Estate Planning Attorneys

Our experienced lawyers will guide you through the process
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Estate planning can be a daunting task. The process can be complicated, but our knowledgeable estate planning lawyers at Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP are available to guide you through these difficult issues.

Estate Planning Attorney

Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP is an experienced boutique litigation firm that can serve all of your estate planning needs. Our estate planning attorneys serve customers in Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire and desert regions. After making an appointment with our firm, please be sure to gather the following information to bring to your first meeting:

Estate Planning Checklist

Following is an estate planning checklist that we will ultimately need for your estate plan.  However, we do not need all of this information in order to get started on your documents.  We recommend you gather what you can, then call us for an appointment at (951) 300-2690 so we can further discuss your needs and begin drafting your documents.

Your estate plan can include a Declaration of Trust, a Pour Over Will, a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial matters, and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions, depending on what you choose.

  • Your full name: You can use your entire name on all estate documents, or just your middle initial.  If you chose to use your entire name, that is how you will sign every document now and in the future, as well as how you will take title to all future major purchases.
  • Full name of spouse (if any).  Same as above with regard to middle initial.
  • Full name(s) of children (if any), including dates of birth of children.
  • Please indicate names of alternate trustees/executors/conservators: (These can be the same people in all instances, or they can be different). Please name a Trust 1st and 2nd alternate, a Pour Over Wills 1st and 2nd alternate, Durables for Health 1st and 2nd alternate, and Durables for Financial Decisions 1st and 2nd alternate.   Unless you tell us otherwise, we will list your respective spouse (if any) as the initial Trustee/Executor/Conservator. 
  • The names of individuals and/or organizations that you wish to receive your assets at the time of your demise, and the amounts or percentages each should receive.
  • If you own a home, business, vacation home/timeshare, or vacant land, please list the address of each property. It would be very helpful if you can provide a copy of any and all deeds, but if not, then the exact address is okay.  When we prepare your estate plan, we will be preparing new Grant Deed(s) to put your real property into the name of your trust.  If you can provide the Assessors I.D. number, which is located on your most recent property tax bill, that would be very helpful as well but not absolutely necessary.
  • List all checking/savings accounts (do not include amounts) with institution name, address and account numbers for each account, and indicate what type of account it is, i.e., checking, savings, money market, etc. (for inclusion on Exhibit “A” of your Trust):
  • Please list any stock and brokerage accounts with institution name, address, and account numbers for each account: (for inclusion on Exhibit “A” of Trust)
  • If you have any life insurance policies which may be in effect on you (or your spouse), we can list these on Exhibit “B” of the Trust if you wish. Please provide the institution name and address;  type of policy, i.e. term, whole life, universal.  The beneficiary of these policies might be amended in accordance with your estate plan.
  • If you have a retirement account(s), these cannot be put into the Trust, but we generally recommend that the “pay-on-death beneficiary” for the account be changed to be the Trustee and Successor Trustee of the Trust. We will discuss this further in subsequent meetings.  Likewise is true of any IRA’s or 401K’s you might have.
  • List vehicles such as cars, boats, airplanes, motor homes, trailers, etc. Include model, make and year, with license/hull numbers for each if you wish to change title on these items and have them be included in your Trust on Exhibit “A”.
  • If you have “collections”, for example: art, stamp, gun, coin, etc., that have significant financial value, (i.e, anything over $5,000.00), then list these for inclusion on Exhibit “A” as well. You need to be very specific in identifying these items.
  • If you have any other assets not detailed above that contribute to the value of your estate including, but not limited to, other business or investment interests in sole proprietorships, closely held corporations, general and limited partnerships, and limited liability companies, you should list these as well.
  • Information for Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: (a) Please indicate your wishes for the disposition of your remains, i.e, burial or cremation. Or, you may direct your agent to make these decisions. (b) Do you want to authorize your agent to make a disposition of any body parts?  You can choose  NOT to make any gifts, or you can choose specific organs as gifts. (c) Do you have any pre-arranged funeral or burial arrangements?  If so, this is a good place to name the mortuary/cemetery, etc.
  • If you have minor children, please provide us with the individual or individuals whom you wish to act as guardian, and whom you wish to manage your children’s/child’s finances should he/she/they be minors at the time of your demise. Please indicate relationship to you of any guardian you name (i.e., sister, brother-in-law, etc.), and their current address.

Please be assured that ALL information provided by you will be held in the strictest confidence. If you have any questions regarding the information we need, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (951) 300-2690, and we will do our best to answer them for you.

Arrange a Consultation

Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP’s decades of relevant experience and emphasis on excellence with integrity can be your estate planning advantage in Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and Orange County. To arrange a confidential consultation with a skilled estate planning attorney in Riverside, call 951-300-2690 or contact us online. We also meet clients by appointment in Newport Beach.

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