top of page

Estate Planning

Estate Plan Portfolio

  • Wills

  • Trusts

  • Powers of Attorney

  • Advanced Health Care Directives

  • Guardianships

  • Certification of Trust

  • Digital Assets

A comprehensive estate plan provides invaluable security for you and your family. Our plans are presented in a customized Estate Plan Portfolio, complete with a full plan to protect your estate from the time and expense of Probate, ensure that your beneficiary distributions reflect your current life circumstances, address any special considerations for second marriages and blended families, safeguard your children’s inheritance from creditors, and include any provisions for family business management succession.

Your Portfolio will also provide any real property deeds and documents to effectuate the transfers according to your new plan, as well as personalized instructions for coordinating your other assets including retirement accounts, life insurance and pension beneficiary designations.

Our plans also include our attorneys’ specialized expertise in planning for all types of family situations, including blended families, children with special needs or who may require assistance in managing their inheritance, and navigating through the challenges of long-term care. We can build in the tools you and your family need to legally and practically preserve your wealth for future generations. 

Whether considering an estate plan for the first time, or if you have an existing plan that requires updating, we draw upon years of experience and hundreds of unique plans to help find the right solution for you.

Living Trust

  • Trustees 

  • Distributions

  • Legacy Trusts

  • Specific Gifts 

  • Trust Protectors
  • Property Tax Planning

​Your Living Trust is the foundation of your estate plan. A properly funded trust is the key to avoiding Probate. Also called a revocable trust, family trust, or simply a trust, this document functions to direct the distribution of your assets upon your death. With our attorneys' guidance, you will direct both whom you wish to inherit your property, and the manner in which they will inherit. You will appoint one or more Trustees to administer and manage your trust upon your death, incapacity, or inability to serve. 

For those with young children, your Living Trust ensures they do not inherit at too young of an age, bearing in mind that the default age would be 18. For those with beneficiaries who may need additional assistance regardless of their age, we will discuss solutions to protect the inheritance from creditors, divorce, and other influences, as well as potential supplemental needs trusts.

For married couples, we will discuss how the trust functions upon the death of the first spouse. We will weigh simplicity versus protection in the event of remarriage, and how estate taxes impact these decisions. We will consult with our firm's family law attorneys to determine property characterization, and whether to preserve or change status as community property or the separate property of one spouse.

Pour-Over Will

  • Executors

  • Probate Avoidance

  • Beneficiary Designations

  • Pay-on-Death Arrangements

  • IRAs, 401Ks

  • Retirement Plans

A Will alone itself does not avoid Probate in California.  The Living Trust serves this purpose.  Your Will simply leaves any property that remains in your individual name at death to your Living Trust. For this reason, it is commonly known as a Pour-Over Will, in that it "pours-over" the remaining property into the trust. Your Will functions as a safety net to ensure that your Living Trust ultimately controls all of your assets at death.

In a well designed estate plan, your Will should not have a primary role. The goal is to avoid probate altogether by transferring assets to your Living Trust during your life. We will guide you in conjunction with your various beneficiary designations and pay-on-death accounts, and help you better understand the different components of your estate, mindful that not every asset can or should be transferred into your Living Trust while alive.  

You appoint one or more Executors to manage affairs under your Will. The designees you select as successor trustees of your Living Trust are usually good choices for executors.

Powers of Attorney

  • Financial Agents

  • Attorneys-in-Fact
  • Incapacity Planning
  • Avoid Conservatorship 
  • Uniform Statutory Form Power of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney

Powers of Attorney designate one or more financial Agents to act for you if you become incapacitated, or in some cases under an immediate authority for purposes of having additional assistance and convenience in managing your affairs. The basic purpose of this document is to give your agent the ability to act in your stead and keep your household afloat

These are actions which you can take only as an individual, such as accessing personal bank accounts, managing retirement accounts, dealing with various insurance companies, or simply paying bills. While a Trustee manages those assets that become titled in your Living Trust, your financial Agent (also called your Attorney-in-Fact) manages everything else. Our attorneys will help you understand these distinctions and how your Power of Attorney package fits into your overall estate plan.

Powers of Attorney avoid Conservatorship. Without an exhaustive and well-drafted Power of Attorney, your loved ones may have to endure burdensome and expensive court proceedings to appoint a conservator to manage your own financial affairs. Conservatorships can last decades, often making them more expensive and emotionally draining than Probate itself. Powers of Attorney are vital to realize the full cost-saving benefits of an estate plan.   

Advance Health Care Directives

  • Health Care Agents

  • DNR Wishes

  • HIPAA Authorizations


  • Supported Decision Making Agreements

Your Advance Health Care Directive authorizes one or more agents to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make these decisions yourself. You express your wishes regarding end-of-life, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) directives, hospice and palliative care, pain management, organ donation, and other difficult decisions your loved ones may be asked to make on your behalf. Importantly, you clarify which persons will have the final authority, preventing both infighting and any unwanted parties asserting themselves into your personal medical care.  

Our suite of health care documents includes solutions for providing essential information about who should be immediately contacted in the event first responders or others find you unresponsive; integrate any Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms as desired; and contain a federally-compliant Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information, required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), allowing your identified agents to obtain protected health information to make informed decisions about your care and pay your medical bills.


  • Guardian Nominees

  • Minor Children

  • Adult Disabled Children

Who would raise and care for your children is as important a decision as you will make for your growing family. In the event both parents are unable to exercise their custodial rights, the court will generally defer to your choice of a guardian. This applies both to any minor children (who need a guardian) or any adult but disabled children (who need a conservator). It is therefore essential that you make your wishes known in writing, which we identify as a Declaration of Nomination of Guardian and Conservator for Children.

This document makes your nominations easily identifiable, provides additional instructions specific to your appointments, and provides the necessary context to support your decisions when your voice matters most. We address desired conditions and stipulations, temporary guardians when non-U.S. persons may be your first choice, geographical preference, and more.

As part of your Estate Plan Portfolio, our attorneys will also coordinate the guardianship with the Living Trust, envisioning how best to streamline or diversify the trustee's financial oversight role with the household needs of the guardian. Careful consideration must go into these decisions to foster a stable and loving environment for your children and cause the least amount of disruption to their lives as may be possible under the circumstances.

bottom of page