FAQ

What happens if I never establish an Estate Plan?

Doing nothing is not a good plan. We like to tell our clients, if you don’t have a plan, the state of California has a much more expensive and time consuming plan for you. This is called Probate. During the probate process, the Court will make all two very important decisions: 1) who inherits your assets, and 2) who will obtain guardianship of your minor children’s estate and person.

 

Why is the Probate Process considered to be so bad?

Over the years we have identified three main complaints people tend to have about Probate:

  1. The Probate Process is Timely– California’s budget problems have affected the state’s court system. This has created a backlog in the Probate Courts, which has led to Probate matters taking 18-24 months to resolve.
  2. The Probate Process is Expensive– Here are the current statutory probate fee rates:
  • 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate.
  • 3% of the next $100,000.
  • 2% of the next $800,000.
  • 1% of the next $9 million.
  • .5% of the next $15 million.
  1. The Probate Process is Public– Because the Court’s require certain notices, the publishing of personal information becomes part of public record. Many people seek to avoid Probate to maintain confidentiality and privacy over their personal and financial affairs.

 

Why Should I establish a Living Trust?

A Living Trust can provide you and your family with many benefits. First, you will be able to avoid the Probate Court Process, allowing your loved ones to save money, time and avoid the headaches associated with the Probate Process. Second, and just as important, you will be able to establish clear directives as to who will receive your assets. Third, a Living Trust may also help you and your family minimize or eliminate estate taxes.

What Areas Does Your Law Firm Serve?

I am licensed and able to practice all throughout the state of California, and we are happy to have represented clients throughout the State. We are focused on young families, and are able to accommodate scheduling and geographical conflicts by utilizing phone conferences, Skype video and other accommodations to ensure we are able to provide a personal and comfortable experience for our clients who cannot make it to our office.

How does your fee structure work?

Our office attempts to be clear and forthcoming about our fees. In our opinion, hourly fees for the creation of estate planning are not necessary and usually end up being very expensive for the client. Therefore, we offer flat-fee pricing on our estate plans. We also offer a free consultation, as well as free phone calls with me for all clients, both during the creation process and after. We know how to offer value, and that is reflected in our client’s satisfaction with their experience.

 

What does the process look like when working with you?

We attempt to make the process as comfortable as possible. Here is the timeline of events for our process, which generally takes 3-4 weeks to complete, but can be expedited when necessary.

Step One: Initial Design Consultation

Step Two: Drafting of Documents

Step Three: Review of Documents

Step Four: Signing Ceremony

Step Five: Funding Your Trust

Our office is happy to walk you step by step through the process, sitting down with you in person or speaking to you on the phone, to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.


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