As with most other places in the Bay Area, you can expect a Mediterranean-style climate in Redwood City. The city is also home to global technology giants and generally offers an upscale quality of living to its citizens. For these and other reasons, people who move to Redwood City often put down roots and raise families. One of the most important steps you can take to secure your family’s future is to create a carefully executed estate plan that will prepare you and them for life’s unexpected changes. The attorneys of Loew Law Group, PLC, are ready to help. We also serve clients who have probate and civil litigation needs.
The Value Of An Estate Plan In Redwood City, California
Estate planning isn’t just for the elderly or infirm. Tragedy and other unexpected circumstances can strike at any moment. Without an estate plan in place, you may leave your family with unsettled debts and expenses. If you own a business that you suddenly can’t work, you’ll have no control over who takes over without an estate plan. There’s also a good chance that if you die without a plan your surviving family members will fight over the property in your estate.
For these reasons and more, estate planning is an invaluable and relatively simple tool that can save you and your family heartache and stress down the road.
A comprehensive estate plan begins with the last will and testament. This is an instrument that instructs an individual, known as the executor, how to distribute your assets and pay off your final debts.
You should also ask an estate planning attorney about creating a trust. Most people incorrectly believe that only the wealthy can benefit from trusts. But people of all incomes use trusts to manage their property, provide financial support for their families, and minimize estate taxes. A trust can also help avoid probate, a lengthy and expensive process required to settle many estates.
Additional instruments you should consider are a durable power of attorney and advance medical directive. Together, these documents help determine what happens if you suddenly become sick or hospitalized and cannot make decisions for yourself. You can use these documents to name trusted people who will manage your financial, medical, and other personal matters if you cannot.
Caring For Your Business And Loved Ones
The importance of sound estate planning extends beyond individuals and their immediate families. If you have a relative who has begun to show signs of mental or physical limitations, you may be concerned whether he or she can care for themselves. A conservatorship can be implemented to protect a loved one who has become vulnerable due to old age, injury, or disease.
Finally, if you own a family business, it’s important to ask an estate planning lawyer about a business succession plan. Think of this as an estate plan for your company. You can develop a plan to make sure the right individuals take over the family business if you pass away or otherwise become incapacitated.
Redwood City Trust And Estate Civil Litigation Attorneys
Even the most carefully drafted estate plan can become the subject of a court challenge. A family member may believe he or she was wrongly left out of a will. Or a beneficiary could be unhappy with the way a trustee is managing an estate. Executors may find themselves being sued for allegedly violating their fiduciary duties. These are just a few examples of when you might need a civil litigation attorney who handles trust and estate issues.
Our law firm represents plaintiffs and defendants in such matters as:
- Allegations of undue influence concerning a will or trust
- Claims that someone was wrongfully denied an inheritance
- Executor and trustee misappropriation of estate and trust assets
- Breach of fiduciary duties
Where possible, we attempt to resolve these and other legal disputes using mediation and other out-of-court methods. But if necessary we will take your case to court and defend your best interests.
Helping Trustees Administer Trusts
If you were named as a trustee, you may be uncertain what your responsibilities are. Because the law considers you a fiduciary, there are certain obligations imposed upon you. For instance, you must put the interests of beneficiaries above your own and avoid self-dealing.
Trust administration can be complicated, and it’s easy to accidentally violate your fiduciary duties. You could be held liable without even understanding what you did wrong. Your best bet is to avoid this by retaining a trust administration attorney. Our firm can review the terms of the trust and help you administer it properly.
No Tolerance For Elder Abuse
Our extensive estate planning practice has exposed us to the unfortunate reality of elder abuse. It is often financial, coming in the form of telemarketing scams, email phishing, identity theft, and more. Even worse, the perpetrators of elder abuse are often family members seeking to exploit a vulnerable relative.
There is no excuse for elder abuse, and our firm does not tolerate it. We use various legal tools to put an end to it so your loved one is protected and respected, not exploited. Ask about how we can help.
Probate And Beyond
Many estates must be submitted to probate, although we work to avoid this process where possible. Probate can be time-consuming and costly because of various necessary legal steps required by the California Probate Code. But you can count on our law firm’s experience. If you’re an executor, administrator, or personal representative, let us help make probate as painless as possible so the estate can be closed.
Contact Our Redwood City Trust and Estate Planning, Probate, and Civil Litigation Attorney
Loew Law Group, PLC is dedicated to serving the specific needs of our clients. Our practice is focused only on trusts, estates, and legal matters that concern them. That means when you retain us, you have dedicated legal counsel looking out for you and your family. Call today to find out how we can serve you.