Q:  What is a Personal Property Memorandum?

A:  A Personal Property Memorandum is a form that can be incorporated by reference into your Will and Trust and is used to indicate how you would like your personal effects (e.g., clothing, mementos, jewelry, furniture, art, etc.) to be distributed on your death.  These forms provide flexibility to your estate plan.  If you change your mind about a distribution, you can either prepare a new Personal Property Memorandum or amend the existing one by striking through to name of the beneficiary and the intended gift, and initialing and dating the strike-through.  The use of these forms avoids the need to prepare a formal amendment to your Trust if you have a change of heart as to the disposition of your personal effects.  To avoid confusion and potential litigation, please inform your spouse of your

Q:  What is an Assignment of Personal Property?

A:  An assignment of Personal Property is a document that is used to transfer all of your tangible personal property into your Trust.  However, the Assignment is not effective at transferring title to assets that have their own evidence of ownership, such as real estate, bank accounts, vessels and automobiles, which need to be individually transferred to your Trust.

Click HERE to view a diagram illustrating the typical estate planning process.

Q:  Can I exclude a person as the legal guardian of my minor child?

A:  Yes, you can specifically exclude people as your child's legal guardian.  However, please keep in mind that the Guardian must still be approved by a judge and they likely won't consent to an exclusion of a child's parent without good cause.  Ultimately, the judge's primary concern is whatever is in the best interests of the child.

desires to distribute certain tangible items to individuals and provide a copy of your Personal Property Memoranda to your attorney.

Q:  What is a Property Agreement?

A:  A Property Agreement only applies to married people.  The Property Agreement is designed to clarify the manner in which your assets are held, whether Community Property or Separate Property.  There are tax advantages to holding property as Community Property.  A Property Agreement IS NOT a substitute for a Post-Nuptial Agreement. 

Q:  What is the cost of an estate plan?

A:  No one likes to be billed hourly for legal services.  Therefore, whenever possible, we set a flat rate fee prior to beginning legal representation.  However, we do not think it is fair to work from a Fee Sheet.  As each estate plan is unique, it is difficult to quote a price until sufficient information is obtained to understand the scope of services involved.  Generally, estate plans for individuals fall in the $2,500 to $3,000 range and estate plans for married persons cost around $3,500 to $4,000.  Please understand that these prices directly reflect the complexity of the plan and the amount of time involved, not only in drafting the documents, but also in meetings, teleconferences, and recording Deeds with the County Recorder.

Q:  What can I expect if I choose Winstead Law Group, APC to prepare my estate plan?

A:  Our commitment to educating our clients means that each and every client is provided with individualized attention over several meetings designed to:   

     1)  Introduce clients to the Estate Plan concept, helping them understand why they may, or may not, need an Estate Plan;

     2)  Obtain information needed to prepare a complete and cohesive Estate Plan designed to meet the client’s specific needs, objectives, and concerns;

     3)  Educate clients with the provisions contained in their documents by reviewing the draft version of the Estate Plan documents with the clients prior to the documents being signed and notarized; 

Q:  Why should I choose to work with Winstead Law Group, APC?

A:  We are a boutique tax, asset protection, and estate planning firm.  We offer clients the expertise found at larger firms and the personalized attention that is rarely found at any law firm.  Each of our clients are important to us, as is educating them with their legal matters.  Our commitment to educating our clients means that each and every client is provided with individualized attention.  Because we spend a lot of time with our clients, this added time is reflected in the cost of our services.  However, we feel this time is well worth the expense, and our clients agree.  Read our client reviews to hear what they have to say.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

     4)  Impress on clients the need to transfer assets into their Trust because an improperly funded Trust does not accomplish one of its primary goals – Probate Avoidance; and

     5)  Assist in funding their trust through advice, discussions with bankers and financial advisors, and ensuring that Deeds are prepared transferring title to real property into the Trust.

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Q:  How do I designate a legal guardian for my children?

A:  Parents should prepare Wills and Powers of Attorney designating the Guardian of their children upon their death or incapacity.  Although a judge will still need to sign off on the appointment, most courts will respect the parents’ wishes.  In support of their decision, parents should also write a letter that explains their reasons for designating the particular person as their children’s Guardian.  Click  HERE  to learn more about Child Guardianship Planning.