Skip to main content

Top Los Angeles, CA Estate Planning Lawyers Near You

Los Angeles Estate Planning Information

Lead Counsel Badge

Lead Counsel Verified Attorneys In Los Angeles

Lead Counsel independently verifies Estate Planning attorneys in Los Angeles and checks their standing with California bar associations.

Our Verification Process and Criteria
  • Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
  • Good Standing Be in good standing with their bar associations and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
  • Annual Review Submit to an annual review to retain their Lead Counsel Verified status.
  • Client Commitment Pledge to follow the highest quality client service and ethical standards.

Find an Estate Planning Attorney near Los Angeles

Visit our free Estate Planning Resource Center.

Estate Planning For the Future

Estate planning uses legal documents to make decisions about what will happen to your property and assets after death. Planning for the future can also involve designating certain representatives who can make financial decisions if you are incapacitated or unable to communicate. Without an estate plan, any real estate, bank accounts, and personal property will be distributed according to state law, even if it would have been against your wishes.

What Are Estate Planning Tools?

There are many estate planning tools that can offer different benefits for how to plan for the future while allowing you to use your assets in the present. Some common estate planning documents include:
  • Will
  • Living trust or revocable trust
  • Irrevocable trust
  • Special needs trust
  • Living will or advance healthcare directive
  • Power of attorney

Wills and Trusts

A will is the most common estate planning too. A will is simple to make and can be updated or changed. After you pass away, the court will go through the process of estate administration with your will in probate court, to pay off any liabilities and distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. Trusts can allow you to avoid probate court altogether by naming trustees to distribute your estate assets to your beneficiaries. Some trusts can also provide asset protection and offer proper estate planning benefits for your loved ones.

Living Wills and Healthcare Directives

A living will can allow you to make healthcare decisions while you are still alive if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes. Also known as an advance healthcare directive, if you become seriously ill or incapacitated, your living will can make specific provisions about your own medical treatment, including what type of procedures you do not want to receive. You can also use a durable power of attorney to designate a health care proxy to make long-term care healthcare decisions on your behalf. A California elder law attorney or estate attorney can give you more information about living wills.

How Much Does Estate Planning Cost in Los Angeles?

The cost of estate planning can depend on your individual circumstances. Some estate planning attorneys in Los Angeles will prepare documents like a will or power of attorney for a flat fee. Other legal services may be offered based on the attorney’s hourly fees. The costs of legal services can depend on the type of estate plan, amount of assets, and an attorney’s years of experience. In some cases, the lawyer can provide a free consultation to help you decide which estate planning law firm is right for you.

Do I Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?

California estate planning law and individual legal issues are unique. Getting help from an estate planning law firm can help, especially if you own substantial assets and want to plan for your family’s future. An estate lawyer can give you legal advice and guide you toward the best options to minimize your estate taxes, provide the most for your future beneficiaries, and give you peace of mind.

When Should I Start Estate Planning?

Many people put off making an estate plan because they don’t think they need to. It is never too early to make plans for what might happen if you become incapacitated or pass away. If you get married, have a child, or begin to accumulate significant assets, it is time to think about making plans to provide for your loved ones. A Los Angeles estate planning law office can provide an initial consultation to help you make a decision for your estate planning needs.

What estate planning documents do you need?

Every estate plan should include a last will and testament or establish a trust. This will allow you to state how you wish to distribute your assets to beneficiaries upon your death. A power of attorney declaration will name someone you trust to handle your health care and/or financial decisions if you are ever unable to. An advanced directive (also known as a living will) will state your wishes for any care you want to receive if you are unable to make those decisions at the time. This is useful when it comes to end-of-life care or if you ever need life-saving care because of an accident or illness.

Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney

  • How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
  • How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
  • What is the likely outcome for my case?

In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.

How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation

Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.

Tips on Hiring an Experienced Lawyer with Estate Planning Cases

The more experienced a lawyer is in legal practice, the more likely he/she will be able to bring about a successful resolution to your issue. Since experience matters, lawyers who’ve been practicing law for many years (with a successful track record) tend to be in high demand. You should look for information about a lawyer’s experience and ask questions during the initial meeting. It’s a very good idea to ask the lawyer how many years he/she has been practicing law and the expected outcome of your case.

Common legal terms explained

Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.

Court Locations in Los Angeles, CA

Stanley Mosk Courthouse - Civil, Family Law & Small Claims

111 North Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA. 90012
Phone: (213) 974-5408
Court Website

Central Civil West Courthouse - Civil & Criminal

600 South Commonwealth Ave.
Los Angeles, CA. 90005
Phone: (213) 639-2700
Court Website

Metropolitan Courthouse - Criminal & Traffic

1945 South Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA. 90007
Phone: (213) 742-1884
Court Website
Page Generated: 0.25742506980896 sec