Estate Planning Attorneys in Orange County

Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, Orange County Women Lawyers Association, OCTLA, OCWLAEstate planning can be a grim topic for some individuals and couples, but that isn’t a good reason to skip out on your planning and leave it to chance. The steps you take now to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones can limit their work when you pass and save money when it comes to probate.

Furthermore, estate planning doesn’t just focus on death. It also addresses what you want to happen should you become incapacitated, allows you to name financial power of attorney, and permits you to decide who will make health care decisions on your behalf.

This area of law involves building a relationship with an attorney you will see periodically for the rest of your life. Find the right law firm for your goals by browsing our list of Orange County estate planning attorneys below.

Helpful Information About Choosing an Orange County Estate Planning Lawyer

  • You can research the Bar license status, suspensions or reprimands of an attorney at the California Bar Association website.
  • Some attorneys may specialize in estate planning, trusts & probate law to become a “California Bar Certified Specialist” but may not be completely necessary unless your tax issue requires a very high level of expertise.
  • Some attorneys will be able to meet with you at their office, your home, or over Zoom. It’s important to ask these questions when you call.

Orange County Estate Planning Lawyers:

Modern Wealth Law

Modern Wealth Law

Patton Law Firm

Patton Law Firm

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California Estate Planning Laws and Processes

Probate: The probate process in California is fairly straightforward, but it can be expensive for surviving family members. Under California law, probate is not necessary for probate estates that have a total value lower than $166,250. Click here if you need a probate lawyer.

Advanced health care directives: California law requires that your advance directive be signed in front of two witnesses or a notary public to be valid and legally binding. Your witnesses cannot be your health care agents, employees of your health care providers, or employees and operators of community/residential care facilities.

Executor: The executor of your estate will keep your property safe and well-maintained until it can be distributed to those listed in your documentation. In California, as is the case in other states, your executor must be a legal adult and be of sound mind. Additionally, your executor must be capable of carrying out their duties, unlikely to neglect your estate, and otherwise capable.

Estate Planning Options

There are numerous entities and documents that may make up your estate plan. This is a highly personalized area of law, and a good attorney can create an estate plan that meets your specific needs. For example, you may choose a revocable trust that allows your loved ones to bypass probate when you pass. You could look into a special needs trust if you want to provide for a loved one with special needs without jeopardizing their Medicare, housing benefits, or other government aid. If you have specific wishes regarding the health care you will and will not receive at the end of your life, outlining those preferences in a legally binding document may provide peace of mind.

Estate Planning Attorneys Near Me:

Common Documents in an Estate Plan

What is an estate plan? An estate plan is a set of documents that outlines an individual’s wishes for their assets, property, and healthcare in the event of their death or incapacity. Common documents in an estate plan include:

  1. Will: A will is a legal document that outlines how an individual’s assets will be distributed after their death.
  2. Durable Power of Attorney: This document gives another person the authority to make financial decisions on behalf of the individual if they become incapacitated.
  3. Healthcare Power of Attorney: This document gives another person the authority to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the individual if they become incapacitated.
  4. Living Will: This document outlines an individual’s wishes for medical treatment in the event they become terminally ill or permanently unconscious.
  5. Trusts: There are various types of trusts that can be established to manage assets, minimize taxes, or provide for specific beneficiaries.
  6. Beneficiary Designations: This refers to the designation of beneficiaries for financial accounts, such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts, which typically pass directly to named beneficiaries outside of the individual’s will.

These are some of the most common documents in an estate plan, but the specific documents an individual may need will depend on their individual circumstances and goals.


After you have drafted your estate plan, it’s important to keep it up-to-date. Your attorney will provide guidance regarding them to update your plan. However, most recommend reviewing it when someone passes away, when someone leaves the family via divorce or estrangement, and when a new member of the family is adopted or born.

The right estate planning attorney in Orange County will help you meet your specific goals and plan for the future. They will also be there throughout your life as you make changes to those plans. Reach out to Orange County estate planning lawyers now to get started.

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