Soto Law Group
“Leave your loved ones a gift far greater than all the money in the world”
Trusts +Estates +Families +Business
Soto Law Group
One of the most important things you can do for your family is to have a comprehensive Estate Plan. DeDe will make sure that your plan is accurate and will leave a legacy for your loved ones for generations to come.
Here are the key documents in creating an Estate Plan.
- Trust or Revocable Living Trust
A Trust or Revocable Living Trust, provides for management of financial affairs during your lifetime (if you are incapacitated as well), upon your death and for future generations. This Trust helps your estate avoid probate, lessening the risk of personal information becoming public record and all the fees associated with probate. Imagine leaving instructions for your children, grandchildren, or your nieces and nephews as to how to manage the inheritance you have left them. Plus, a Revocable Living Trust will protect your kids from lawsuits and even losing their inheritance in a divorce.
A Will is simply a set of instructions on how to distribute your assets to loved ones and charities upon your death. Be aware, however, that a Will does not cover any specific beneficiary designations you have made on investment and retirement accounts.
- Durable Power of Attorney
You name another person to act on your behalf if you are disabled, with limited or broad powers, as you see fit and will terminate upon your death. Choose carefully because this person can buy and sell your assets.
- Health Care Power of Attorney/Health Care Directive:
This document authorizes someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated, providing a path to avoid family conflicts and possible court interventions. Your Directive will lay out your wishes regarding the use of life-sustaining measures in the event of terminal illness. It is best used in tandem with your health care power of attorney. We also provide a service so that all of your HealthCare documents will be accessible 24/7 in any hospital around the world that has internet access.
HIPAA is the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The primary goal of the law is to make it easier for people to keep health insurance, protect the confidentiality and security of healthcare information and help the healthcare industry control administrative costs.
HIPAA is divided into different titles or sections that address a unique aspect of health insurance reform. Spouses and family members who care for loved ones should be named on HIPAA documents to ensure speedy care and access to confidential health information including dealing with insurance companies in emergency situations.
We believe that planning is about much more than just the transfer of your financial wealth. With all of our plans, we include a process to help you transfer your most important personal wealth to your loved ones, including your intellectual, spiritual and human assets, who you are and what’s important to you.
Many estate planning attorneys take a “one-size fits all” approach with their clients; they do this so that they can work with as many people as possible in a short period of time. The problem is that the client has an impersonal experience; but worse than that, this way of planning can lead to unintended results in the long run for the family.
You want a plan in place that will make things easy for your loved ones no matter what happens. Visit our website at www.thesotolawgroup.com to get started and see how we are different.
Here is how it works at The Soto Law Group:
- Fixed Fees – All of our fees are fixed fees agreed to in advance, so there are no surprises. At our initial meeting you will choose the level of planning and fee that works best for your family, so there will never be any surprises.
- Guarantee – We keep you informed and make sure your plan works. We don’t just prepare a set of legal documents for you and send you on your way. We make sure your assets are owned in the right way, that you trust is funded and that your family is prepared and knows what to do if anything happens to you.
- Relationship – We review your plan at least every 3 years or annually through our Family Wealth VIP Membership program, depending on your needs. We foster a lifetime, ongoing relationship with our clients. Throughout your life, things change. You change; yourassets change; your family changes; the law will definitely change.
- Legacy – You have a story to tell. Imagine a recording of you telling your loved what you loved about your family, your hopes for them, what life lessons were most important to you, what values you most wanted for your family or children, or even just saying a nickname that they always called you! This is the gift of Legacy, something to pass on to your children and grandchildren for generations to come!
What if I do not have an Estate Plan in place?
If you do not have a plan in place than you are leaving your loved ones with no direction or road map on how to handle your afterlife affairs and assets. This will trigger Probate.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process through which the court oversees to determine who your natural heirs are, and that your debts are paid and your assets are distributed according to your will. If you don’t have a valid will, your assets are distributed according to state law. Your family has no control. The court process determines how much it will cost, how long it will take, and what information is made public. It is a lengthy and painful experience that is added to mourning the loss of a loved one.
What is Trust Administration?
After the death of the trustor certain steps must be taken to comply with state law, to preserve the federal estate tax exclusion amount, and to change title to assets. This is called “trust administration,” and the complexity of the administration depends on the number and type of assets, their total value, and whether the trust includes tax planning provisions. Soto Law Group has experience in administering estates, trusts, wills, probate and more. We work with the family and the other advisors to transfer assets as quickly as possible, resolve outstanding issues, and ensure that all legal requirements are satisfied within the legal deadlines. You can rely on a calm and experienced advisor who will ease the stress and confusion and navigate all of the legal requirements with you.
What is Conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the “conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances.
DeDe Soto established The Soto Law Group so she could dedicate herself to the needs of families and business owners. DeDe has a broad background of legal experience.
DeDe started her estate planning practice only on a referral basis several years ago to provide invaluable services for families and small business owners she has continued her education at Chapman College School of Law (LLM courses) and financial planning courses at University of California, Irvine (Financial Planning Certificate).
Incorporating her business knowledge and real estate expertise with her passion for coaching and teaching she brings an invaluable combination to her estate planning clients.
She had always believed that traditional estate planning, which implies, and often focuses only on, financial wealth and taxation was too limited and short-sighted. DeDe believes it’s not only about passing on financial wealth, but also intellectual, spiritual and human wealth. She provides the framework for a more holistic approach to family wealth planning. “We can actually pass on the clients’ stories, insights and wisdom to their children, grandchildren and other loved ones so that they don’t get lost when the clients pass away,” she explains. She also appreciates that, through her Child’s Protection Plan, her clients can rest assure, knowing that if something unexpected or unthinkable happens to mom and dad, the kids won’t have to spend time in Child Protective Services/foster care until their permanent guardians can arrive on the scene. Additionally, she can protect the children’s inheritance from later creditors and predators.
On a personal note, she is happily married to her husband Robert and they have a Chihuahua, named Noodle. They attend Mariner’s Church in Irvine and volunteer their time to a church ministry for families that call home a Motel.