Alameda County is one of America’s most populous counties, with San Jose as the county seat and one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Alameda County is also in the heart of Silicon Valley, home to many of the world’s largest, most innovative companies. Life here is certainly busy, which makes it easy to forget to plan for the unthinkable. Estate planning is concerned with making sure you have something in place to provide a legacy for your loved ones after you pass. It also involves preparing for major life changes before they happen. At Loew Law Group, PLC, we work with clients to plan for the future and protect what matters most.
Estate Planning in Alameda County
For most of our clients, putting together your estate plan starts with your revocable living trust. You will give detailed instructions for how your successor trustee should handle your assets after you die. That includes how your property will be distributed to your heirs and how final debts and expenses will be handled. There’s no such thing as a one size fits all estate plan, so our Alameda county estate planning attorneys will draft a customized revocable living trust for you.
A revocable living trust is a legal instrument that can help avoid or minimize the hassle and costs of probate and estate taxes after you die. Our goal is to lighten the burden on your family after your passing, and trusts go a long way in helping accomplish that.
What happens if you suddenly become incapacitated? Who will make decisions about your finances, your healthcare, or your business? How will your mortgage and other bills get paid? As a comprehensive estate planning law firm, we help our clients anticipate and prepare for exigencies like these. We use a variety of tools to designate trusted individuals to carry out your personal, business, and financial obligations. These include the advance health care directive, durable power of attorney, and last will and testament.
Finally, we help family members care for older relatives who start to develop mental or physical limitations. Advanced age or a sudden, catastrophic accident can leave someone incapable of caring for themselves. In cases like these, we can discuss the possibility of a conservatorship to make sure your loved one is cared for.
Civil Litigation and Trust and Estate Disputes
Even the most well-crafted estate plan is not immune from being challenged in court. It’s often not enough for an estate planning firm to understand how to draft and execute legal instruments like wills. You need an experienced civil litigation attorney who can address disputes that arise.
You may either be a defendant or a plaintiff in a trust and estate civil litigation matter, depending on the circumstances. Either way, we can help. These are some common matters our firm handles:
- An executor or trustee may be accused of mismanaging the estate or trust assets, or of abusing his or her powers
- An interested party, such as a family member, may claim that someone else is inappropriately exercising influence over the testator or settlor
- An heir may believe that he or she was unfairly excluded from a will or trust
- A trustee may be accused of breaching his or her fiduciary duties
- An heir or beneficiary may believe that the trustee or executor is failing to interpret or carry out the decedent’s estate plan properly
Cases like these, and others, involve complicated areas of trust and estate law. No matter which side of the case you are on, having a skilled civil litigation attorney is essential. We may be able to use out of court methods such as mediation to resolve the lawsuit with less time and money. Our firm understands the strategies necessary to win and we will go to work to protect your rights and interests.
Being a trustee is no simple task, and there’s much more involved than simply following the instructions in the trust. A trustee wears many different hats and has to deal with numerous parties, such as beneficiaries and creditors. As a trustee, you have a fiduciary responsibility to act with the best interests of the trust and its beneficiaries in mind.
Failure to thoroughly understand your duties could result in a lawsuit against you by an unhappy beneficiary or another individual. Our firm can help you with the process of trust administration. This includes assistance with required notices, property appraisals, inventories, and trust accounting.
Trust administration requires experience with the California Probate Code. Our firm has practiced extensively in this area of law so we know the obligations imposed on trustees. We’re ready to work with you in administering the trust and successfully bringing it to a close.
Fighting Elder Abuse
Con artists, scammers, thieves, and even dishonest family members often prey upon the elderly. Civil complaints for elder abuse generally involve financial abuse. Common examples are telemarketing scams, identity theft, and email phishing. Elder abuse also includes manipulating an older individual so they alter a will or trust to improperly benefit someone.
Loew Law Group takes legal action to stop elder abuse, protect your family member, and give you peace of mind. No matter the form it takes, we don’t tolerate it. If you suspect elder abuse is happening, let us help put an end to it. If, on the other hand, you are wrongly accused of elder abuse, we step in to defend you.
Probate is a complex process that is required to settle most estates. Not only does probate take a long time, but it can also be expensive. When we draft estate plans, we structure them to avoid this step whenever possible. Where probate is necessary, however, we will assist the executor, administrator, or personal representative to carry out their obligations. That includes all steps from filing the petition to validate the will to distributing assets and closing the estate.
Contact Our Alameda County Probate, Trust and Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation Attorneys Today
Preparing an estate plan is one of the most important tasks you will do in your life. If you are a trustee, heir or beneficiary of a decedent’s estate or trust, you should also have the best advice and counsel you can find. You need a law firm that thoroughly understands this area of law and can devise solutions for handling the unexpected. You need the trusted attorneys of Loew Law Group. If you have a question about wills, trusts, or other estate issues, you can count on our experienced team. Call us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can serve you.