The reasons for using a San Jose estate planning attorney are numerous, but the main reason is to avoid problems or legal entanglements of which you are possibly not aware.
For example, one estate planning tool may be to create joint ownership of assets, which California statutes refer to as joint tenancy. When a husband and wife establish joint tenancy, the legal term used is tenancy by the entirety. Joint tenants, share equal ownership of the property and hold the property under the same title. When one person dies, the other has rights of survivorship and the remainder of the property automatically transfers to them. It allows property to transfer without having to go through probate, which means you owe no probate court or attorney fees nor is there any waiting period for ownership. In addition to owning property jointly with a spouse, you can also own it jointly with children or even transfer the title over to the child to diminish the size of your estate. A potential transfer disadvantage is risk of losing the property. If you live in your house and your child decides to sell the property, you have no decision in the matter. Or if the child is subject to tax liabilities, the IRS can put a lien on the house and require its sale. If your child owns the property title and does not maintain the property as separate during marriage, a divorce may subject the property to division with the daughter-in-law or son-in-law.
An estate planning attorney in San Jose can help you avoid decisions that put you in jeopardy.
Clients who work with Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP benefit from our in-depth knowledge and experience with estate planning.