Located nine miles north of Santa Rosa, and 63 miles north of San Francisco, Windsor is a town in Sonoma County with a population of about 27,000 (2010). Between 1980 and 2006, Windsor was home to Windsor Waterworks—a waterslide park. Windsor sits close to the Russian River and is well-known for its family-friendly appeal, as well as for its wine country beauty. Windsor is one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the state, named by a pony express rider who compared the surrounding scenery to that of England’s Windsor Castle. Windsor has sponsored a weekly Summer Nights on the Green since 2001—a free concert series offering high-quality family entertainment with a partnership with the Windsor Farmer’s Market to provide equally high-quality food. Events in Windsor include the annual Earth Day and Wellness Festival, the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic, and the Ironman Vineman Triathlon. There are a number of community and neighborhood parks within the Town of Windsor, and the Windsor Golf Club has hosted events on the PGA’s Nike Tour in the past. You will not want to miss the Old Downtown Windsor area, along with the Town Green, a walkable 4.5 acres in the heart of downtown Windsor. Residents in picturesque Windsor enjoy their laid back lifestyles while understanding the necessity of having a solid estate plan in place. Experienced estate planning attorney, Eric Gullotta welcomes the opportunity to speak with Windsor residents regarding their own estate plans.
Thinking Ahead About Your Windsor Estate Plan
There comes a time in every adult’s life when we begin to think about inevitabilities and asking ourselves certain questions. How can I be sure my family will be taken care of after I’m gone? How can I be certain my wishes would be followed in the event I were incapacitated from an accident or illness? Without legally binding documents drafted by a professional Windsor estate planning attorney, your family, your assets, and your own medical wishes are left up to the state of California. Protect your own future as well as the future of your loved ones by providing clear directives that will minimize the state’s control over your assets.
Why Is Having a Windsor Estate Plan So Important?
In truth, having an estate plan is one of the most important, loving things you can do for your family members, and while it is never too early to plan ahead, it can be too late. It is important that you not only provide for your loved ones in the event of your death but also that you plan for yourself in the event you become incapacitated. Many people think an estate plan is nothing more than having a Will prepared, however, there are many other important parts to an estate plan. An estate plan is a collection of legal documents that will ensure the legacy you leave behind is the one you choose. When you engage in thoughtful estate planning, you can minimize taxes and probate fees, giving your family members less to worry about when you are gone. Conversely, when you fail to plan ahead your loved ones can suffer many unintended, stressful, and expensive complications.
What Estate Planning Documents are Necessary?
The exact estate planning documents you need will depend on your unique situation, but the following are the estate planning documents most people can benefit from.
Last Will and Testament
This is the document most people are familiar with and is particularly helpful when you need to name a guardian for your minor children. You will also name an executor in your will—a person who will administer the distribution of your assets according to your wishes.
You can choose a Revocable Living Trust or an Irrevocable Living Trust, depending on your needs. A Revocable Living Trust will hold all your assets in the trust, allowing you to continue to have control over the management of those assets while you are still living. An Irrevocable Living Trust also allows you to plan for incapacity and can help your loved ones avoid probate.
Durable Power of Attorney
When you have a Durable Power of Attorney, you can appoint a trusted family member, friend, or advisor as an agent who will act on your behalf in financial-related matters.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a trusted person who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated and unable to make those decisions yourself.
Advanced Health Care Directive
While an Advanced Health Care Directive is similar to a Healthcare Power of Attorney, an Advanced Health Care Directive sets forth your end-of-life wishes at a time near death, rather than simply leaving them in the hands of your chosen healthcare proxy. These end-of-life wishes could include whether or not you want to be placed on a ventilator, a feeding tube, and whether you want pain relief or resuscitation.
Estate Planning FAQs
What happens if I do not have an estate plan?
An estate plan is everything from carrying out your wishes for your health to minimizing tax burdens on your family and protecting them from creditors. If you do not set one up, then everything is left up to California state law. Having one helps your family avoid the hassle of probate and ensures your wishes are carried out.
I’m not rich—I thought estate plans were only for the wealthy?
Everyone can benefit from an estate plan regardless of wealth. We all have wishes we would like to carry out, people we want to help, and assets that must be divided. Your estate plan can include everything from donating to your favorite charities or distributing assets to a family friend. Without an estate plan, the state will not consider your wishes.
What sets your firm apart from others?
Not only do we pay attention to detail, but we show a genuine concern for our clients. We put you first, so that your experience with us is enjoyable. We want your estate planning experience to be relaxed and stress-free!
How Can Attorney Eric Gullotta Help You with Your Estate Planning Needs?
Attorney Eric Gullotta is a respected estate planning attorney in Windsor. His personable approach to legal counsel has endeared to many families in Sonoma County. Eric takes the stress and intimidation out of estate planning, by creating a plan that provides maximum benefit to your loved ones. Contact Eric today at (707) 938-7234 for a free evaluation. Eric Gullotta has the answers to your most urgent estate planning questions. While it is perfectly natural to want to avoid planning for our eventual death, it is nonetheless a task that should not be put off, as the consequences of doing so can be devastating to your loved ones. Obviously, talking about our own death is hardly pleasant, and when you are dealing with a cold, uncaring law office with people who talk AT you rather than WITH you, it can just seem like too much. The Gullotta Law Group believes the best plans are made in partnership with our clients. We strive to create a professional yet relaxed atmosphere where we carefully listen to your wishes, then translate them into legal documents to carry them out as best as possible. Rather than constantly reminding you of the urgency of estate planning, telling you what to do, or hurrying you through the process, we take all the time necessary, allowing you to be as comfortable as possible with this difficult process. Each estate plan we prepare is custom- tailored to suit the needs of our clients. In times that are increasingly filled with stress and uncertainty, Eric Gullotta takes care of the details of your estate plan, giving you one less thing to worry about. The Gullotta Law Group is dedicated to making the estate planning process simple and understandable. Contact Gullotta Law Group today!
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