When you consider estate planning, you usually think about the “big picture”. Doing so, helps to ease the burden on your surviving loved ones of managing your estate after you die. However, to ensure the overall success of your estate plan, you will want not to overlook certain possible situations that might arise. A qualified Lakeport estate planning attorney has the expertise and training needed to make sure to assist you getting with the big picture and the details right.

Debts & Taxes

Firstly, how will your debt and tax liabilities be paid? While your estate may be too small for federal estate tax, there may be other taxes that need to be paid, especially if the estate produces taxable income.


Will there be a sufficient cash flow? Your estate will incur certain operating expenses when going through the administration phase, or may have to assist with the living expenses of your surviving spouse.


Will your affairs be in order so that whomever is administering your estate is aware of what assets are involved?   With an estate planning binder you can safeguards and organize all your important documents inside your estate planning binder. That way your family is able to easy access important documents, and know what banks that are holding cash, stocks and bonds, and other valuable assets.


Will your estate be able pay all just creditor claims that are owed and payable at the time of your death?  How will the person administering your estate pay-off any mortgage?  Just like with your assets, detailed information regarding your creditors and the account numbers or copies of previous statements showing the amounts owed should be kept available for the administrator of your estate.

Health Decisions

Who will make important health care decisions for you when you are no longer able to pay them for yourself?  An important  part of your estate plan is your advance health care directive and HIPAA release. These documents will allow your end-of-life wishes to be carried out. Also, along with designating trusted agents to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Minor Children

Who will raise your minor children when you are no longer there?  A nomination of guardian to care for your children in the event of your untimely death tells the Guardianship Court who you want to raise your children. A minor’s trust allows a trustee whom you nominate to oversee the assets you leave to your minors until they reach the age of majority or later if you prefer.


Who will take care of your pets in the event of your disability or  death?  Some trusts place money aside in a Pet Trust for the care of pets.


Law Office of Dennis A. Fordham

Dennis A. Fordham is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law.  Furthermore, he can assist you to get appointed as the personal representative of a decedent’s estate. Don’t try to handle a probate on your own. The Law Office of Dennis A. Fordham is ready to provide the help and advice that you may need.

“Serving Lake and Mendocino Counties for nineteen years, the Law Office of Dennis Fordham focuses on legacy and estate planning, trust and probate administration, and special needs planning. We are here for you. 870 South Main Street Lakeport, California 95453-4801. Phone: 707-263-3235.”