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Estate Planning Attorneys

Estate planning and wealth management have become more important than ever. 

An estate planning attorney at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau, LLP, can provide proactive estate planning services so that you can take control of your assets, protecting yourself and your family. 

How can an estate plan protect your family’s future?

Provide for Your Family

There is no way to predict when you will no longer be able to support your family. An estate planning attorney at our law firm can help create a plan to distribute your assets and ensure your family has what they needin the event of disability or death.

Reduce Taxes and Hassle

Probate is a complicated process which can cost your loved one significant time and money. Taxes, court costs, and fees can eat into your legacy. Our team at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau, LLP, can devise a plan which helps your estate avoid probate completely.

Protect Your Legacy

Putting a plan in place can ensure your assets are distributed in the manner you see fit. Depending on the amount of your wealth, our lawyers can help you set up a trust to provide for future generations in the way that makes the most sense for you.

Our Estate Planning & Wealth Management Services

Estate planning services, along with probate and estate administration, are core practice areas at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau, LLP in Stockton, California. Our attorneys bring many decades of experience together with cutting-edge knowledge of evolving laws, vital tax considerations, and emerging solutions in the field. Our lawyers frequently conduct seminars that provide people with the basic knowledge needed to address their unique family concerns. 

Whether you have modest property and savings or millions in assets to pass on to future generations, the skilled estate planning attorneys at our firm will provide solutions tailored to your needs and goals. We welcome opportunities to assist people who need a basic will, a power of attorney, and a few other essential documents, as well as those who require cohesive, carefully structured plans comprised of multiple trusts and other innovative tools.

There are many factors that must be considered in estate planning. Those who attempt to undertake estate planning on their own may not be aware of nuances or loopholes in California law that may leave them in a vulnerable position. Complex financial circumstances or family dynamics can also lead to complications when the time comes for the division of your assets. Hiring an attorney not only ensures that your estate will be handled appropriately and in accordance with state laws, but can ensure that your expectations are upheld

Our lawyers’ knowledge and capabilities cover the full spectrum of clients’ needs in this complex area of law, with a focus on:

  • Wills and trusts, powers of attorney, and health care planning documents
  • Trust formation and administration at all levels of complexity — including issues associated with both revocable and irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, dynasty trusts, charitable trusts and foundations, IRA inheritance trusts, life insurance trusts, and more
  • Asset protection planning and implementation in full view of estate tax issues, Medi-Cal planning, strategic gifting strategies, and other vital concerns
  • Family limited partnerships (FLPs) and business succession planning
  • Active management of estate plans and amendment as needed due to family law issues, the formation or dissolution of business entities, and other evolving circumstances
  • Probate proceedings and negotiations or litigation to resolve inheritance disputes
  • Helping clients give gifts to loved ones without taxation

We can help you understand the different aspects of your estate and prepare the best arrangements. 

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process of proving a will’s validity and distributing a deceased person’s estate in accordance with the will. If a person dies without a will, then the estate is distributed according to state law.

Our estate planning attorneys recommend our clients take steps to avoid probate because it is a process that involves heavy costs and fees and because it can take several months. Certain legal mechanisms like revocable trusts can help your family avoid the probate process.

When you choose to do your estate planning with our Stockton law firm, our attorneys will help you determine the best course of action for your unique case to avoid probate. Additionally, if you have recently lost a loved one and are beginning the probate process, our lawyers can help ensure the process is carried out properly.

Wills vs. Trusts

At McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau, LLP, in Stockton, CA, our estate planning attorneys help our clients create both wills and trusts. What is the difference between the two?

A will is a legal document that specifies how your property, investments, and other assets will be distributed upon your death. A will only takes effect upon your death. Wills must be processed by courts in the probate process before beneficiaries can receive any part of the estate, which exposes the estate to costly fees and taxes.

On the other hand, a trust is a legal device that enables another party to manage your estate on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are two types: irrevocable and revocable. With a revocable trust, you can place assets in and out of the control of the trust at will, and you can dissolve the trust at any time. With an irrevocable trust, however, your assets are completely out of your reach once they are placed under the control of the trust.

Revocable trusts are also known as living trusts because they are active while you are alive. When you die, the terms of the living trust are executed outside of the control of probate courts, avoiding taxes, fees, and a long, cumbersome process.

Our law firm helps California residents establish all kinds of wills and trusts. The estate planning strategy that is right for you will depend on the size of your estate, your family dynamics, and other factors.

Create a Succession Plan for Your Business

If you are a business owner, it is important for you to have a detailed business succession plan in place. Without a proper succession plan, your business may not be controlled by your preferred party, or it may dissolve completely when you are gone. To secure your legacy, enlist the aid of our law firm’s business attorneys. We are familiar with the intricacies of business law in California, and we can help you create a plan to ensure your life’s work is preserved.

Avoid Taxes with Strategic Gifting

When you die, the inheritance left to your loved ones could be subject to heavy taxation. However, while you are still alive, there is a set amount of financial gifts you can make to your beneficiaries every year that is non-taxable. If you have a large estate, our lawyers can help you design a gifting strategy that passes your wealth on to your loved ones without the government taking any of it.

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