Family Law and Estate Planning concerns can have significant impact on families in California. In the event of a divorce, a number of new issues require resolution, such as, defining parties rights and obligations with regard to property, support, and child custody. Property that was previously shared must be appropriately divided. Also, divorcing spouses must reconsider the provisions of their wills, estate plans, and power of attorney designations. Denise E. Oxley, is an estate planning attorney and family law lawyer in San Diego who has worked closely with many clients regarding these matters, providing professional, client-focused services in both areas. She has the skills and experience to assist you with your specific needs, regardless of your circumstances and the types of disputed issues in your matter.Estate Planning
Estate Planning is a process by which you plan and make written arrangements during your lifetime for the management of your assets. It gives you the ability to have control over personal health care and financial decisions, control over your assets during your lifetime, control over who ultimately receives your assets after your death, maintains your ability to determine who gets control of minor children, minimizes legal fees, minimizes taxes and preserves your assets from potentially devastating costs of nursing home care. Without these planning tools in place and you suffer the misfortune of becoming too sick or incapacitated to make health care or financial decisions anymore, the Probate Court gets control of all of these decisions for you through the appointment of a conservator to manage your daily affairs.
In the event that you die without suitable estate planning providing for the management and disposition of your estate, again the State of California will graciously undertake to oversee the performance of these tasks by an administrator in Probate Court in accordance with statutory law. Probate is a court-supervised process by which a judge appoints someone to administer your estate, collect your assets, pay your debts and taxes, and distribute your assets to your heirs in accordance with the rules of intestate succession.
Probate can now be expected to take approximately 1½ to 2 years. Administrator and attorney fees are prescribed by statute and there is no privacy. As you can imagine, failure to plan can have significant emotional and financial costs at a time when you are grieving the loss of your family member. The process is simplified in California if a decedent's total assets, including real property, are valued under $150,000.
Estate planning is a personal matter and varies with individual intent and the nature of the estate. In some situations, your plan might emphasize estate distribution after your death; and, in other situations emphasize the management of assets. For people with significant assets, it may also help to create a revocable living trust and a will to avoid probate. A revocable living trust is an arrangement whereby your assets are shifted to a trust, administered for your benefit while you are alive, and then transferred to beneficiaries upon your death. If you name yourself as the trustee, you will be in charge of your assets while you are alive, and you may change any trust terms as long as you are competent. A successor trustee may be named to take over and manage your assets or distribute them when you die.
The will and the trust work together to name individuals or charities that will receive your assets after your death and names an executor to manage your estate by paying off debts, taxes, and expenses and distributing property in accordance with your instructions. Certain assets must pass directly to beneficiaries, such as IRAs and life insurance policies that have designated beneficiaries or assets that are jointly owned. Estate Planning is a wise strategy.
Call the Law Office of Denise E. Oxley LLC to schedule an appointment with San Diego estate planning attorney Denise E. Oxley. At your appointment, we will listen to you, assess your estate planning goals and help you to meet and maximize your estate planning objectives.Family Law
Our firm represents Southern California residents who are going through a divorce, child support enforcement actions or other family law related proceedings. Divorce typically raises many different issues, including concerns about how children’s best interests will be assured, how assets should be divided, calculating guideline child support and determining interim and long term spousal support. California is a community property state which means that assets and debts that are acquired from the time that you are married until you are divorced are presumed to be community property to be divided and distributed equally.
When property is acquired in a joint form, it is presumed to be community property, although a San Diego family law attorney can help you try to rebut this presumption by presenting evidence of a written agreement that the property is separate. You may also provide a clear statement in the deed or other documentary evidence of title by which you acquired the property that it is separate rather than community property. If you cannot reach an agreement with your spouse, the court will split your assets equally. The court will not look at the fault of either spouse in causing the divorce when dividing property, but it may consider financial misconduct with regard to the division of assets that have been misappropriated by a spouse.Consult an Estate Planning Lawyer or Family Law Attorney in San Diego
If you have estate planning or family law concerns, it is important to retain an attorney with experience in both practice areas to represent you. I have been practicing in San Diego for 15 years, and appeared in Superior Court in Central, North, and East San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and Orange County. I have also represented clients in private and court-ordered mediation in those counties. I will give you a straightforward and honest assessment of your case and provide aggressive legal representation to further your interests. From our office in Rancho Bernardo, I represent litigants in Vista, Valley Center, San Marcos, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido, Oceanside, La Jolla, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Coronado, and Chula Vista, among other cities.