Our clients involve us when planning for the two most important things in their lives; everything they own and everyone they love. Our clients share their hopes, dreams, values and goals; we listen and help them understand their options. We work with our clients to design personalized plans that reflect their own unique situation, while putting our knowledge and experience to work for their benefit. The result of such thoughtful planning is an estate plan that works. Our plans promote harmony within the family and allow our clients to Leave a Lasting Legacy® that will continue to reflect our clients’ values and ideals for generations to come.
Developing a Trust-Centered Estate Plan
After meeting with many clients to discuss their estate planning, our office has recommended Revocable Living Trusts as the cornerstone for virtually all of our clients’ estate plans. A living trust offers complete control to clients during their lifetime, provides for them and their loved ones in the event of their incapacity, and on death allows them to pass their assets to their loved ones without the costs, delays and publicity associated with probate.
We start with the premise that every estate, regardless of size, is an important one. Whatever the size of your estate, you have spent your life accumulating it and want to preserve it from unnecessary taxes and administration fees and costs so that you can plan in a meaningful way for those you care about.
Our comprehensive process incorporates at least three meetings. At the Initial Conference, we will review your assets with you and learn about you and your loved ones. I do a lot of listening at this meeting, and ask some questions. During this meeting, I learn about your hopes, dreams, values, aspirations, goals and objectives. After you have taught me about you and your family, I will then explain some of the most important aspects of estate planning and the law.
To help us prepare for this initial meeting please download our Estate Planning Worksheet, complete the information as best you can and return to our office prior to your appointment via facsimile or mail.
At our next meeting, the Design Meeting, we will concentrate on creating an estate plan custom-designed to meet your specific needs and goals. Some of these goals and objectives may include saving probate expenses and delay; providing for you or your loved ones’ future incapacity; protecting and assisting the surviving spouse; protecting and assisting each child; protecting and assisting each grandchild; protecting a surviving spouse from a bad remarriage; generation skipping tax planning; protecting a child’s inheritance from bankruptcy or divorce; survival of the family business; sale of the family business upon the death of the entrepreneurial spouse or upon the death of the surviving spouse; asset protection planning; creditor protection for the surviving spouse; creditor protection for a child; saving 100% of the estate tax on life insurance; special planning for a physically or mentally handicapped child; special planning for an elderly parent; special planning for a child of a previous marriage; disinheriting a child; and Medi-Cal planning.
Signing of Estate Plan
About three to four weeks following the Design Meeting, you will return to our office for the Trust Signing Ceremony. At this time, we will have prepared your entire estate plan and we will review it with you in detail, carefully explaining each document and printing out what the documents do for you and how they interact with each other. If the plan meets with your approval, you may sign the documents and put your comprehensive estate plan to work for you.
It is always my goal to work closely with you to provide you with the information you need to make good choices for yourself and your loved ones. If ever my staff or I can answer any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office; we welcome your calls.