Cathedral City Estate Planning Attorney

Attorney Christopher Heritage offers Cathedral City clients estate planning, probate, trust administration, and family law services. He serves a diverse group of clients in Cathedral City and Palm Springs, California, and is actively involved in local and national estate planning issues. At Heritage Legal, PC, we understand that an estate plan is one of the most valuable investments you’ll make.

Contact a Cathedral City Estate Planning Attorney

Are you ready to create your estate plan, or do you need assistance with another legal matter in this area? If so, attorney Christopher Heritage is here to help. He has helped many clients just with a wide range of estate planning, trust, and probate administration matters. We work diligently to create the customized estate plan you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. Contact Heritage Legal, PC today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more.

Estate Planning Services in Cathedral City, California

Estate planning is one of the most important gifts you can give to yourself and your loved ones. If the unthinkable should happen, an estate plan will protect your spouse, children, and loved ones who could otherwise be caught in an expensive court process. You can also use your estate plan as a means to lower your tax liability legally. For single individuals, creating an estate plan allows you to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, perhaps to a non-profit or organization that aligns with your values after your death.

Estate plans need to be updated after significant life changes and when important new laws or regulations are passed. After attorney Christopher Heritage creates a unique estate plan tailored to your needs and goals, he can help you ensure that your estate plan is up-to-date. Whatever your unique goals are for your estate, Heritage Legal, PC can help you achieve them.

Special Needs Planning

Families with a loved one with special needs face unique challenges related to estate planning. When parents leave all of their assets to an adult child with special needs, the child may become disqualified from important benefits, such as medical health insurance coverage. The adult with special needs may lose his or her monthly Medicare benefits. Attorney Christopher Heritage can help you create a special needs trust that protects your loved ones.

Your loved one will be able to utilize assets in the trust for transportation costs, food, vacation expenses, and more. However, the money in the trust will not count against your loved one in terms of eligibility for important public benefits. You will be able to appoint a trustee to manage the funds in the trust for the benefit of your loved one. When it comes to special needs estate planning, the sooner you begin, the better.

Probate/Estate Administration

The probate process is the legal process for determining how a person’s assets should be distributed after his or her death. The probate process involves the probate court. A probate judge will oversee the distribution of the deceased person’s assets. Unfortunately, the probate process can be frustrating, confusing, and complicated for the executor or personal representative who's been appointed to manage the process. 

The probate administration typically takes several months to complete, which can be a considerable drain on your time and resources without the assistance of a probate lawyer. When the estate includes large amounts of assets, property in multiple locations, or one or more businesses, the probate process can take much longer.

Additionally, challenges to the deceased individual's will or claims regarding the personal representative breaching his or her fiduciary duty can arise during the probate process. Whether you are a personal representative or a beneficiary, working with an experienced and empathetic probate attorney can help you protect yourself and make the process easier.

Estate Tax Planning

Estate tax planning is an important part of the estate planning process. Taxes matter because there are several different taxes to be aware of and because they can be extremely high. Federal estate taxes can reach 40 percent. Suppose your estate is $1,000,000 over the estate tax exemption. In that case, you would have to pay $400,000 to the IRS, leaving only $600,000 behind your loved ones. Every individual has a lifetime estate or gift tax exemption, called the basic exclusion amount or unified tax credit.

For 2022, the federal estate tax exemption is $12.06 million for individuals, and double that amount for married couples. Thinking ahead and working with an experienced attorney may help keep your estate under the exemption limits so you can avoid paying a significant portion of your estate to the government. Attorney Christopher Heritage stays abreast of all developments regarding estate tax regulation. He will work with you to create a strategy to help you reduce your overall tax liability so you and your loved ones can keep more of your income and assets.

Advanced Estate Planning

With advanced estate planning, attorney Christopher Heritage creates estate plans for complex or high-value estates. Estates with a substantial amount of assets, including multiple properties, diversified assets, or complicated tax situations, are all included with advanced estate planning.

If you are a public figure or a high-net-worth estate, you may be more vulnerable to lawsuits and need to create an advanced estate plan. Likewise, if your family members or other beneficiaries may be in conflict when your wealth is distributed, advanced estate planning services could help you. At Heritage Legal, PC, we are always on the cutting edge of advanced estate planning techniques.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Cathedral City Estate Planning Attorney

If you’re seeking a full-service estate planning law firm in Cathedral City or the Palm Springs area, look no further than Heritage Legal, PC. Attorney Christopher Heritage is here to help you move smoothly through the complexities of the estate planning process. Contact Heritage Legal, PC today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

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