How To Get Started With Estate Planning

Why do I need a will or living trust?

If you do not have a will or living trust the courts and the State of California will determine what happens to whatever you owned at your death. Your relatives and friends who are left with addressing your affairs will have no direction to follow. Lack of direction sometimes creates confusion and chaos for those trying to address your end of life issues.

Do I need a living trust?

A living trust allows you to give your property (including your house, money accounts and personal items of sentimental or great value) to people you want, without the requirement of public court proceedings and court administration cost (Probate). A will alone does not avoid Probate proceedings if your assets, including your house, are worth more than $150,000, or if your house alone is worth more than $50,000.

What do I need to know before I talk to my attorney?

You should consider the following:
1. Who do you want to raise your minor children in your absence?
2. What is the approximate value of your assets, including any real property?
3. Who do you want to be in charge of your property and the distribution to the persons you have indicated?
4. How and subject to what restrictions and limitations do you want your property held in trust for the beneficiaries?

How can my attorney help me with structuring my will and trust if I have little knowledge about wills or trusts?

As your attorney, I have the experience with listening to people and explaining legal requirements to you and what your options are in plain easily understandable terms. I can assist you with determining how complex your will and trust need to be to give you maximum protection, and I can also address all your concerns about possible conflicts which might occur after your death.

What do I need to bring to my first attorney appointment?

My local neighborhood legal practice allows me to schedule the first appointment at your home. You do not have to bring anything.

What is the amount of attorney fees for the will and living trust?

After a free telephone consultation about your needs and requirements I will give you the amount of my attorney fee prior to making the first appointment with you. My attorney fees are reasonable.