Planning For All Walks Of Life
Planning For All Walks Of Life
No one wishes for the ones they love most to be bogged down with administrative red tape and paperwork during a time of mourning and loss. Let us help you give your family and friends the gift of peace by planning for your future today.
Not only do we plan for the moments following your last breath, but we also prepare financial powers of attorney and health care directives so that your family is not left in the dark on how to care for you when you are living but unable to make decisions for your care.
Whether you are newlyweds returning from the beaches of Maui, tired parents wrangling young kids, grandparents leaving a legacy, or a single person with a four-legged companion, we will work with you to create the best estate plan to care for your family's unique needs after you're gone.
Janelle Hansen has dedicated her law practice exclusively to the area of trust and estates law. After working for a small probate and trust litigation firm and a large estate planning firm specializing in tax planning for high asset and net worth individuals, Janelle started this firm to create a personalized experience for her clients, tailored to their needs and family values. She works closely with her clients to prepare their trust, will, financial power of attorney, health care directive and other transfer documents, to facilitate the administration of their estates, when necessary.
Q: What happens if I don't create an estate plan?
A: If your estate is greater than $184,500, it will need to go through probate where the court will oversee the entire process from appointing someone to administer your estate, to the sale of your assets, to the distribution of assets to your heirs as determined by California law.
Q: If my estate goes to probate, does that mean the government will take all of my property and money?
A: No, your entire estate will not go to the government. The court will appoint someone to use the funds and assets in your estate to first pay any creditors you may have. Upon payment of all creditors, the appointed individual will then distribute any remaining assets to your heirs as determined by California law.
Q: How long does it take to distribute an estate through probate?
A: With the recent pandemic delays, it can take 3-4 months - or sometimes longer - to have your first probate hearing with a judge in California. It is not uncommon for a California probate to last 18-24 months at a minimum - from start to finish - due to the legal requirements for a probate.
Q: Will creating an estate plan avoid probate?
A: Possibly. A well-prepared trust can avoid probate as long as the trust is properly managed and all assets to be included in the trust are properly titled.
Q: Are a trust and an estate plan the same thing?
A: No, an estate plan is an overall package that plans for your care and your family during and after your life. For example, an estate plan should include powers of attorney for finances and health care directives so that you can be properly cared for per your written wishes in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself. If you have property, an estate plan will direct your loved ones on your wishes for how your property should be managed and distributed. A trust may be just one piece of your complete estate plan.
Q: Why should I create a trust or will?
A: Executing and maintaining a trust properly can avoid probate which eliminates court oversight and delays. This means your estate could possibly be distributed to your beneficiaries faster and cost your beneficiaries less than if it went through probate. The creation of a trust or will also allows you to pick 1) the person(s) or company you trust to manage your estate for your loved ones, and 2) which people or charities will ultimately receive your legacy as opposed to state law determining who receives your legacy.
Q: I don't have many assets, do I really need an estate plan?
A: Yes, everyone should have an estate plan even if it is just to name people you trust to care for you in the event you cannot advocate for or care for yourself. Contact us today so we can help you figure out what the best course of action is for you and your family.
Law Office of Janelle Hansen
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