San Diego Estate Planning Attorney
Everyone can benefit from an estate plan—young and old alike. It’s not only about deciding how you want your assets managed after you’re gone but also what to do when life takes an unexpected turn.
Why Estate Planning Is So Important
If there’s one thing that’s predictable in life, it’s that life is unpredictable. Things can change instantly, and when they do, you’ll want to be prepared to take care of the people most important to you.
That’s where estate planning plays a key role. It’s a set of legal tools and strategies that determine what happens to your assets after you die or if you become incapacitated. It’s also a way to empower people close to you to make important decisions on your behalf if needed.
A clear, professionally developed estate plan ensures that your wishes are carried out, helps avoid conflict between your loved ones, and can minimize tax exposure. Estate conflicts can often be quite emotional, and when they arise, having an experienced attorney to advocate on your behalf can make all the difference.
Understanding the Terminology
When you start putting together your estate plan, you might hear some unfamiliar terms. Here are the most important terms for you to know:
Power of Attorney
A legal document that authorizes a person, your named agent, to make financial decisions on your behalf during your lifetime and becomes effective immediately or after certain conditions are met, such as incapacity.
Advance Healthcare Directive
A legal document that authorizes a person, your named agent, to make personal and healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
A written instrument that reflects a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of a person’s property at death. The term includes a codicil and any testamentary instrument that appoints an executor. A Will only becomes effective upon death and admitted to Probate. It must meet certain formalities to be considered valid.
A written instrument that creates a legal entity that holds assets for beneficiaries and sets forth a trustee to manage such assets, the powers of the trustee, and the rights of the beneficiaries. A trust takes effect during the lifetime of the creator of a trust and is intended to avoid probate for any assets that are titled in the name of the trust or payable thereto. The existence of a trust must be revealed to beneficiaries and heirs when the terms become irrevocable. The terms usually become irrevocable when the creator of the trust dies.
A trust created by a will.
An amendment or addition to a will that may explain, modify, add to, subtract from, or revoke certain provisions in the will. A codicil must be executed with the same legal requirements as a will.
A type of will that is handwritten in the person’s own writing, dated and signed by the person making the will.
To die without a valid will, or without a valid distribution in a will.
Anything owned by a person that can be moved, such as money, securities, jewelry, etc. Personal property does not include real property.
To die leaving a valid will.
- Estate Planning
- Trust Administration
- Special Needs Trust
- Probate Litigation
- Trust Litigation
- Trust & Estate Mediation
- Property Tax Consultation
- Estate Tax Returns
- Agent Representation
When you need a San Diego estate planning attorney to help you put everything in order, Brierton, Jones & Jones, LLP is here for you.
Marked by Integrity
Over 30 years of practice in San Diego County and a reputation for professional excellence.
Driven By Excellence
Award-winning attorneys who resolve even the most complicated issues and cases.
One of the few San Diego firms that focuses exclusively on trust and estate matters.
Creative Problem Solving
A team that thinks outside the box to find the best solution to your problem.
Our clients and their families return to us generation after generation.
Our attorneys are actively involved in the local community and have been for over 30 years.
Our Clients Say It Best
Excellent in all categories!!