Estate Planning: Christopher W. Newton APLC provides consultation to clients wishing to establish estate plans, drafts estate plan documents, and guides clients through the funding process. A basic estate plan includes revocable trusts, wills, advance health care directives, and durable powers of attorney for property management.
Revocable Trusts – A revocable trust is a trust that the creator (the “settlor”) reserves the right to terminate. Revocable trusts are an important tool in an estate plan, because the property placed into trust does not have to go through probate. In addition, the terms of the trust can provide for management of property during the settlor’s life, if he or she loses the ability to manage the trust estate. Trusts can also be used to reduce or eliminate estate taxes.
Wills – A will is a document in which the creator (the “testator) designates how his or her property is to be distributed upon death. For testators who have children under the age of 18, guardians for minor children are also nominated in the will.
Advance Health Care Directive – In an advance health care directive, a person (the “principal”) authorizes another person (the “agent”) to make health care decisions if the principal lacks capacity to make such decisions. Advance directives also memorialize the principal’s wishes regarding life support and medical treatment, organ donation, and the disposition of remains.
Durable Power of Attorney for Property Management – A durable power of attorney for property management is an instrument in which a person (the “principal”) authorizes another person (the “agent”) to act as his or her agent. The principal may give the agent the power to manage affairs such as finances and real and personal property.
Asset Protection: The firm counsels clients and assists them in the development of a variety of asset protection strategies. Each client has their own personal needs and objectives and the firms attorneys customize approaches to achieve those needs. The firm has expertise in planning and forming corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships.
Asset protection takes careful and precise planning to be effective. The attorney works closely with the asset protection client over a period of time to develop the most effective strategy and plan for that client. Frequently, the asset protection techniques and tools are incorporated at the time the client develops their overall estate plan, including probate avoidance planning and wealth transfer to the next generation.
Probate: Probate is a court process through which a decedent’s estate is administered. The decedent’s property is collected, debts are paid, and property is distributed. If the decedent had a will, its validity is established and assets are distributed as specified in the will. If the decedent did not have a will at the time of his or her death, the assets are distributed in accordance with the California Probate Code. Christopher W. Newton APLC provides advice to representatives of decedents estates and beneficiaries, and handles the administration of probate estates.