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 long-term care, Medi-Cal and asset preservation in the unfortunate event of physical or mental incapacity. We can build in the tools you and your family need to legally and practically preserve your wealth for future generations. We want you decide whether and how your resources are used for your long-term care needs, giving you the control now to plan for this future eventuality.
Trustee Fiduciary Duties
Payment of Taxes
A person who becomes a Trustee upon the passing of a loved one assumes a fiduciary responsibility to administer the terms of trust for the benefit of its beneficiaries. In California, a fiduciary is held to a high legal standard of duty.
We advise and counsel Trustees in carrying out the wide extent of responsibilities required to manage and administer a trust. We facilitate the Trustee’s necessary duties by coordinating with other professionals, including financial advisors, accountants and other trusted advisors. We assist in preparing inventories of trust assets and debts, payment of trust debts and taxes, preparing necessary transfer documents, preparing deeds to real properties and related property tax filings, notices to beneficiaries, trust accountings, re-coordination of non-trust assets such as IRA accounts and life insurance, and all other necessary post-administration procedures.
Spousal Property Petitions
Small Estate Affidavits
Not everyone successfully avoids Probate. Young families or elder clients may not get around to creating an estate plan. Some may prefer to simply execute a Will and not plan for Probate-avoidance. Others may have bought, sold or refinanced properties and their previously-executed estate plans become obsolete to their current properties. Even with a funded trust, executors later discover assets unknown to the decedent. In any of these cases, Probate will be required before the decedent’s property may be distributed to the heirs and beneficiaries.
Our firm represents Executors and Administrators, to guide them through the formal Probate process. We advise on the duties of management, record-keeping and reporting. We prepare and file all necessary court documents, publish requisite notices, appear at any hearings and obtain orders, assist in enforcing orders against the relevant financial institutions, record and prepare the transfer deeds and related property tax filings, and any and all duties required to administer the estate successfully through Probate.
Trust & Estate Litigation
Will & Trust Contests
Breach of Fiduciary Duties
An estate plan may be contested on several grounds including improperly executed documents, concerns of settlor's mental competence, alleged undue influence, or discovery of a second will.
From disputes between beneficiaries to concerns that the trust is being mismanaged, it is possible for any number of legal matters to arise, making it necessary to have the legal guidance and help of an attorney well-versed in trust litigation.