Merced Estate Planning Attorney Assists with End-of-Life Planning

Experienced lawyer helps Californians protect and transfer assets 

No one can be sure what life has in store, so it is important to create a thorough estate plan in order to preserve your wealth and allocate your assets when the time comes. Located in Merced, Curry and Curry has been a trusted legal partner on estate planning matters to  California clients since 1992. I draft wills, trusts and power of attorney documents for clients, advise on business succession plans, prepare tax avoidance strategies and offer a range of other services so that major transitions run smoothly whenever they occur.

Firm provides counsel on wills, trusts, powers of attorney and long-term care

By working with a skillful trusts and estates attorney, you can give legal force to your final intentions and gain valuable insight on as the following:

  • Requirements of a California will — Having advised clients on wills and probate matters for more than three decades, I work with each client to create an enforceable, authoritative testamentary document. This will minimize the possibility of a probate dispute after you are gone.
  • Benefits of creating a trust — Some people overlook trusts when developing their estate plan. This can be a pitfall of trying handle this complex matter on your own. After learning about your goals, my firm can recommend one or more trusts that can help you achieve your objectives.
  • Reasons to draft a power of attorney — Effective estate planning requires attention to vital concerns while you’re still alive, even if you are incapacitated by illness or injury. Through a power of attorney, living will or personalized medical directive, you can name a trusted person to make important decisions and express your wishes in a clear manner.
  • Methods of managing long-term care and nursing home costs — You might need to access government benefits in order to pay the expenses required for long-term care or residence in a nursing home. Through careful Medi-Cal planning, most people can remain eligible for benefits while preventing the state from taking property you’ve owned following your death.
  • Business succession planning – Small business owners, ranchers and farmers may want to establish an efficient plan for transferring management and control of business interests upon their retirement or death. I can advise you on appropriate legal options and create business entities such as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), S Corporations, Family Limited Partnerships as well as Buy-Sell Agreements in order to put a solid succession plan in place for you and your family.

My three decades of elder law experience helps me find creative solutions to even the trickiest estate and administration challenges.

Wealth preservation and estate tax avoidance

California does not have an estate or inheritance tax, however, an estate is subject to a heavy federal tax if it exceeds the exemption amount for the year the decedent passed away. In 2023, that amount is $12.92 million for an individual. You might not think your estate comes close to this value, but currently, the exemption amount is set to drop sharply in 2026. This means that you should consider a wealth preservation strategy if you think your total estate will be anywhere near $5 million. I can show you how creating irrevocable trusts, establishing business entities, making strategic gifts and shifting money toward certain assets can reduce your estate tax exposure while providing a stream of income for you for your lifetime or for a term of years.

Resolving disputes through estate litigation

When you work with a qualified estate planning attorney, you can be confident that your estate planning instruments will be clear and legally valid. This dramatically reduces the likelihood that a dispute over your final wishes will go to court. However, there might be instances where a dispute arises over an estate for which you are an executor or beneficiary. I am an experienced trial advocate who can protect your interests in cases where fraud, mistake, undue influence, breach of fiduciary duty or some other problem is alleged. Regardless of the particular disagreement that led to the estate litigation, my firm strives to achieve a successful resolution promptly and efficiently. If settlement is not possible, I will vigorously litigate your matter through trial and, if necessary, through appeal.

Contact a Central California estate planning lawyer for a consultation 

Curry and Curry in Merced offers comprehensive guidance on estate planning concerns to California clients. To set up an appointment regarding your long-term goals, please call 209-720-3912 or contact me online.