Professional Estate Planning

Guiding your financial future in an uncertain world

Estate Planning designed for your peace and confidence.

While it’s a discussion most people would prefer not to have, financial planning for the end of your life has importance for you and your family. Laguna can work with your estate planning attorney and CPA to bring you and your family a peace and confidence that your investments within your estate will be handled properly and as you see fit.

Working with your Estate Planning Attorney and CPA, Laguna will help guide you on a path forward to achieving your legacy goals and getting the most out of your wealth. Our investment advisors in Santa Barbara can help you navigate the complexities of estate planning. When you are ready to have these conversations, Laguna will help you consider options and structure a strategy that’s suited for your goals and situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ aims to provide answers to the common questions related to capital estate planning and help you understand the various elements involved in the process.

What Is Capital Estate Planning for Financial Affairs?
Estate planning refers to the process of organizing and managing a person’s financial and personal affairs, including their assets and liabilities, to ensure they are distributed according to their wishes upon passing away.

The goal of estate planning is to minimize tax liabilities, preserve wealth, and ensure that one’s beneficiaries are provided for in a manner that is consistent with their wishes.

Who Are Estate Planners?
Estate planners are professionals who specialize in helping individuals and families plan for their future. They can be attorneys, financial planners, or accountants with expertise in estate planning, trusts and estates, tax laws, and financial planning.
What Is the Role of Trusts and Estates Planners in Estate Planning?
Trusts and estate planners are professionals who help clients structure their estates and assets to meet their goals and objectives.

They work with clients to understand their financial situation and develop a plan that minimizes tax liabilities, preserves wealth, and provides for their beneficiaries in a manner that is consistent with their wishes.

Also, they may assist with the administration of trusts and the distribution of assets after passing away.

What Are Estate Taxes and How Do They Impact Estate Planning?
Estate taxes are levied on the transfer of an individual’s assets upon passing away. Moreover, estate taxes can significantly impact an estate’s value, especially for large estates.
What Is the Probate Process and How Can It Impact Capital Estate Planning?

The probate process is the legal process by which a person’s assets are distributed after death. This process can be time-consuming and costly, exposing an individual’s assets and financial matters to public scrutiny.

Estate planners work with clients to understand the probate procedure and develop strategies to minimize the impact of probate on their estate, such as creating a trust or utilizing other legal documents.

What Is an Irrevocable Trust, and How Does It Impact Estate Planning?
An irrevocable trust is a legally binding agreement in which an individual transfers possession of their belongings to a trustee, who holds and manages them for the benefit of their heirs.

Moreover, an irrevocable trust is different from a revocable trust because once the assets are transferred, the person cannot change the terms of the trust or reclaim the assets. Irrevocable trusts can be used to minimize tax liabilities, protect assets from creditors, or provide for beneficiaries with special needs.

How Do Trusts and Other Estate Planning Tools Impact the Assets' Distribution?
Trusts and other estate planning tools, such as wills and powers of attorney, can impact the distribution of a person’s assets in several ways. Additionally, a person can use the trust to minimize tax liabilities, protect assets from creditors, or provide for beneficiaries with special needs.
What Is a Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust is a type of trust where the terms can be modified or revoked at any time by the grantor. The grantor can change the terms of the trust, add or remove assets, and act as the trustee.

Moreover, the assets in a revocable trust are still considered part of the grantor’s estate and may be subject to estate taxes.

How Can I Protect My Retirement Accounts Through Estate Planning?
Retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, can be protected through estate planning by naming a beneficiary on the account and by including the account in your estate plan. An estate planner can help you determine if a revocable or irrevocable trust would be the best option for your accounts and how to ensure they are distributed according to your wishes.
Can I Use a Trust to Avoid Probate Court?
Yes, using a living trust can help with avoiding probate. When you create a trust, you transfer ownership of your asset to the trust, and the trust becomes the legal owner of the asset. When you die, the assets in the living trust do not go through probate and are instead distributed according to the terms of the trust document.
What Are Gift Taxes?
Present taxes are taxes on gifts that are given to another person. If the gift is over a certain amount, the person giving the gift may be required to pay present taxes. Estate planners can help you determine if you need to pay present taxes and how to minimize their impact on your estate.
What Is Testamentary (Will) Trust?
A will trust is a trust created through a will and takes effect upon the passing of the person who created the will (the testator). Additionally, Testamentary trusts are often used to provide for minor children or other beneficiaries who may not be able to manage their own finances. The trust document specifies how the property in the trust will be managed and distributed to the beneficiaries.
Can I Create a Testamentary Trust Through My Will?
Yes, you can create a will trust through your will. A will trust is created upon your passing and is included in your will. The trust is funded with the property you designate in your will, and the terms of the trust are set out in the will.
What Is a Bypass Trust?

This type of trust, also known as a credit shelter trust, is a type of trust that is designed to reduce estate taxes. It is created upon the first spouse’s passing and holds the deceased spouse’s assets.

The asset in the trust is not subject to estate taxes when the second spouse dies, allowing it to pass directly to the beneficiaries without being reduced by taxes.

What Is a Special Needs Trust?
A special needs trust is designed to provide for the requirements of a person with special needs, such as a disability or medical condition.

The trust is created to hold the asset for the benefit of the person with unique needs without affecting their eligibility for government benefits. An estate planner can help you determine if a special needs trust is necessary for your situation and how to set it up.

What Is a Limited Power of Attorney?
A limited capability of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the power to make decisions and take actions on your behalf in specific situations.

Additionally, you may give a limited power of attorney to someone to manage your financial matters if you cannot do so due to illness or injury.

What Is a Living Trust?
A living trust is a type of trust that is created during the grantor’s lifetime. The grantor transfers possession of their assets and money to the trust, and a trustee is appointed to manage the trust assets.

Moreover, the grantor can continue to use and enjoy the assets during their lifetime. Upon the grantor’s death, the assets in the trust are distributed to the beneficiaries according to the trust document’s terms without the need for probate and an attorney.

How Can a Living Trust Help Avoid Probate?
A living trust is a legal paper that allows you to transfer ownership of your assets to a trustee during your lifetime. By doing so, all the assets and money in the trust can be distributed to the family beneficiary without going through probate court, avoiding the time and expense of probate and even an attorney.



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