Your San Diego Estate Planning Lawyer
If there is one predictable thing about life, it is that life is unpredictable. Despite all our plans, a sudden car crash or an unexpected medical diagnosis can change everything in an instant. Connecting with a San Diego estate planning lawyer will not make life more predictable, but it can help you be more prepared and take care of the people who are important to you.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is using a set of legal tools and strategies to determine what happens to your assets after you die or if you become incapacitated. It can also involve empowering certain people to make important decisions on your behalf while you are still alive.
Why is Estate Planning Important?
A clear, professionally developed estate plan ensures that your wishes are carried out, helps to avoid conflict between your loved ones, and can minimize estate tax exposure. By their nature, estate conflicts are often quite emotional, so when they do arise it is best to have an experienced attorney to advocate on your behalf.
Why Choose Brierton, Jones, & Jones
Marked by Integrity
A reputation for professional excellence built up over 30 years of practice in San Diego.
Driven by Excellence
Award-winning attorneys with decades of experience resolving 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 focus on problem solving to efficiently resolve cases.
Our clients and their families return to us generation after generation.
Our attorneys have been actively involved in the local community from the firm’s inception.
Estate Planning Terms 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.
Will – 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.
Trust – A written instrument that creates a legal entity that holds assets for beneficiaries, sets forth 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. The terms 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.
Testamentary Trust – A trust created by a will.
Codicil – 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.
Holographic Will – A type of will that is handwritten in the person’s own writing, dated and signed by the person making the will.
Intestate – To die without a valid will, or without a valid distribution in a will.
Personal Property – Anything owned by a person that can be moved, such as money, securities, jewelry, etc. Personal property does not include real property.
Testate – To die leaving a valid will.