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San Franciso estate planning attorneyStarting your own company and being your own boss can be a dream come true for many people. However, being a business owner is a major responsibility. Before embarking on this type of endeavor, it is crucial that you understand business law and also prepare for the future. Although some individuals may not like to think about it, there will eventually come a time when you are no longer on this Earth. Planning ahead ensures your wishes are carried out in the event of your death or if you become incapacitated during your lifetime. Even if you have a family businesses that goes back several generations, it is essential that you set up a plan for transition. A business succession plan is a legally binding document that outlines who receives ownership of your company. A skilled estate planning attorney can help you create this important legal document.  

Protecting Your Interests

A business succession plan gives you control in determining what happens to your company, such as an agreeable price for the business. It may also eliminate the need for a business valuation upon your death. In addition, it can designate the steps for determining how the value will be determined upon either death or retirement from the business and how those funds will be paid. Life insurance may be included in the plan, which means the full policy benefits can be instantly accessible so the funds can be used to pay for your part of the business. This will help protect the business from being sold as a way to cover your interest costs. A will or a trust may also be used to designate how a business will be transferred from owner to owner. Regardless of the transfer method, it is critical that any successor has the proper training, preparation, and access to any documentation or records in order to operate the business successfully after you are gone. 

In some cases, your business partner(s) may purchase your share of the business after you pass away. Selling the business upon your death may be an attractive option since it can provide for your family, and they do not have the responsibility of running the business. Selling to a trusted individual or organization can give you a peace of mind that the business will continue and thrive, as opposed to having a stranger take it over.

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San Francisco estate planning attorneyAlthough it can be unsettling to think about the future and what will happen upon your death, it is necessary to ensure your wishes are carried out. Estate planning can help prevent disputes among your family members after you pass away or in the event you become incapacitated. Guardianship is when a court awards someone other than the child’s parent to have custody of the child, manage the child’s property (estate), or do both. Naming a guardian in your will can avoid uncertainty surrounding who will care for your minor children if you are involved in a sudden or unexpected accident that leaves them without a parent to make decisions on their behalf. It is important to note that if your children’s other parent is still alive and has parental rights, he or she must consent to your nomination of the guardian. 

Keeping Your Children’s Best Interests in Mind

There are several factors that you should consider when deciding who to appoint as your children’s guardian upon your death. First and foremost, this is not a decision to take lightly. The guardian should be someone you know and trust. Make sure the person you nominate is willing and able to take care of your children. It also helps if the person already has a strong bond or relationship with them. In most situations, a close relative or friend of the family might be the best choice, as long as he or she makes decisions that are based on the children’s well-being. There are two types of guardians, one of the person and one of the estate. Depending on personal preference, the same individual can be appointed as guardian of the person and the estate, or separate guardians can be nominated for each.

Guardianship of the Person

In a guardianship of the person, the guardian has the same responsibilities as a parent in terms of care for the minor children. In the state of California, this means he or she has full legal and physical custody of the children and can make all the decisions about their care, including the children’s:

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California estate planning attorneysThere are many occupations that can be potentially dangerous, such as construction workers, medical professionals, or law enforcement personnel. First responders including police officers, firefighters, and EMTs have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, responding to calls and treating patients who are ill. These workers risk their lives on a daily basis in order to protect the citizens of their communities. Studies have shown that first responders have a greater chance of serious to life-threatening workplace injuries than those working in other industries. Therefore, it is critical for them to think of the future, as difficult as it may be. Creating a comprehensive estate plan that outlines your care and assistance for your spouse or children in the event that you become disabled or pass away can prevent disputes between your loved ones.

Planning Ahead

Since first responders face significant hazards in the line of duty, injuries can be severe. For example, if a police officer sustains a gunshot wound from a perpetrator, it could result in paralysis or brain damage. Serious injuries such as these require long-term care and a victim may even need around-the-clock assistance or life-support machines in order to breathe. When this occurs, a valid estate plan can give directives on medical decisions if the injured person cannot make them on his or her own.     

A few important elements of a California estate plan for first responders include:

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