Estate Planning

Estate Planning Attorney in Laguna Woods

Providing Secure Futures for Our Clients

The Law Offices of Steven Giammichele provides comprehensive estate planning services to individuals and families in Laguna Woods and surrounding communities. Whether you have an existing estate plan that needs to be modified, or you are ready to create a new estate plan, we can help.

Out Laguna Woods estate planning attorney has extensive experience assisting clients with several essential documents, including:

Set up a free one-hour consultation to determine what documents will satisfy your estate planning needs. At the completion of the consultation, you will be advised accordingly and provided with a price for our services. You are under no obligation to move forward unless you wish to.


To discuss your estate plan with a qualified legal representative, call (949) 303-7811 or contact us online.


The Essential Elements of a Basic Estate Plan

Below, please find a full description of a basic estate plan with a description of each document included. If you schedule an appointment with our office, please bring in a copy of any estate planning documents that you have. If you do not have any estate planning documents, it is best to bring as much information about your assets as possible.

Last Will & Testament

A Last Will & Testament names an Executor to handle your estate (assets in your individual name) upon your death and sets forth who will receive your assets (the beneficiaries). Depending on the value of the assets in your individual name at death, Probate proceedings may need to be initiated to handle your estate.

A "Pour-Over Will" is prepared in conjunction with a Revocable Living Trust. It is only utilized if the decedent died and failed to transfer their assets into the name of the Revocable Living Trust. The "pour-over" aspect is language which states that, if Probate is required, the estate should be distributed in accordance with the terms of the Revocable Living Trust. The intent is that the Pour-Over Will should not be used at death, as all assets will be held in the name of the Revocable Living Trust, thus avoiding Probate.

Having a Revocable Living Trust reduces the likelihood that a Probate proceeding to administer the assets of your estate is necessary. If you schedule an estate planning consultation, this will be discussed and explained further. Probate Administration can be significantly more expensive than trust administration.

Trusts

A Trust is a conduit through which you can direct the disposition of your assets. Trusts can be irrevocable or revocable, and serve a variety of different purposes.

In most estate plans, the type of Trust included is a Revocable Living Trust. A Revocable Living Trust is generally intended to receive all of the assets in your individual name at death through your Last Will & Testament. Ordinarily, the majority of your assets will be held in trust during your lifetime and need not be transferred into the trust after your death. Upon your death, the Revocable Living Trust is designed to distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes.

During your lifetime, all appropriate assets must be transferred into the name of your Revocable Living Trust to assist in avoiding Probate at your death. Initially, you are the Trustee (the person who controls trust assets). Upon your becoming incapacitated (or death), a Successor Trustee is named to manage the Trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Durable Power of Attorney for Finance

A Durable Power of Attorney for Finance names an “Agent” to handle financial transactions for assets in your individual name. The agent may be given power immediately or may be given power only in the event that you become incapacitated. This document will only have effect during your lifetime, and it will only give the agent control over assets in your individual name.

Advance Health Care Directive & HIPAA Authorization & Release

The Advance Health Care Directive sets forth your directive regarding the prolonging of life under certain circumstances. It names an “Agent” to make medical, end-of-life and personal care decisions if you cannot do so yourself. It also allows you to set forth your wishes regarding burial or cremation and organ donation.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. This is included in the estate plan to assist the fiduciaries appointed in obtaining medical information in the event it should become necessary for your situation.

Personalized Estate Planning Services

We take the time to ensure that you understand your documents and that they are personalized to achieve your goals. Have the security of knowing that your Estate Plan was drafted by an attorney, not a paralegal or a drafting program. We make a commitment to our clients not to use a “cookie cutter” approach to creating their Estate Plan.

Contact the Law Offices of Steven Giammichele at (949) 303-7811 to speak with our Laguna Woods estate planning attorney.

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What You Can Expect With Us
  • Cost-Efficient Approach

    We aim to work with you to get the best results at the lowest cost possible. We also offer free consultations and payment plans for our services, so contact us today for more information.

  • Accessible Counsel

    No one should be kept in the dark about their case. If you give us a call, we will get back to you with updates about your case. If you need to schedule time outside of business hours, we will happily accommodate your schedule.

  • Tailored Results

    We don't believe in providing you cookie cutter solutions. We take the time to properly evaluate your situation and provide strategic solutions to achieve optimal results.

  • Experience & Knowledge

    Our attorneys have experience in various areas of law, which provides a unique perspective in trust and estate litigation and family law.

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At the Law Office of Steven Giammichele, you will work with attorneys with the skill to deliver the results your looking for. Reach out to our firm to discuss your case during a free consultation.