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Law Office of James E. Lund, APC - Estate Planning Solutions

We do estate planning for our corporate and real estate clients. We recommend that anyone who has minor children or who owns real estate seriously consider the formation of a living trust. A living trust is helpful because it can avoid probate for all of the assets which are held in the trust and it provides for an orderly disposition of our clients assets after their death.

Probate is the process of transferring title from someone who has died to those who will inherit the property. If a husband and wife own their property in joint tenancy, at the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse may file an affidavit of death of joint tenant and the property becomes the sole property of the surviving spouse. However, upon the death of the surviving spouse, when both husband and wife are dead, there's no one to sign a grant deed to give the property to their children. A probate case must be filed with the local court and a judge will determine who will inherit. Since the husband and wife are both dead the judge must sign a probate court order which can be recorded at the County Recorder's Office just like a grant deed. Probate is the process of changing title from people who have died to those who would inherit from them.

Our office does not do probates; we try and plan our clients affairs so they can avoid probate. A living trust allows a client to avoid probate. Additionally, without a living trust children are entitled to their full inheritance at age 18. Many of our clients with minor children wish to provide for the health, education, and welfare of their children but do not want their children to receive their entire inheritance at age 18. Trust provisions can provide for college, medical care, housing, etc. Trust provisions can also provide for a delayed inheritance. For example, a father and mother may decide that their children may receive one-third of their inheritance at age 21, one-third at age 25, and one-third at age 29. Estate planning also allows for charitable giving and can protect step-children from being disinherited by a step-parent.

We recommend that all of our clients complete a Net Worth Survey every few years so that when they die there is a current record of all of their assets, account numbers, etc. We also provide an Estate Planning Checklist that helps our clients organize and prepare a will and living trust. We recommend that all of our clients have a power of attorney for their business affairs. We have combined six different documents into an advanced directive which includes a power of attorney for healthcare, the specification of a guardian, directions regarding anatomical gifts, a living will, and a directive to physicians regarding prolonging life.

Because our office does not do probates nor trust administration, we recommend several attorneys, including Noel Allen, Esq., who has an office in our business complex.

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249 East Fourth Avenue
Escondido, CA 92025
760.747.7800 | (Fax) 760.489.8423