Located in San Mateo County, Hillsborough is notorious for its hilly and winding landscape. The town’s geography, therefore, makes it famously challenging to navigate. Planning for the future can be challenging too, without the right attorney in your corner. Loew Law Group, PLC is here for you. We help clients in Hillsborough and surrounding areas with their probate, estate planning, and civil litigation matters.
Start With Comprehensive Estate Planning in Hillsborough, California
It’s impossible to anticipate all the difficulties that life will bring. You could pass away and leave unsettled debts, or become unable to work or make decisions for yourself. Preparing yourself and your family for the unexpected begins with careful estate planning. And the first step is the last will and testament. This important instrument directs who will inherit your property and pay your final expenses after you die. A knowledgeable attorney can draft and help you properly execute your will.
Next, talk to your attorney about a trust. Not just for the rich, trusts can be used to manage complex assets and provide support for your loved ones. A trust can also minimize estate taxes and avoid the expensive probate process. Ask your lawyer about revocable and irrevocable trusts and how they can serve your objectives.
If you suddenly die or become incapacitated, who will take over your family business? You want to make sure it’s being run by the right people if something happens to you. A business succession plan is the answer. Think of a business succession plan as an estate plan for your company.
A major concern people have is who will make their health and financial decisions if they’re suddenly hospitalized and can’t decide for themselves. This is where three additional instruments will prove invaluable: a living will, durable power of attorney, and advance medical directive. Together, these documents can designate trusted individuals to take care of your medical, financial, and personal matters if you are unable to.
Finally, you may have worries about a relative who has started showing signs of mental or physical disability. Old age, injury, disease, and other ailments can impose serious limitations. It may be time to consider the advantages of a conservatorship and how it can help your loved one.
Civil Litigation Attorneys
Even the most well-drafted wills, trusts, and other estate documents can’t absolutely prevent a legal challenge. A family member who feels they were wrongly left out of a will may believe he or she has a cause of action. Meanwhile, beneficiaries who don’t like what a trustee or executor is doing could decide to file a lawsuit. Civil litigation over estate planning happens frequently. If it happens to you, you’ll need dedicated legal representation.
Whether you’re the plaintiff or the defendant, our firm can represent you. These are just a few of the claims that we litigate:
- Allegations that someone unduly influenced the terms of a will or trust
- Problems involving executor mismanagement or misuse of estate or trust assets
- Charges that a fiduciary has breached his or her duties
- Concerns over being wrongfully denied an inheritance
You might unexpectedly find yourself on the receiving end of these and other allegations. Or, you may need to make them yourself to protect your rights. Either way, you need legal counsel that is experienced in handling civil litigation claims. Our team works to resolve lawsuits as expeditiously as possible, sometimes through mediation and other out-of-court negotiations. Where necessary, however, we will go to court and fight for you.
Helping You Administer A Trust
If you’ve been named a trustee, you understand how important it is to properly manage trust assets. You also know the risks of failing to administer the trust with the utmost care. As a trustee, you are considered a fiduciary, which means the law imposes certain obligations upon you. For instance, trustees are expected to put the interests of beneficiaries above their own and keep accurate and detailed records.
Even an honest mistake can land a trustee in a world of legal trouble. That’s why you can depend upon our trust administration practice. We will review the trust, explain your obligations under the law, and help you administer and close the trust in accordance with your fiduciary duties.
Putting A Stop To Elder Abuse
Scammers are always coming up with new ways to take advantage of the elderly. Telemarketing fraud, email phishing, and identity theft are just a few examples. Tragically, in many of these cases, the abuse comes from family members looking to rip off a relative who may not be savvy enough to protect themselves.
We’re here to put an end to elder abuse by taking legal action against those who perpetrate it. If you suspect an older loved one is being victimized, reach out to us.
Probate Attorneys in Hillsborough, California
With many estate plans, there are ways to avoid the time-consuming and costly process known as probate. However, this cannot always be done. If probate is necessary, Loew Law Group can help. Whether you’re an executor, administrator, or personal representative, let us work with you through probate. We’ve got the experience it takes to handle estates large and small.
Is An Affidavit Of Heirs Required In Probate?
In California, an affidavit of heirs may be required during probate to formally identify the decedent’s legal heirs. An affidavit of heirs identifies:
- The names and addresses of the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, and anyone else who may be an intestate heir.
- Whether the decedent had a will or died intestate (without a will).
- A statement that the affiant has exercised reasonable diligence in determining the above information.
The affidavit must be signed under penalty of perjury by someone with personal knowledge of the decedent’s family situation. This is often the executor filing for probate or an heir to the estate.
The affidavit allows the court to verify that all potential beneficiaries have been properly notified before assets are distributed. It may be required even if there is a will to confirm the provided information.
Is An Attorney Required For Probate In California?
No, hiring an attorney is not legally required to probate an estate in California. Executors have the option of representing themselves in probate court if they wish.
However, probate law can be extremely complex. There are many procedures, legal filings, and strict deadlines that must be met or you may lose rights to the estate. An experienced probate attorney can handle all aspects of navigating court procedures and ensure everything is done properly.
Although attorneys charge legal fees, they can often save estates money in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes. They also take the burden off family members already grieving.
While do-it-yourself probate is technically an option, most executors and family members opt to hire a probate lawyer for assistance during this difficult process. A consultation with an attorney can help weigh the pros and cons.
Contact Our Hillsborough Probate, Trust and Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation Attorney
If you’ve got estate planning needs, you deserve a law firm that’s dedicated to protecting your best interests. Our practice assists clients in the above matters, along with others, and we do so with an eye towards effective and efficient legal service. Reach out to Loew Law Group to schedule your consultation today.