How Can I Protect My Assets in California? An Estate Planning Attorney Explains

Leaving your assets to loved ones can be a blessing and a curse. You have many different ways to leave an inheritance, each with unique features. You can even find ways to ensure that your loved ones receive an inheritance without contributing to their financial problems.

In California, if you die without leaving a will (called “intestate”), the court will distribute all of your assets to relatives. Essentially, the state decides who receives your assets without your input. Your assets may be subject to creditors collecting on your debts, exorbitant taxes, or loved ones lacking in the financial sense. However, you can choose to whom you want to give your assets with a will in place.

Here at Geisler Patterson Law, we have experienced attorneys to take on your case and help you protect your assets. We’re conveniently located in Orange County, CA, and you can reach us at (866) 452-9657 for more information about an estate planning attorney.

What Does an Asset Protection Trust Attorney Do?

An asset protection trust attorney works with you to analyze your assets and help you find the best way to leave them to your loved ones. Sometimes, your estate planning attorney will recommend separating the inheritance into trust and estate portions.

An estate planning attorney will explain the different ways that you can leave behind your assets to your loved ones and recommend the best possibilities for protecting your assets. One significant example is the revocable living trust.

A revocable living trust has plenty of benefits, and you can change it at any time. However, it also has some drawbacks. It counts as part of your estate if you face someone suing you or debt collection. It may prevent you from qualifying for government benefits and is subject to the estate tax after your death.

Alternatively, an estate planning attorney might structure your assets as a California trust instead of leaving them an inheritance directly to your loved ones. You would appoint a trustee or someone to control the wealth, as well as your beneficiaries.

The California trust, also known as an Inheritance Protection Trust, can help your loved ones avoid probate and allocate money specifically for taxes so that your loved ones would not be burdened with them.

An asset protection trust attorney can lay out the benefits and drawbacks of your options for asset protection so that you can make the best decision for your estate.

Do You Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?

Estate planning and asset protection are two complex legal topics. The law requires that only licensed attorneys draft and sign wills, trusts, and other options. Any type of asset protection will require the use of a lawyer, so why not choose an estate planning attorney?

If you leave behind a will, all of your beneficiaries will need to go to the probate court, a process where the court distributes your assets according to your wishes. Probate can often be a lengthy process. An estate planning lawyer knows ways to minimize or avoid probate.

An estate planning attorney is not only beneficial for planning for after your death, though. You have numerous options for protecting your assets while you are still alive. For example, California offers an opportunity called a Private Retirement Plan or PRP.

A PRP creates a Private Retirement Trust, which allows you to designate specific assets as “retirement assets.” A Private Retirement Trust adds a layer of protection to those selected assets in case you find yourself sued or in debt in the future.

Many other types of trusts for money and real estate can keep your assets safe both during your life and after your death. You and your beneficiaries can sleep well knowing that your assets will continue to benefit them far into the future.

Our Attorney’s Estate Planning Experience

Attorney Martha Patterson has been an estate planning attorney for over 30 years and has experience in various subjects. She is knowledgeable about all types of trusts and other ways to protect your assets within the legal bounds of California codes.

Her professional experience has helped many families manage their money with spendthrift trusts. Beneficiaries of spendthrift trusts can learn to curb their shopping sprees and make smarter financial choices, thereby protecting your assets for years to come.

Patterson’s extensive knowledge about elder law and compassion towards families in need of guidance gives her the ability to fight for your rights and protect your assets with confidence.

If you are looking for assistance regarding leaving your assets to your loved ones, give Martha Patterson at Geisler Patterson Law in Orange County, CA, a call at (866) 452-9657 or complete our online form. Our firm will protect your family like a mama bear protects her cubs.


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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Geisler Patterson Law
2601 Main Street, Penthouse Suite 1300
Irvine, CA 92614
(866) 452-9657