Estate Planning & probate
We provide a full range of legal services in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, and probate.
Our Attorneys have significant expertise in the preparation of estate planning documents, such as wills, revocable living trusts, and all of the multitude of trusts used for the transfer of wealth.
Living Trusts: Nowadays, it is generally recommended that a person set up a Living Trust, rather than a Will. A Living Trust is more cost effective because when a person passes away with a Will, which are subject to probate which often entails expensive attorney fees and court costs. Administering a Living Trust is generally more cost effective than administering a Probate. Probate is often time consuming because it involves the oversight of the court. A Living Trust can be administered without the oversight of the court, and thus, tends to move more rapidly.
Wills and Pour-Over Wills: Although you can circumvent Probate by having a Living Trust rather than a will, Pour-Over Will is highly recommended to be prepared along with your living Trust. This is to ensure that the assets which are inadvertently not transferred into the Trust during your lifetime, become part of the Trust’s assets when you pass away.
Power of Attorney: It is a good idea to have a Power of Attorney so that, in the event of incapacity, a loved one can make legal and financial decisions such as buying and selling Real Property, opening and closing Bank Accounts, transferring property into a trust or initiating or defending a lawsuit on your behalf.
Advanced Health Care Directive: Advanced Health Care Directives allow you to specify your wishes in critical situations. These wishes indicate in what situations, if any, would you like to be placed on life support or if you would like to be an organ donor. Additionally, you will appoint a loved one to be your representative to ensure that your wishes are carried out in these kinds of critical situations.
Probate: After a loved one passes away, the process of administrating an Estate entails providing proper notice to beneficiaries and creditors and, in the case of administering a Living Trust, transferring assets into the Trust that have not been transferred into the Trust through a Motion to Confirm Trust Assets, also known as as a Heggstad Petition. The administration of a Will is even more complicated than that of a Trust because a Will must go through the Probate Process and an Inventory and Accounting must be filed with the court.