Estate planning is very important. You have worked hard to acquire assets and properties. You want your loved ones to enjoy the assets and properties when you are no more. The law will care about your wishes only if you have them documented properly – through proper estate planning techniques. In the absence of any estate planning tool in place, the law will not have any value for your wishes. So an estranged relative might end up getting a major chunk of your assets while some close to you may get very little or nothing at all. Speak to an Elk Grove estate planning attorney from the Thomas Hogan Law Office to know the various estate planning techniques you can use to ensure that your hard earned money and property go only to the people close to you.


To avoid the intestacy laws and dispose of property in a different way, many people make wills. There also are at least two other reasons to make a will. First, if parents die with minor children, the children and their property have to be cared for. If both parents die, the court will appoint a guardian for the children, who may or may not be the person the parents would have chosen. In a will, a parent can appoint someone to be the guardian of minor children, and the court usually will confirm the choice. Even if only one parent dies, if the children inherit property by intestate succession then a guardian of the property must be appointed, which requires a degree of court intervention and again may not accord with the parent’s wishes. Second, the federal estate tax laws can take a large bite out of even moderately sized estates. The formulas change frequently, but a middle-class person who owns a house, life insurance, a pension fund, and investments is likely to be subject to the estate tax. Various devices can be used in a will to reduce or minimize the tax burden on the estate. Contact an Elk Grove estate planning attorney from Thomas Hogan Law Office for assistance in preparing a will.


In the context of estate planning, private trusts are more important. Trusts are used for many purposes. Living trusts can be used to keep property out of probate, which minimizes publicity and may save fees, although the advantages of a living trust have been lessened by recent reforms in probate laws. Trusts either created during the grantor’s lifetime (inter vivos trusts) or in a will (testamentary trusts) can protect the property of a person who is unable to manage the property, either because of a legal disability (a minor child, for example) or because of practical inability to do so (someone who is unsophisticated in financial matters). Probably the most prevalent use of trusts is for tax purposes, particularly in estate planning. The federal estate tax law imposes a tax on the amount of an estate above a certain minimum amount. If you need advice on formation of a trust for estate planning purposes, contact an Elk Grove estate planning attorney from the Thomas Hogan Law Office .


Generally, your estate must go through probate before it can pass to your legal heirs upon your death. This can be a time consuming process. It can also be costly. During the probate process, a disgruntled relative can challenge the validity of your will on various grounds. Your heirs will have to convince the court that your will is indeed genuine and valid. Remember, you will not be there to inform the court about the authenticity of your will. Probate can also be costly. Your heirs must pay the probate fees. If your heirs are not financially well off, then your heirs might begin to look at the estate you have left for them as a curse rather than a gift. Don’t let this happen to you or your legal heirs. There are things you can do to avoid probate. Contact the Thomas Hogan Law Office for assistance.

Consult with Us

Life is full of uncertainties that is why it is important to always plan ahead. We are here to help you plan out your will, your trusts and estate to make sure that the future of the ones you leave behind are secure. Speak with an estate planning expert from the Thomas Hogan Law Office, call our Elk Grove office  at (925) 382-7625 and avail of a free 15-minute consultation.

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