You can’t live in San Francisco County without appreciating the importance of history. If you’re in the process of building your own family history, you know the value of protecting that legacy through sound estate planning. Some attorneys practice in many different areas of the law. But other attorneys in San Francisco County specialize exclusively in all aspects of estate planning, trusts and probate. That’s the level of service and focus you can expect from Loew Law Group.
Wills, Trusts, And Estate Planning in San Francisco County
Your revocable living trust and your last will and testament are the most fundamental parts of your estate plan. These legal documents provide instructions on how your estate will be handled after you pass away. That includes distribution of your property and assets and payment of your final debts and expenses. We will make sure your will and trust instruments are comprehensive, clear, and drafted with your best interests in mind.
Losing a loved one is stressful enough, so one goal of estate planning is to lessen the burden on your family. To that end, many of our clients are interested in ways to avoid or minimize the hassle of probate and estate taxes after they die. Revocable and irrevocable trusts are two options we discuss with all of our clients.
One issue that people often overlook is what will happen in the event they become incapacitated. Who makes decisions about their healthcare and finances? What about paying the mortgage or running the family business? In cases like these, it’s important to designate trusted individuals who can make decisions on your behalf. Several legal instruments are available to serve this purpose, including your will, revocable living trust, advance healthcare directive, and durable power of attorney.
Trust And Estate Civil Litigation
Disputes over trusts and estates often have to be decided in court. Sometimes, even when there is no dispute, a court order is needed to approve an accounting and protect a trustee, or to ensure that a decedent’s wishes are accurately carried out. That’s why the estate planning law firm you select should understand more than just how to draft and execute legal instruments. In cases like these, you need a trusted civil litigation attorney.
There are a number of circumstances in which you may want to take legal action against another party over an estate. Conversely, someone may file a claim and name you as a defendant. Here are just a few of the common trust and estate civil litigation matters we handle:
- An heir believes he or she was unfairly excluded from a will or trust
- One beneficiary is worried that another is wrongly exercising influence over the testator or settlor
- A trustee has been accused of breaching their fiduciary duties
- Allegations are made that an executor or trustee has financially mismanaged an estate
- A trust instrument may need to be modified to ensure that the trust faithfully carries out the decedent’s wishes, or to make a trust easier to administer, or to maximize the potential tax benefits
These and other issues are complex and can quickly turn into protracted court battles. Whichever side of the case you find yourself on, you need an experienced trust and estate civil litigator to defend your rights and interests in court. We also seek out of court remedies like mediation that can save time and money. Our firm has the experience it takes to meet these challenges head-on and work towards a constructive resolution.
Administering A Trust
Trustees have a lot on their plate. It’s not simply a matter of managing the trust in the way intended by the settlor. They have to deal with numerous parties like beneficiaries, creditors, and others. They may not fully understand their fiduciary responsibilities or they may need guidance with carrying out their duties.
Difficult trust administration issues arise over property appraisals, inventories, trust accountings, and more. If you don’t understand your obligations, you could be accused of mismanagement and face legal action from a disgruntled beneficiary.
Loew Law Group understands the California Probate Code and other laws and regulations concerning trusts. We have helped numerous clients carry out their duties and meet their legal responsibilities. Don’t let the process of administering a trust overwhelm you. Let us work with you to get the job done.
Stopping Elder Abuse
Sadly, older Americans are routinely preyed upon by con artists, thieves, and even dishonest family members. Elder abuse takes many forms, but one of the most pervasive is financial elder abuse. Internet and telemarketing fraud, identity theft, and other scams are abundant. But elder abuse may also occur when a trusted person, such as a caregiver, friend, or family member, manipulates an older individual to change their estate plan to wrongly benefit that person.
Our firm fights elder abuse, and we can help you and your family. Don’t allow a loved one to fall victim to this growing problem. Loew Law Group can pursue civil litigation and other means to end abuse and return misappropriated assets.
Many estates have to go through a process known as probate before they can be settled. If the decedent left a will, it has to be proven valid. Probate is also needed where the individual died without a will (intestate).
Not only can probate take a significant amount of time, it can also be expensive. That’s why we help clients structure their estates to avoid probate altogether, generally by use of revocable living trust. But where the process is necessary, we help the executor, administrator, or personal representative handle their duties. From filing the petition to distributing the assets to heirs, let our firm take the stress and mystery out of probate.
Contact Our San Francisco County Probate, Trust and Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation Attorney Today
If you have questions about a will, trust, probate, or anything else involving estate planning, you can count on Loew Law Group. Give us a call today to find out how we can help.