In California if you die without a will or a trust your assets may pass by the rules of intestate succession provided for in the California Probate Code. If you want to specify who will (or will not) inherit your property after you die, you will need either a will or a trust. If you have a small estate a simple will may perfectly suit your needs. If you have a more significant estate – that is if you own real estate or have assets that exceed $150,000.00 – then you should consider preparing a trust. Wills also are the instrument wherein you would designate who will be in charge after your death e.g. the executor, and, if needed who will be the guardian of your minor children. This office can assist you in determining what kind of estate plan you need and of course, draft the appropriate documents.
Every adult needs the following four documents:
Our office prepares all types of Trusts. The most common type of trust prepared in California is a revocable living trust. It is specifically designed to enable your estate to be distributed without a probate. Generally, probate proceedings are costly, lengthy and public and, if at all possible, should be avoided. Trusts avoid probate by having all of the assets that would cause a probate to be vested in the trust and not in the decedent’s individual name. For the most part the creators of these types of trusts remain in charge because they are the Trustees (i.e. the managers) and are the ones who get to enjoy the trust’s property (i.e. the beneficiaries).
Trusts can be used for many purposes other than probate avoidance. For example, if you have minor children it can make sure their inheritance is properly managed until they can handle their own affairs. A Trust can be written to give a beneficiary use for life of a particular asset and then provide that it will pass on to another beneficiary. Or a trust can be used to manage an adult beneficiary’s inheritance if they can not manage it for themselves (for whatever reason). Finally, if a child is receiving public assistance and coming into an inheritance would disqualify them from receiving those benefits, a “Special Needs Trust” can be created.
Our office assists small businesses in dealing with any legal issue that they come across including pursuing or defending against a lawsuit in a wide variety of situation, and preparing transactional documents including buy/sell agreements, security agreements, contracts and licensing agreements, commercial leases, an much more.
Additionally, our office can assist clients in deciding what business form (corporation, LLC or partnership) they should operate their business in, and of course, prepare the documentation necessary to form the entity that they select. Usually, this type of task is undertaken on a flat fee basis.
Finally, our office is available for consultation respecting the legal aspects of a proposed investment a client might be contemplating making. This service is rendered on an hourly basis.
Our office has experience with all types of legal issues that arise in our rural county regarding real estate matters including purchase and sale issues, boundary line disputes, co-tenants’ rights, prescriptive easements, rights and obligations that arise out of express easements, title questions, and landlord’s rights and duties and can provide advice and representation in litigation for clients for these matters.
Additionally our office prepares and reviews transactional documents including purchase agreements, easements, road association agreements, tenants in common agreements, leases, options, and organizational documents needed to structure development (i.e. LLCs and Partnership agreements).
Our office handles a wide variety of civil litigation matters ranging from real estate or business disputes to landlord-tenant issues (Unlawful Detainers). Give us a call to discuss a litigation strategy that is tailored to your circumstances and needs.