Los Angeles Estate Planning

Written by Johnny Kitchens
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Los Angeles estate planning exists to protect your interests in all sorts of situations regarding your assets. When you begin developing an estate plan (figuring out who gets what, and when), attorneys can be of great assistance, and later on become entirely indispensable. The maze of regulations and legal processes involving the transfer of assets after one's death can be quite overwhelming and you must have proper legal assistance.

Los Angeles estate and property values are some of the highest in the United States, next to San Francisco and New York City. The higher the property values, the more your estate is worth, and the more you need comprehensive estate planning. Your estate is comprised of all of your real property, all of your jointly owned assets, all of your personal belongings, and everything else you cannot take with you.

There are literally thousands of pages of state, federal, and local laws defining how property and other assets are divided after the estate owner's death. Los Angeles estate planning attorneys can help you identify the issues that concern you and take the proper legal actions. Mistakes in these processes can result in your assets going through probate, resulting in additional costs and time delays.

Finding Los Angeles Estate Planning Attorneys

Los Angeles estate planning attorneys can, of course, be found in the phone book but there are better means available. To practice law in the state of California, an attorney must be a member in good standing with the State Bar of California. The State Bar is an excellent place to familiarize yourself with common legal questions and to start your search for legal representation.

Los Angeles estate attorneys must pass the State Bar exam to be admitted to the Bar and are required to continue their legal education to stay current with changes in state laws. The State Bar also publishes the "Rules of Professional Conduct" for attorneys. When necessary, they also have the Attorney Discipline System to ensure legal and ethical conduct by California attorneys.

The State Bar of California also maintains a certification program that can help you find good Los Angeles estate planning attorneys. The Bar reviews and certifies attorney referral services. These services help you find qualified attorneys that specialize in the area(s) you require. Certified referral services are an excellent resource for finding Los Angeles legal help.

Alternative Means for Finding Los Angeles Estate Planning Attorneys

Los Angeles estate planning attorneys are often known by or associate with other attorneys in the area. Whether through professional associations, school connections, or personal relationships, attorneys tend to know each other (even if only by reputation). Civil attorneys, attorneys that deal with civil concerns, like Los Angeles trusts, would probably be better suited to helping you find Los Angeles estate planning attorneys than would be criminal lawyers.

Another great source for referrals is simple word of mouth. Personal experience with an attorney or legal firm can be quite valuable. Speak to your friends, family, and business associates, and ask if they have had any dealings with attorneys that can help with your situation. You might be surprised at how many people have had cause to hire an attorney.

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