My approach to estate planning is to listen, explain, and discuss your needs and wishes in order to craft a plan tailored to meet circumstances. I will spend as much time as you need to untangle and deconstruct the legalese contained in the documents. A comprehensive estate plan will consist of a trust, will, durable power of attorney for finances, advance health care directive, certification of trust and assistance in transferring your assets into your trust. Most of my plans can be created at a reasonable flat rate.
A living trust is a relationship between the trustee and the trust beneficiaries. Administration of the trust generally entails sending out the necessary statutory notices, gathering the assets and distributing the assets according to the trust's terms. My practice advices and assists clients throughout the trust administration process. Trust administration may also be necessary where the person setting up the trust, generally referred to as the Settlor or Trustor, lacks capacity to act.
Having a will alone does not avoid Probate. However, having no will means that your estate will follow the default plan. My practice can assist you in creating a will that is customized to your needs. Additionally, my practice will advise and create a will wherein you can nominate a guardian for a minor child. Having a correctly prepared and signed will can alleviate the anxiety that a child may have to go into foster care.
Special Needs Trusts
A Special Needs Trust is created to ensure that beneficiaries who are disabled, physically or mentally, can enjoy the use of property which is intended to be held for their benefit without losing access to essential government benefits, such as Medi-Cal. My practice will establish Special Needs Trusts for parents or grandparents of a child with special needs. The trust will supplement public benefits in order to enrich a beneficiary's life without the fear that public benefits will be endangered. I additionally advise clients on how to administer the Special Needs Trust in the best interests of the beneficiary.
Probate is the administration of an estate where the decedent had or did not have a will and the value of the estate is above $150,000. My firm represents clients who need to act as the personal representative of the estate at court. I am also able to consult with a beneficiary of an estate to review, guide and advise them through the court process.
Durable Power of Attorney & Health Care Directives
A power of attorney for finances is there to assist your family when they need it most-in an emergency or when you are not able to act because of a lack of capacity caused for example through Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. They allow your agent to act on your behalf when you cannot. It allows your agent to pay bills, to monitor and access your finances as needed. An advance health care directive allows you to direct, among other things, whether you wish to remain on life support or not, whether you wish to donate your organs and how your remains are to be disposed of. I guide clients through the process of choosing agents and making difficult choices in this area of the law.