Estate Planning

When it comes to estate planning, I always try to remind my clients that no time is better than the present to begin making preparations for the future. Whether that means setting up a will, a durable power of attorney, a medical directive, or establishing a trust, taking the time to make a plan for the future can not only help you protect your assets, but also help ensure that the needs of you and your family are taken care of. If you don't have an estate plan that can dictate how your estate is settled when you pass, then your family could be forced to go through the process of probate, which means that the courts may end up deciding how your estate gets distributed.

Whether you're planning to set up an estate plan, or you're already going through the process of probate, enlisting the help of an experienced estate planning and probate attorney can make all the difference in the world when it comes to settling these matters quickly and efficiently. At the Edington Law Firm, Inc., I've been working with clients in and around Modesto, California for over 20 years, providing legal counsel and guidance on a variety of different estate planning issues. I chose to focus on estate planning because I've witnessed firsthand how difficult it can be to try and navigate these issues on your own while also dealing with the loss of a loved one. I don't want anyone to feel like they have to face these challenges alone. Whether you need help with establishing a will or a trust, or you simply need someone to walk you through the probate process, I'm here to help.

Do you need help with an estate planning issue?

Put my knowledge to work for you.

How can I help you?

Estate planning services can cover a lot of ground, which is why I try to provide my clients with as much information as possible about the various services I provide so they can get a better understanding of how I can help. Through the years I've worked with countless individuals and families on a variety of different estate planning issues, but the majority of my work involves the following:

Advance Health Care Directive

In its simplest form, an Advance Health Care Directive is a document that expresses medical treatment preferences in the event that a person becomes legally incompetent and unable to make medical decisions on their own. In other states, these documents are sometimes called “living wills” or “powers of attorney for healthcare.” An agent is appointed by the person executing the document, and the agent is bound to follow the directions as given in the document. Generally speaking, an appointed health care agent will have the authority to make decisions about care, treatment, service, or procedure designed to maintain, diagnose, or treat an individual's physical or mental condition. The main power of this Directive allows an individual to stipulate the circumstances under which they want to be removed from artificial life support.

Durable Powers of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is essentially a legal document that gives authority to a named individual for all decisions related to finance. Like the Advance Health Care Directive, it is for use while an individual is living, but that person is not legally competent to make decisions. For example, a named power of attorney would have the authority to pay your bills, open and close bank accounts, contact your pension / 401(k) provider, etc.

Trust Administration & Distribution

California trust laws are designed to provide individuals with the ability to manage and distribute property while you are alive so that the transition of property can be seamless upon your passing. The state does provide a variety of different trust types that can be used to help you transfer benefits and property to specific family members, friends, and other individuals.

Estate Administration and Probate Services

When an individual dies without a will or trust to specify the division of their estate, typically the assets will have to go through the process of estate administration. The California Probate Code determines the heirs of the deceased individual, and the Court facilitates division to any remaining family members of the deceased. A common misunderstanding is that if you have a valid will in place when you die, you may bypass the court process. This is incorrect. In general, the family of the deceased who executed a will still go through the court, but the process is called probate. 

Put My Experience To Work For You

At the end of the day, all of the various estate planning issues listed above can become infinitely more complicated if you don't have an experienced estate planning attorney working to ensure that the interests of you and your family are taken care of. If you or someone you know is in need of estate planning services, don't feel like you have to face these challenges alone. Call the Edington Law Firm, Inc. today and find out how I have helped countless individuals just like you find a solution to their unique situation.

Modesto, California Estate Planning Attorney

If you are looking for help with an estate planning issue, don’t put your trust in just any attorney. The Edington Law Firm, Inc. has been working with clients across the Modesto area for over 20 years, providing legal guidance and support on all matters of estate planning. Whatever legal challenges you may be facing, we can help. Call for a free consultation today.