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Home > Estate Planning

 

Estate Planning


Wills and trusts do NOT have to be complicated. Most of us also lead fairly uncomplicated lives, have a residence, some savings or stock funds for retirement, the usual collection of personal property, and possibly a small family business, income property or a vacation home. Estate planning simply means taking the time to have appropriate documents prepared in advance of your death. In combination, the goals of executing these documents include:

  1. protecting your family’s welfare,
  2. insuring those you want to have your property receive it,
  3. avoiding the time-consuming probate process (triggered if your estate is worth more than $100,000 and costing about 2-4% of the value of your assets), and
  4. taking advantage of available tax exemptions.

The firm provides estate planning documents tailored to your specific needs and preferences.


Wills and Trusts

  • Simple wills (If you die without a will, the “intestate” laws of California, NOT you, decide who receives your assets; execution of a valid will lets YOU decide.)
  • Pour-over wills (to accompany your Revocable Trust to help assure all of your assets are included in the trust, even if you acquire them after you create the trust)
  • Trusts for unmarried, married, registered domestic partners, divorced or widowed clients, with or without children  
  • Guidance choosing successor trustees and executors
  • Help identifying who to name as your beneficiaries
  • Charitable gift provisions
  • Guidance on no-contest provisions (if you think someone might contest your choices about who will receive your assets)
  • Choosing the appropriate disclaimer, by-pass, Q-TIP (“qualified terminable interest property”) or other options
  • Options for gifts to children or others during your lifetime
  • Pet care provisions
  • Special needs trusts

Powers of Attorney

  • General and specific Powers of Attorney
  • Advance Directive for Healthcare Decisions (HIPAA-compliant regarding release of medical information to your appointed agent)

Related Services

  • Detailed trust funding instructions
  • Deed transfer assistance
  • Notice to banks or brokers or others of transfer of title to trust
  • Declaration of Trust
  • Certificate of Trust
  • Assignment of Personal Property
  • Burial Instructions