My wife and I own a home together in Southern California, with the mortgage in both our names. We have no children. I also own an undivided interest in undeveloped rural property, located in Northern California, inherited from my father before my marriage. I share the undeveloped land with several siblings and their heirs. When I die, I plan to leave my share of the So Cal house to my wife, and my interest in the No Cal parcel to my siblings and their children. My wife is in agreement with this. My question is, what is the best way to set up an estate plan or trust to ensure these wishes are fulfilled? I currently have no will, trust, or LLC. Thank you for your time and consideration.
You are very smart to think about this ahead of a life event. If you pass away, your wife is your heir.
You can establish a Revocable Living Trust with your wife & you can designate what is to happen to your interest in the NorCal property when you pass away , even if your wife is still living.
The first question is how is title held & whether you have a transferable interest.
You should consult with an Estate Planning attorney to explore all of your options. Our office is consulting remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
My office handles exclusively Estate Planning, Probate, Conservatorship & Special Needs Planning matters in ALL counties in CA. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with an experienced attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case
You can set up a joint trust that still retains your Separate Property as yours to control, while also holding your Community Property. I would probably use a Living Trust with Pour Over Wills, and re-deed the properties into the Trust.
You need to hire an attorney. The cost for good counsel is well worth getting it correct.
I have not researched this answer. Your should contact an attorney.
Your questions are iterative of the answers you seek. The best way to set up a comprehensive estate plan is to begin discussing the process of setting one up with a qualified local attorney. You must realize that the scope of these questions is far deeper than anyone can fully answer in this forum. So if you are asking whether it would be worthwhile to consult an attorney, the answer is “yes.”
Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice, should not be relied on, and is not substitute for a consultation wtih an attorney. You should seek in-person legal counsel from an appropriately licensed attorney immediately. This answer also does not create an attorney-client relationship or any other relationship.
I agree with the recommendations in the prior responses that working with an experienced estate planning attorney/firm would be most beneficial here. A joint revocable living trust is likely to accomplish the goals you have identified here, and you will be able to distribute your assets the way you are intending. It is also recommended that you and your wife also consider incapacity events and what you do to ensure your health care, legal and/or financial decisions and your assets would be handled and mananged by the people you woiuld want.
Strongly recommend the RLT as well to handle the multiple jurisdictions.
Both you and W need to review goals and provide more case specific information to qualified EP counsel.
Home appears to be community property in whic hW owns an interest.
Other property may/not be community. Depends on multiple factors, including when acquired, source of payments.
Stated goals are achievable. I recommend simple revocable trust with appropriate supplemental property agreements.
More case specific information needed to further advise.
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