Estate planning

KR Hess Law of Carmel Valley helps families achieve estate planning goals


From asset protection to estate planning and probate, KR Hess Law has been helping San Diego families achieve their goals for over 10 years.

The firm was founded by Christina Hess, an estate planning attorney, mediator, and legacy builder coach. The company was started because it was passionate about “helping people create a legacy and making sure their wishes are respected and everything they’ve worked so hard to build their entire lives is passed on the way they want it so they can leave the legacy they want.” Wants.”

One of the reasons there is a sense of urgency for wealthy families to manage their estates is the nearly $13 million worth of estate tax and gift exemptions, which help pass the wealth on to the next generation. So far, that exemption will drop to about $5 million in 2025 with inflation adjustments.

“There are types of irrevocable credits and the use of the lifetime gift tax credit that people can use now,” Hess said. “So you can either donate the money when you die or you can donate it now. So what a lot of our clients do is a married life access trust, they give assets to their wives to get them out of their taxable estate, so they take advantage of that really high tax credit that is available Now before it ends up far enough and because it’s going down to $5 million inflation-adjusted, it’s about $6.4 million.It’s basically going to be cut in half.

The exemption from property taxes has increased in recent years, but there is uncertainty as to whether this trend will continue.

“We’ve come a long way in the past 20 years,” Hess said. “If you do a poll, most people think that given the country’s economic situation and the debt, these exemptions will not remain high, and that they will be allowed to stop in 2025. So I think for people who have significant assets, now is the time to plan.”

KR Hess Law also handles more basic estate planning services.

“Of course we do estate planning, for people who want to avoid probate when they die,” she said. In California, the value of an assessed will is about 5% of the fair market value of the estate, and the beneficiaries are not always the people you intend. Whereas with a revocable trust and estate plan, you can set it up in the best way possible to maximize your tax savings, giving the assets to the people you intend to. You want them, when you want them, how you want them. Make sure that any underage children or beneficiaries are protected from themselves, as well as from creditors and predators. So there’s a lot people can do. Also for the basic average family in San Diego, there’s a lot they can do By preparing the five legal documents that everyone needs.

Hess said her estate planning career began when her father died and she had to manage his estate.

“He really wanted to leave a legacy,” Hess said. “He wanted to leave the assets to his grandchildren — I have three children, my brother has three, and my sister has one child. He really wanted to prepare the next generation, and he died suddenly before he could finish what he started.

Estate planning is also one of those tasks that many people put off.

“If you’re 30 or 35 and you just bought your first home and you’ve had your first two kids, that’s the last thing on your mind,” Hess said. “You don’t think you’re going to die or that anything will happen to you. But things happen. People die prematurely.”

KR Hess Law is located at 12264 El Camino Real, Suite 305, San Diego (Carmel Valley), 92130. For more information, visit

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