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Estate & Legacy Planning 

If you are like most people, you have not yet gotten around to creating your estate plan. You may even wonder whether you have an estate worth planning for. 

The short answer is: Yes! 

 

But in the event you never get around to creating your own plan, you should know that the State of California and the IRS have a one-size-fits-all solution for you. Without a formal estate plan that holds your property in an asset preserving way, the State and the IRS will distribute your estate according to the laws of intestacy.

An executor will be appointed by the probate court. Fees will pile up. Taxes will be owed. And someone you have never even met will determine what happens to everything you have spent your life working for.  A properly drafted estate plan avoids all of this, carrying out your wishes at the time of your death, in accord with a plan you have created while you are alive and well.

 

Contact our team today to see how we can help you protect your family and preserve your legacy! 

Child Protection Planning 

A comprehensive estate plan for families with young children should always include a guardianship designation. Our team helps you carefully consider the selection of appropriate guardians for your children. 


In California, a guardian is someone other than a child’s parents who is given legal custody of the child when the parents are unable or unwilling to care for him or her due to:

  • Death;

  • Illness;

  • Incarceration;

  • Military duty abroad;

  • Profound financial issues;

  • Alcoholism;

  • Drug addiction;

  • Domestic violence;

  • Deportation; or

  • Any other circumstance that renders the parents unfit or unable to care for their children

Giving legal custody of a child to someone other than the child's parents is something the court weighs very heavily. We advise all of our clients with minor children to pay particular attention to making this guardianship designation. As part of your estate planning process we will help you arrive at this consequential determination.

Contact our team today to find out how we can serve you! 

Trust Administration

The formal process used to facilitate the orderly transfer of a deceased person’s assets after death. However, while the probate process involves court oversight throughout the process, trust administration does not.

Trust administration comes about as a by-product of the foresight the deceased person exhibited when she took the time while alive to create a trust to benefit her loved ones. A trustee is named in the trust creation document, and will be responsible for overseeing all of the trust administration process. This can include filing tax returns and taking care of tax issues, notifying interested parties of the deceased’s death and of the trust provisions, and taking formal steps necessary to transfer ownership of trust property to new owners.

Trust administration steps can vary depending upon the type of trust, as well as upon the instructions the deceased included as part of the trust document at creation.

Probate Litigation

Probate is the court-supervised administration of an estate. Probate litigation is necessary when a person dies without an estate plan or with an ineffective estate plan. 

If an estate is has a gross value over $150,000 a Will is insufficient to avoid probate. 

 

Our team assists you in the orderly unwinding of the deceased's estate under the probate process.

 

We also oversee the transfer of trust assets and handle estate litigation matters.