Pat Roque of Pat’s Custom Carpet Care and Jon Alban, our Estate Planning Attorney

Pat Roque of Pat’s Custom Carpet Care was born in Santa Monica, CA in 1960. He’s been in the Carpet Cleaning business since 1981 and started his own carpet cleaning business in Orange County in 1984. He has been married to his wife, Coleen, since 1995 and has been a member of Business Growth Innovators of West Orange County for the past 5 years

Pat’s Custom Carpet Care specializes in:

Pat has a highly sensitive moisture meter that can detect the presence of water inside of walls or ceilings before it even shows up as an obvious water stain. By detecting the presence of water early you can prevent further expensive damage and get you wall or ceiling dried out and repaired, preventing black mold or mildew from gaining a foothold. If you suspect a leaky pipe, roof or patio call Pat’s Custom Carpet Care at 714-308-4630 today.

Jon Alban, our Estate Planning Attorney, presented us with a very informative discussion of his Estate Planning Checklist. It is as follows:

I. WHAT IS AN ESTATE PLAN? An Estate Plan is your story, its what will happen to your estate after you are gone.

II. WILLS VS. TRUSTS: There are two basic types of Estate Plans: Revocable Living Trust or a Will. The big difference is that a Will must go to Probate Court and can take a year or longer to be completely resolved. Wills must be accompanied by a public notice, published in a newspaper. The Attorney will be paid an Estate Benefit that comprises 1% – 2% of total value of the estate. Living Trusts, by comparison, almost never go to court, they proceed at your pace. They are also more private so you must have complete faith in the person that you name as a trustee. There is less attorney time and thus less expense with a Living Trust.

III. GUARDIANS & TRUSTEES: Guardians are designated by you for all of your minor children (under 18 years of age). They are who will raise your children. Trustees, in contrast, manage your money/estate after you are gone. The Guardian/Trustee can sometime be the same person but often they are not. Different people have different skills in these areas.

IV. ESTATE TAXATION: Estates are currently subject to a 45% rate of taxation and that does NOT include the Probate Fee. The current estate exemption is $3,500,000.00 but this exemption and the rate of taxation are subject to change. Your Estate Planning attorney should be keeping you apprised of such changes. You can avoid these taxes with proper planning so talk to your estate planning attorney early.

V. BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS & TITLING OF ASSETS: Please, do NOT forget to do this! Make sure that your beneficiaries are updated on your IRA’s, 401(k)’s, and life insurance policies so that they are a co-ordinated part of your estate.

VI. POWERS OF ATTORNEY: You should designate an agent under a power of attorney so that your agent can sign your financial documents, such as tax returns, claims for government benefits, and Social Security, in the event you become incapacitated or incompetent.

VII. ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES: If you end up in the hospital at the end of your life you must choose a person to represent you, someone to make certain that your wishes are followed, especially when deciding to “pull the plug” or follow a “do not resuscitate” directive that you have chosen. The Health Care Directives are a separate 3 to 6 page document, different than the Trust document. It should be signed before you enter the hospital, when you are still of sound mind.

VIII. SEPARATE VS. COMMUNITY PROPERTY: California is a Community Property state. You may personally inherit property that would then be your Separate Property, and you may want to dispose of your separate property in a separate trust.

Since 1998, a Trustee must inform all Beneficiaries and heirs of the existence of the trust and the terms of the trust after the death of the creator of the trust. If a Trustee is not performing his duties or if there is a dispute, Jon can monitor the situation and can refer you to another attorney to assist you with trust litigation if necessary.

Estate Planning is complex and too important to be handled casually. To yourself and your family a favor by hiring an expert Estate Planning attorney. Jon Alban is available for private and confidential counsel. Call him at 562-594-0222.