Estate Planning


Having a properly prepared estate plan provides peace of mind that you have provided for your loved ones and beneficaries upon your death.   A complete estate plan also provides a means for the management of your property and care during your lifetime should you become incapacitated.  Our office will assist you in the creation and drafting of your estate plan, including the preparation of trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney for property management and advance health care directives.  


Estate and Trust Administration


When a person dies, steps must be taken to ensure the proper passage of their property to his/her beneficiaries or to the heirs at law.  This process is known as either estate administration or trust administration.


Estate administration, in some cases, requires court involvement, such as in the process known as probate.  In other cases, such as with joint tenancy property or with small estates, there are methods for transferring the property that do not require any court involvement.


Although you may have heard that having a trust means you can avoid probate through the court system, that does not mean that there is not still a formal administration process, outside of a court proceeding, which must be followed to properly distribute the decedent's assets.  This process is known as trust administration.

Our office is here to counsel and guide you through these administration processes, both in and out of court. 


Conservatorships


A probate conservatorship is a court proceeding where a judge appoints a responsible person (called a conservator) to care for another adult who cannot care for him/herself or his/her finances.   Conservatorships most commonly happen when a person become incapacitated and has failed to adequately plan for this incapacity through an estate plan.


We will counsel and guide you through the process of obtaining a probate conservatorship for a loved one and fulfilling your duties and responsibilities as Conservator, should you be appointed.


Special Needs Trusts


Special Needs Trusts are an essential tool to preserving benefit eligibility when a person receiving government benefits, unexepectedly receives an inheritance or windfall that could otherwise jeopardize his/her ability to continue collecting benefits.


Special Needs Trusts can also allow for families to leave property to take care of a loved one, who may be receiving government benefits, such as SSI or Medicaid/Medi-Cal, and provide him/her with the means to have a better quality of life, supplementing with services and benefits not provided through those government programs; all without causing that person to lose those important government benefits.