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Estate Planning / Living Trust

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Estate Planning in California

Estate Planning

Your Estate Plan: Most people do not give much thought to the end of their lives. Even more people do not think about what happens after the end of their lives. The difficult truth is that, generally speaking, if you pass away without a plan, whether it be a will or trust or combination of both, the Probate Courts and your loved ones will be responsible for dividing up and giving away everything you own. The burdens of the probate process are many including resolution time frames of up to two years, significant costs and fees, in-court appearances, etc. which all occur during the difficult grieving process. Furthermore, the potential for conflict among your loved ones is always greater than any of us hope to imagine.

We can help you avoid many of these unnecessary difficulties by creating an Estate Plan specific to your needs, created with the protection of your loved ones in mind. With our Standard Estate Plans you will appoint guardianships for minor children, have the paperwork necessary to avoid the Probate Courts, name your beneficiaries, the gifts they receive and any contingencies, maintain complete control over your property, have potential for tax benefits by using Disclaimer Trusts, and much more. Please see the following pages for more details.

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Standard Estate Plan Documents Include

Estate Planning »  Introduction To Your Estate Plan
»  Certification of Trust
»  Revocable Living Trust
»  Last Will and Testament / Pour Over Will
»  Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
»  Advance Health Care Directive
»  Transfer Documents for Two Major Assets *
»  Instructions for Grantor and Trustee

* Examples include: Two Grant Deeds for Property, One Grant Deed and One Stock Transfer Assignment, One Grant Deed and One Intellectual Property Assignment, One Grant Deed and One Amendment to an LLC Operating Agreement, etc.

Talk to us about our non-standard Estate Plans including Irrevocable Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Life Insurance Trusts, QTIP, QDOT, or Disclaimer Trusts. We are also available for Disclaimer Trust consultations.

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Transfer of Small Estates without Probate

Currently, in California, if your entire estate, the value of everything you own, is worth less than $150,000 (as of 2012), then there is no need to go through the entire probate process. If this applies to you, or you do not own property in California, talk to us about our Small Estate Plans. Our Small Estate Plans will make sure you have guardianship appointments for minor children, beneficiary designations, durable powers of attorney, and health care directives defined, all for a reduced flat fee.

> Small Estate Plans

Living Trust and Last Will & Testament Amendments

Estate PlanningIf you have already created an Estate Plan with a Revocable Living Trust, and it has been years since you last updated your trust, it may be time to officially amend your trust. Most Revocable Living Trusts drafted in California contain requirements for valid amendments, such as the date, signatures of the Grantor(s) and/or Trustee(s), and sometimes notarization of the Amendment document.

»  If you have sold property that is still named in your trust
»  If you have any property outside of your trust that you would like to put into your trust
»  If you would like to change your current beneficiary designations
»  If there are any other amendments you would like to make, big or small

Our offices can prepare and notarize all documents, complete any transfers of property including county recordings, intellectual property assignments filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, stock certificate and account assignments, Limited Liability Company Operating Agreement Amendments, etc. and provide you with the peace of mind of making sure that your assets are protected.

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