California Estate Plans: What Is in One, and Why Do I Need One?

senior couple meeting with male financial advisor or insurance agent at homeThinking about creating an estate plan isn’t something restricted to wealthy individuals, and it doesn’t just include your home. Here’s some information about estate planning in California and why you should consider speaking with a reputable law firm like Keyes Law Group about putting a plan in place.

Why Is Estate Planning Important?

An estate planning California strategy is crucial to have for many reasons.

No one ever knows when their last day on earth will be. By launching an estate plan, you will make life easier for your loved ones and those around you.

However, estate plans are not just a good idea in the case of death. They can also provide guidelines and delegations if you somehow become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself.

Your estate planning California document can specify which person needs to assume responsibility for your home, business, financial assets, etc. It is wise to create one of these documents to outline how you want life to proceed if you can’t make decisions on your own.

How To Create an Estate Plan

The first step is to outline your desires and decide how you want your finances, medical decisions, and home distribution to operate once you are deceased or incapacitated.

You will also need to consider each of your will’s elements and how you want to assign them to the document.

Take as much time as you need to decide on all those matters before you reach out to an estate planning attorney Bay area expert. Outlining and planning ahead will cut down on the time you have to spend consulting with the attorney.

Elements Included in an Estate Plan

These are some of the main areas covered in an estate plan:

You may also want to institute a revocable trust if you have a home. The home will belong to the trust during your lifetime and will hold it until your passing. After your passing, your trust assets will pass to your chosen beneficiaries after an administration is completed. This part of the document may include your desires for your home, car, pets, children.  Most importantly, a Trust can avoid probate, an uncomfortably long and expensive legal process to transfer assets at death.

Your last will and testament explains you would like to have your assets to be distributed to your Trust. The will is necessary to support the Trust, which is the main document directing the inheritance of your estate.

Your health care directive contains authorizations and wishes regarding medical emergencies and advanced treatment. It will specify that certain individuals can gain access to your medical records and make decisions based on your care and end-of-life wishes.

Your estate planning documents will also assign a power of attorney who will take care of your financial responsibilities. That person will handle issues such as debt repayment, business management, and other financial matters. You will not have to skip a beat if you can assign someone to manage your finances beforehand.

An estate plan lawyer in California can assist you with creating professional estate planning binders that match your situation and needs.

How Much Does an Estate Plan Cost?

The cost of putting together an estate plan will vary depending on the law firm you choose and their rates. A lawyer in estate planning CA fields will likely charge a flat fee rather than an hourly fee for those services. However, you can discuss the financial aspects when you contact the law firm for help.

Have Your Estate Planning Lawyer in California

There’s no getting around the fact that you need a reliable estate planning lawyer in California to help. Legal specialists can ensure that every line of your estate plan is legible and comprehendible and that the court executes all the desires you state within the document.

Keyes Law Group employs an estate planning lawyer in California who can assist you from the beginning to the end of your estate planning journey. The firm has been active for almost 15 years and is a well-trusted California Specialist in Estate Planning.

Call us for a consultation and educational information about estate planning and everything it entails. Avoid getting stuck with nothing set up to help your grieving family manage. Start planning your future and theirs by developing an estate plan document today.


"I have had the pleasure of working with the Keyes Law Group these past months. To date, Mr. Keyes has been a great asset to our family; helping to plan a trust and the appropriate tax strategies for us and the next generation. What has worked very well for my wife and I is the time Mr. Keyes has devoted to not only hearing our financial planning concerns, but to also take the necessary time to explain and offer options for us to consider. We have worked with tax attorneys and financial consultants over the years. For us, a successful relationship is one of the key factors that we strive for. Working with the Keyes Law Group has been a very good fit for us as we work to get our financial affairs in order." -- RY
"I can’t say enough great things about Keyes Law Group! They are thorough, caring, and extremely efficient! I send everyone I know to them for Estate Planning! They took such great care of my family and they have earned my business forever! Look no further than Keyes Law Group if you want a seamless process and to cover all bases for your estate! They aren’t just Estate Attorneys; they are family!" -SL
"The patience with helping us achieve our goal and the patience in breaking down the legalese into simple language that we could understand was very beneficial. We felt we were very well taken care of." -GR
"We truly appreciate your thoughts, ideas and time. I very much value your expertise and look forward to more dialogue about best ways to move forward, build healthier relationships with our children and their children and to pass on our values to the degree we are able." -R.Y.
"I was able to have a honest dialog with such an understanding, compassionate, and caring human being. Thank you." -Y.H.
"I've had the opportunity to work with Elijah for several years now. I started during a challenging situation with my mother and he was terrific. I'd say he's very responsive, reliable and exceptionally fair. Also very empathetic. It's refreshing to engage with him and feel that I'm being well taken care of and my needs are being met. His staff is also lovely and overall super accommodating." -I.S.
"It is very important to research and choose wisely when looking for an estate planning attorney. Did you know that the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization has a unique recognition for attorneys who go beyond the regular requirements to practice Estate Planning? Elijah Keyes has this designation; Certified Estate Planning Specialist. He is extremely well versed with this specific area of law and is a strong advocate for his clients in estate planning, including establishing living trusts, wealth planning and family transfers, dynasty trusts, conservatorships, special needs trusts, elder law medi-cal benefits and planning, trust administration and probate. Thank you Elijah, for being a trusted resource for us and for our clients!" -M.H.
"Keyes Law Group helped our family through a very difficult time with estate planning. He's honest, transparent and genuinely cares about his clients. His own personal experiences have shaped his approach in working with people - especially older folks who might be more mistrusting. He can finesse difficult conversations with ease and for that, I'm forever grateful. 100% recommend!" -Y.V.
"Elijah was very helpful with editing our family trust after my wife passed away. He answered all my question in a timely manner and if he did not know the answer he found out quickly. He would take time out of day to reassure me that he had everything under control. He took his time to explain why he worded the trust the way he did and that I understood what it meant. Will use him again when the trust needs to updated." -D.