At Pickard Law Firm, we offer our clients a wide range of legal services. These include:
When someone passes without leaving a living trust to pass their estate to their heirs, the property must be probated in the court. It is the legal process that must be followed to transfer the estate on to the heirs.
Probate requires filing and processing relatively complex petitions and other documents with the court. It also needs you to notify current and potential creditors of the estate and do other administrative tasks.
It is a time-consuming and somewhat specialized process. That is why it is important to have the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney to help you.
It is a requirement to follow specific rules and guidelines when administering an estate or living trust. We work with trustees, executors, and representatives of an estate, making sure that they follow these rules and do not breach their fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of an estate or living trust.
Your beneficiaries and the person you choose to handle the job of administering your property will most likely need help with the necessary estate administration duties. These include gathering the assets of the estate, paying any debts owed, distributing the assets, and preparation of any required accounting and tax returns.
A living trust ensures that your property is distributed to your beneficiaries without the complication and costs of court and probate after you pass away. It is also referred to as a revocable living trust.
It is a very flexible device that allows you to retain full control over your property. In addition, it gives you the option to make any changes to your planned estate distribution during your lifetime.
The living trust is typically used instead of a will. It is a legal document that includes instructions setting forth how you want to leave your assets while making sure they are managed according to your wishes upon your death or capacity.
You may not need a living trust. However, you should have at least a will. Without this, the State of California will decide who inherits your property and money.
Even if you have a living trust, you should have a pour-over will. This will place any property that is not in your living trust at the time of your death. It will be delivered free of probate to your heirs.
Powers of Attorney
If you become incapacitated, a lasting power of attorney for legal, financial, and property matters allows you to designate an agent (referred to as attorney-in-fact) to manage your personal affairs. It can be effective immediately or only upon the declaration of a doctor that you are unable to manage your own businesses.
Health Care Directives
This gives instructions specifying what actions you want to take for your health care and end-of-life decisions for yourself. It also designates an agent to make medical judgments for you in the event that you cannot make them for yourself.