profile view of a family looking out into the ocean

Los Angeles Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning is an important legal matter that will have an impact on your and your loved one’s futures. Attorney Eric Samuel Adams, Jr. understands the legal significance of every facet of estate planning, such as creating or evaluating wills. In many estate planning cases, you will require creative and compassionate support to ensure that the estate is appropriately distributed. Whether you have legal questions about creating a will, understanding one passed down, or navigating the responsibilities of durable powers or living wills, Adams Law can help you.

Let a fearless trial attorney guide you through the estate planning process in Los Angeles. Contact Adams Law online or at (310) 975-7390 to get started today.

California Wills and Probate Court

One of the most important estate planning tools is the will, which dictates the specific terms of estate distribution after the person’s death. In other words, it establishes who inherits what and who is responsible for overseeing the distribution. A will is valid as long as the person drafting it (called the testator) is at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Note that a person is not of sound mind to create a will if they:

  • do not have sufficient mental capacity to be able to understand the nature of the act, the nature of the individual’s property, or the individual’s relations to living descendants (e.g., parents, spouses) whose interests will be affected by the will; or
  • suffer from a mental disorder with symptoms like delusion or hallucination, which may result in the individual’s devising property in a way they would not have done if not for the delusion or hallucination.

In the situation that a person dies without a will, their case will go to probate, where the state will handle their estate absent of their instructions. In most cases, an estate decided in probate will be divided equally among the deceased person’s heirs.

An experienced attorney can better help you understand the process of creating or understanding a will, as well as ensure everything runs smoothly during the estate distribution process. Attorney Adams will examine all the details of your relevant documents and make sure your rights as an heir are being appropriately addresse

  • any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat an individual’s physical or mental condition;
  • decision to begin, continue, increase, limit, discontinue or not begin any health care;
  • health care decisions and access to medical records.

However, it does not allow the person to consent to commitment, convulsive treatment, or abortion.

Note that as long as the person granting the power has the mental capacity to give a durable power of attorney, they may similarly revoke the decision orally or in writing or revoke the authority by notifying the physician orally or in writing. Be aware that divorce also revokes any designation of a former spouse.

Similar to a durable power of attorney, a living will (distinct from a standard will as discussed above) is a legal document expressing an individual’s medical treatment preferences in the event they become unable to communicate their wishes. In many cases, individuals named as agents in a durable power of attorney will refer to living wills when making important medical decisions on behalf of the patient. Note that a living will is revocable at any time regardless of the declarant’s mental or physical condition, and the revocation is effective once it has been communicated to the attending physician.

Durable Power of Attorney and Living Wills

Another type of estate planning tool is the durable power of attorney. This is a legal arrangement which gives authority to a named individual (also called the “attorney-in-fact”) for decisions related to care, treatment, and whether to continue life support. For example, it allows the named individual to decide whether or not the patient should remain connected to a respirator. More specifically, a durable power of attorney grants the power to make decisions.

Let Adams Law Help You Manage Your Estate Today

The estate planning process can be confusing, especially when it entails many small details addressed by legal documents like wills and laws of the probate court. As a result, it is best to enlist the help of an experience lawyer, who can help you handle the legal side of things. Attorney Adams is a compassionate and dedicated attorney who will do his best to guide you through every detail of the estate process. He will make sure the estate goes into the right hands.

Schedule an initial consultation with Adams Law to learn more about how the firm can help you with your estate planning matter. Call (310) 975-7390 or contact the firm online.