for options that can minimize, or in some cases eliminate, estate taxes.

Protect Minors

Don't leave the decision of who will raise your children if you die to the Court. With an estate plan, you can appoint the guardian(s) of your choice. This will lessen the risk of family fights, and more importantly, it allows you to pick the best people for that extremely important role.

Accomplish Your Goals

An estate plan ensures that your assets go to the beneficiaries of your choice and by the method of your choosing, for instance possibly delaying distributions to beneficiaries who are too young to handle all of their share at once or creating sub-trusts to be managed by the trustee for beneficiaries who might have trouble handling money. An estate plan can also be very beneficial for married couples who have children from outside of that marriage.

Plan for Potential Incapacity

With an estate plan, you can appoint someone in advance to manage both your financial affairs as well as your medical decisions if you should become incapacitated. This avoids the expensive, hassle-filled and sometimes embarrassing process of having to go through conservatorship proceedings through the Probate Court system.

For all of the above-mentioned reasons and more, it is time to lift a weight off of your shoulders and to give your family the gift of a well-drafted estate plan. The initial consultation is free and in-home consultations are typically available at no extra charge.

Please call me at (949) 446-8615 to schedule a consultation.

I am a member of the California State Bar with State Bar Number 267350.