Santa Monica Estate Planning Attorney
In legal terms, an estate is the totality of your property. People often assumed that estates belong only to the wealthy, but this is false. Technically, anyone who owns any property has an estate. Similarly, estate planning is for everyone. No matter how large or small the value of your property is, you should plan for its future. With estate planning, both you and your family can have security for the future.
Mitchell A. Port is a skilled estate planning lawyer serving Santa Monica. With almost forty years of legal experience, he can help guide you through the intricate process of planning and protecting your estate.
Call (310) 526-3433 today for a free consultation.
Writing a Will
In today’s world, many people have close relationships with friends and distant relatives. These bonds can be closer than the ones you have with immediate family. By creating a will, you can ensure that the appropriate people will receive the assets they deserve. You can leave any property to anyone, no matter how specific. There is no item too small or insignificant to put into a will.
Without a will, your assets are distributed by the laws of the state either where you lived or where the property was located. This is done through a process called intestate succession. Essentially, the state has a predetermined list of your closest relatives, and it gives your assets to them in a certain order. Generally, the first recipient is your spouse. If you have children together, under certain circumstances they share the property. Property goes to children outside of the marriage as well. In the absence of a spouse or children, assets go to parents, then siblings, and so on. Relying on the state to handle your estate could leave important people out. You can trust our attorney to draft a document that will give your property to the right people.
When someone has passed, there must be a person who handles the estate. This is the personal representative, or executor, of the will. Their job is to take care of any leftover bills or debts. After this, they distribute property in accordance with the will. It is a big job, and it is time-consuming. You can name an executor in your will, but there may not be a friend or family member who can devote themselves to the job.
When there is no direct executor, the matter goes into probate. In probate, the courts take care of handling the deceased’s wishes by appointing someone qualified to do the job. This is a complex and laborious process, and you need a trusted attorney to make sure it runs smoothly. Our attorney knows how to handle probate, and he can work with California’s legal system. He can help keep taxes and other fees low, and he can help oversee property distribution.
If you are an executor and need help, you can rely on Mitchell A. Port. As the executor, you are the ultimate authority on how the estate will be managed. However, you may need assistance with applying the law to your situation that comes with the job. Our attorney can help guide and prepare you for each new task, keeping you on track while still allowing you to make the final decisions on the estate.
Conservatorship and Guardianship
Sometimes, life circumstances require that one person be placed under the care of another. When it’s time to make tough decisions, our firm has the sensitivity and understanding to help make this transition smooth and beneficial.
When an adult must be placed under someone’s care, this caretaker becomes the conservator. Being a conservator is a big job with much responsibility. You must take control of nearly every aspect of someone’s life. Financial decisions, health matters, employment, travel, and more are now under your supervision. If you take on this role, you will need continued legal assistance and guidance. Allow our firm to care for you as you care for someone you love.
Courts are serious about granting conservatorship. Health professionals must prove that the adult is incapacitated. Although this person may be functional, they cannot care for themselves. Allow our firm to review the facts of your situation. We can help evaluate the person in question. When it becomes clear that they need a conservator, Mr. Port can help present your case to the court.
Guardianship involves caring for children. When a child’s parents have passed, someone must take them in. Sometimes, the parents are still living, but they are unable to care for their kids. Guardianship is not the same as adoption, and it can be temporary. Guardianship is an emotionally difficult process, and those involved may need help handling the legal specifics. If you need help with a guardianship, our trusted attorney can help you handle the matter with sensitivity and legal precision.
The Law Office of Mitchell A. Port can also help you with the following legal matters:
- Legal Disputes
- Tax Law
- Power of Attorney
- Special Needs Trusts
- And more.