Over a million people have made their homes in Contra Costa County. Numerous parks, trails, and other recreational areas make it a wonderful place to build your future. Part of that future should include comprehensive estate planning in Contra Costa, which is where Loew Law Group, PLC, can help.
If you have questions about estate planning in Contra Costa, caring for an elderly relative, or litigation over a will or trust, you can count on our firm. We cover all issues involving estates and probate, and we’re ready to go to work for you and your family.
Wills, Trusts, And Estate Planning in Contra Costa County
A last will and testament may allow you to decide what happens to your estate after you die. But the will is often just the first part of your estate planning. For many individuals, a revocable living trust offers substantial benefits by avoiding probate and minimizing estate taxes. These legal instruments also make it easier for your family after you’ve passed.
A revocable living trust can determine who will inherit your property, whether they will receive it outright or in a trust fund, and how debts and other expenses will be paid. Your estate is unlike anyone else’s, which is why you need a personalized approach to drafting and executing your will and trust documents.
Far too many people give little thought to what would happen if they suddenly became incapacitated. Without a plan in place, your mortgage and other bills might not get paid. Your business could stagnate without someone in charge, and decisions about your health might be made that are contrary to your wishes. Our firm understands how important it is to anticipate emergencies that render you unable to make decisions. We can draft a variety of legal instruments so you can designate someone to take care of your personal, business, and financial responsibilities for you.
A catastrophic accident, or simply old age, can also affect a loved one. Incidents like these may leave someone unable to provide for themselves. If you have a relative who has begun to develop physical or mental limitations, we can help. A conservatorship may be the answer you need to take care of your family member.
Litigation Involving Wills And Trusts
Loew Law Group drafts legal instruments designed to carry out your wishes effectively. But even the best estate plan is not immune from legal challenges, including frivolous ones. Civil litigation involving wills and trusts arises in several manners. Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, you need a skilled attorney who is ready to fight for you.
Our firm has handled many different civil litigation matters that arise over wills and trusts. They include:
- Allegations that an executor has abused his or her powers or improperly managed the estate
- Charges of undue influence designed to improperly alter a will or trust
- An heir who believes he or she was wrongfully left out of a will
- Claims that a trustee has breached his or her fiduciary responsibilities
These and other cases invoke complicated questions of law involving trusts, estates, probate, and more. We know how stressful litigation can be, so we work hard to resolve cases expeditiously and for the benefit of our clients. We also use mediation and other out of court methods where appropriate, which can successfully settle the lawsuit with less time, money, and anxiety. Let our experienced litigators help protect and advocate for you in court.
Help Administering A Trust
If you’ve been named a trustee, you’re probably unsure what your responsibilities are. You can’t carry out those responsibilities just by reading the trust. The trustee has to balance the needs of beneficiaries, creditors, and other parties. But first and foremost, you owe the trust a fiduciary duty to act in its best interests. What exactly does this mean?
Litigation issues often arise because a beneficiary alleges that the trustee has somehow harmed the trust. That’s why we’re here to assist with trust administration. We understand the California Probate Code and have successfully administered many trusts. Our firm can help with property appraisals, trust accounting, inventories, and much more. Let us take the burden off you so your obligations will be fulfilled and the trust can be closed.
Stopping Elder Abuse
If you have an older relative or friend who is being abused, we can fight to put an end to it. Elder abuse comes in many different forms but is often financial in nature. Financial elder abuse includes things like identity theft, telemarketing or email scams, or family members or caregivers taking advantage of someone with diminished capacity. Coercing a relative to alter their will to wrongfully benefit someone is another example of elder abuse.
While there are sometimes criminal penalties for this behavior, you may often need civil litigation to return any stolen or misused money or property.
Help With Probate
Many estates have to go through probate before they can be settled. This is an expensive and often lengthy process. We work closely with our estate planning clients to find strategies for avoiding probate. But we understand this isn’t always possible. If probate is necessary, we will help the executor, administrator, or personal representative do what the law requires of them. We cover all steps, from validating the will to closing the estate and distributing assets.
Contact Our Contra Costa Probate, Trust and Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation Attorney Today
Life doesn’t always go as planned, but an estate plan can help you prepare. If you’re dealing with any kind of will, trust, or probate issue, Loew Law Group is here for you. We have the experience it takes to tackle estate planning and civil litigation challenges. Reach out to us today to schedule your consultation.