What happens if I don’t have a will?

If you are not married or in a registered domestic partnership, your assets will be distributed to your children or grandchildren, or other relatives. The State of California can be the beneficiary of your estate if you die without a will and you have no living relatives.

Does a will cover everything I own?

No, only those items titled in your name at the time of death.  Things such as life insurance, retirement plans, and community property are not affected by your will because the proceeds will go to the beneficiary or your spouse.

What kinds of wills are there?

A handwritten will, a statutory will or a will prepared by a lawyer to meet your specific needs.

What are the benefits of a living trust?

A living trust will ensure that your assets are managed according to your wishes.  The assets held in your living trust could be managed by a trustee you choose and distributed according to your directions without court supervision and involvement. This can save your heirs time and money.

What are the disadvantages of a living trust?

A trustee who does not act in your best interests may, in some cases, be able to take advantage of you and or your heirs.

How do a trust and a living trust differ?

In a living trust, the trust is put into effect while the creator is still alive and so becomes in essence the trustee and beneficiary.  In a traditional trust initiated by the will of a decedent, beneficiaries do not receive benefits until the creator has passed away.

What does a conservator do?

Arrange for the conservatee’s care and protection, decide where the conservatee will live, manage the conservatee’s finances, collect conservatee’s income, and make arrangements for the conservatee’s health, personal care and well-being.

What does a trustee do?

A trustee is the person chosen to be in charge of wrapping up the trust after the death of the person who created it. The person who chose you as trustee considered you trustworthy and responsible, someone who pays attention to detail and gets along with others.

What do I do when I have been appointed as a trustee?

You have the right to accept or deny the appointment.  You will be responsible for protecting the assets, communicating with the beneficiaries, managing the trust assets, and any other duties assigned to you.  When considering serving as a trustee, think about your relationship with the beneficiaries, your knowledge of the assets of the person who owns the trust, and if there are lawsuits pending.

Can I get a lawyer if I am a trustee?

Yes.  You can hire a trust administration attorney who can guide you during the process or an accountant to prepare the trust’s tax return.  You can use trust assets to pay for expert help.

How can I protect myself and my estate should I become incapacitated?

There are several options for ensuring your wishes are followed in the event that you are unable to make certain decisions due to illness or an accident, such as an Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD) or durable powers of attorney.

What business services do you offer?

We handle a variety of business legal services including LLC formation, articles of incorporation, partnership formation and others.