Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning

Estate Planning at CalderonBarton

CalderonBarton has the tools and experience to provide top-level wills, trusts, and other documents to provide a plan for your family after you pass on. Contact our office to set a time to discuss your plans with one of our experienced attorneys.

Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?

CalderonBarton began litigating wrongful death claims. In doing so, we frequently watched the pain surviving family members face when a deceased loved one passed without an adequate estate plan. Questions about dividing sentimental items and family assets frequently soured family relationships as each child advocated for what they believed their loved one would have wanted. Without an estate, these wishes were often overridden by a one-size-fits-all intestate system, which often left much to be desired and many descendants hurt and disappointed. A well thought out estate plan works to avoid these issues. A properly executed will or trust can be a great blessing to your family during the weeks and months following your passing: it can avoid many disputes before they occur, and provide loving guidance on those disputes that do arise. A will or trust can provide last words and instructions to loved ones, and can ease the burden of transferring assets and special items to specific members of your family. In some instances, estate plans can allow your family to transfer certain items without the hassle and expense of hiring a probate attorney or filing court documents. A will can be an enduring blessing for members of your family, and a reminder that you spent the time and energy to share your last wishes with your family.

What is a Trust?

A trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to transfer your assets to your family without needing to engage the courts in the probate process, which can be lengthy, confusing, and expensive. Trusts essentially allow a designated third party to acquire your assets immediately after your passing by transferring those assets to a trustee who holds legal title to your assets but provides them to you for your use while you live. In a trust, the settlor (you), and the party who takes legal title of the trust assets is called the trustee. The party or parties from whom the assets are held (and to whom they are provided when you die) are known as the beneficiary or beneficiaries. In the estate planning context, most people utilize trusts by naming themselves as the trustee and settlor and naming their loved ones as beneficiaries. This allows you to maintain control of your assets during your life, and automatically transfers items to the people you designate after you die, usually without the need for any court approval. Trusts are very flexible and can be tailored to meet a wide variety of needs and wants, from bequeathing specific items to beloved family members to providing for the college education of your children or grandchildren. Trusts can also be used to ensure ongoing care for pets or other beloved companions after you pass. In some circumstances, Trusts can be used to protect certain assets from creditors after you die.

 What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that tells your family how to handle your affairs after you passes away. Generally, Wills must be written down and meet very specific requirements in order to be enforceable. They generally require that a designated person or persons handle your affairs in accordance with the will while supervised by a probate court. Without a will or trust, your assets and affairs will be distributed according to intestacy laws, which set a one-size-fits-all standard for all of your assets, and frequently require the sale of many treasured items through estate sales. This process does not accommodate any desires you may have to provide specific items to specific children or grandchildren, and does not allow you or your family any real say in how your assets are distributed. Wills seek to avoid the intestate process by providing a legally enforceable blueprint for your family to follow in wrapping up your affairs and distributing items to your loved ones.  For more information or to have specific questions answered, call CalderonBarton. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Do I Need a Will Or a Trust?

Yes. Everyone who will die (yes, that’s you too) should have either a will or a trust to ensure they provide for their family in the event of their death.

Whether you would choose to execute a will or trust depends on a large number of factors including the importance of privacy to your estate, the amount of assets you have, and the way you would like your items divided after your passing. You should consult with a competent attorney before deciding whether a will or trust is right for your specific situation. However, we have found that the flexibility that trusts offer is generally preferable to the constraints of a will and the probate process.

At CalderonBarton, we will take the time to learn about your specific situation, your desires, and your concerns before we sell you on a one size fits all solution, because we believe it’s important to know an individual’s needs before we offer legal counsel. Once we’ve discussed your specific situation, we can create a custom tailored plan to create legally binding document that meets your needs.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of wills and trusts can vary widely depending on their intended purpose and the specific bequests you would like to make. CalderonBarton firm typically provides wills and trusts for a flat fee that varies based on the complexity of your needs. We also provide our customers with the option to make additional changes or additions to their estate plan as needed for an hourly fee.

Contact us Today to Discuss your Options

Wills and Trusts can be effective estate planning tools that can protect assets well into the future and avoid the financial and emotional costs associated with intestacy proceedings. But wills and trusts are complex legal instruments that are difficult to properly execute, so it is important to involve an experienced lawyer in your estate plan sooner than later.


Schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Please call us at (888) 442-6290, or email us at contact@calderonbarton.com



(888) 442-6290

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