Estate Planning – Protecting Your Family, Estate, and Legacy
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is the process of preparing a plan to help you manage your estate while you are alive and for distributing your estate upon your death according to your wishes and in the most effective way possible. Your estate is comprised of all the assets you own, including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, retirement accounts, personal property, and others.
Why do I need an estate plan?
Without an estate plan, you will likely be subjected to the default “plan” the government has in place for all of us. Depending on the circumstances, whether incapacity or death, the default “plan” consists of long, time consuming, public, costly, and bureaucratic judicial processes known as conservatorship (upon incapacity) and probate (upon death).
While it may be difficult to imagine a future in which you are no longer able to personally care for your yourself or your family, life is unpredictable and some proactive planning can spare your loved ones a great deal of time, money, and frustration and can help ensure that your estate is distributed as you intend. Thus, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.
What estate planning services do you offer?
Our goal is to help protect you, your family, your estate, and your legacy, by creating a plan that will allow your estate to be distributed in the most efficient and inexpensive way to whom you choose and how you choose.
Our experienced estate planning attorneys will work directly with you to create a custom, comprehensive, efficient, and effective estate plan package for you that will consider all of the assets you own, allow you to manage your estate easily throughout your life, allow you to appoint individuals whom you trust to step in to manage your estate in times of need, provide for your needs, provide for the needs of your loved ones, honor your wishes, avoid living probate (conservatorship), avoid death probate, and minimize taxes.
Our estate planning services include:
- Drafting of revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts intended to avoid costly and time-consuming probate, minimize taxes, preserve wealth, ensure proper distribution of your estate, and provide for minor children.
- Preparation of last will and testament to accompany your trust.
- Preparation of critical supplemental documents such as a general transfer and assignment, nomination of guardians for minor children, certification of trust, and status of property agreement.
- Special needs trusts (SNT) intended to ensure that any disabled loved one who inherits from you is not disqualified from public benefits.
- Incapacity Planning: If you become incapacitated through an accident or health condition, a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) allows you to name someone to handle your financial affairs and an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) allows you to name someone to handle your health care and make medical decisions on your behalf consistent with your personal beliefs and wishes.
- Trust funding: Adding your valuable assets to your trust, including the preparation and recording of real property deeds to transfer your real estate to your trust.
- Disinheritance: Preventing specific individuals from inheriting your assets by intentionally disinheriting and excluding them from your estate.
- Substance abuse planning: Structuring of trusts to promote recovery and to support a beneficiary struggling with substance abuse and dependence, while simultaneously protecting trust assets by restricting a substance-dependent beneficiary from gaining immediate and complete access to trust assets.
- Review of your estate plan in the event of a change in circumstances.
- Revisions and changes to your estate plan through amendments and restatements.
- Gifting strategies.
Do you offer a complimentary estate planning consultation?
Yes! Estate planning is about more than just dividing your assets and checking off legal requirements. Life is an adventure full of changes, losses, and gains. We would like to be there with you for the journey and hope to get to know you with no pressure and no commitment required on your part. Therefore, we would be happy to discuss your specific estate planning needs and goals with you during a complimentary consultation.
CALL TODAY FOR A CONSULTATION
We are ready to assist you any time. Please call 650-389-9133 or email us to set up an appointment with one of our estate planning lawyers. We respond promptly and will call back as soon as possible if we miss your call. We work throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Alameda, and Sacramento counties. Our estate planning consultations are remote, so you can enjoy a virtual consultation from the comfort of your own home without having to come into our office. You are welcome to come to our office to execute your estate planning documents or, if you prefer, we would be happy to send documents directly to you for an out-of-office execution.
We speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Polish.