Our estate planning practice covers a broad variety of vehicles to assist our clients in settling their estate in the most cost effective and efficient manner. This includes not only wills, but every kind of trust, both revocable and irrevocable. Our clients are increasingly looking at trusts to avoid the burden of probate costs on their family and to achieve maximum tax savings. We prepare trusts for our clients ranging from the simplest of plans to the most complex. This includes family trusts with multiple sub trusts for maximum protection of the estate from taxes. Other plans, including irrevocable trusts, life insurance trusts, and family limited partnerships, are also available.
In addition to addressing the disposition of property, our clients have to plan for their own incapacity. This includes the preparation of powers of attorney, as well as healthcare and personal care directives.
With respect to probate matters, we handle all aspects of a probate proceeding from beginning to end, regardless of its complexity. We practice before the courts of all Bay Area counties. We represent not only executors and personal representatives in their administration of probate estates, but also heirs and beneficiaries with respect to their rights to the estate. We prepare all necessary estate tax returns required for an estate. The practice frequently involves the further litigation of matters before the probate court. This may include representing the estate in its pursuit of the decedent’s property rights or defending the estate against claims of creditors or beneficiaries. It also involves contesting questionable estate documents or otherwise pursuing a beneficiary’s right to an interest in the estate.
Trust Administration takes place outside the jurisdiction of the court but can be no less complex. We assist the client with all issues that arise during this process, including the transfer of title, allocation of assets into tax exempt sub trusts, preparation of estate tax returns, and any litigation that might arise with respect to rights to the trust estate. As more and more of our clients execute trusts, these matters become increasingly important.
Overall, every effort is made to carry out our clients’ intentions as completely and efficiently as possible, and with the least reliance upon the courts.