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Estate Planning and Trusts

Creative Estate Planning Lawyers Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California

Wills ● Trusts ● Probate ● Domestic Partnerships

Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Protecting your property and ensuring that your assets are distributed based on your wishes is essential for clients from all walks of life.

Sofer Law provides creative, practical and cost-effective estate planning advice so you can protect your loved ones and leave your legacy.

 

Creative, Sophisticated Estate Planning Tools for Californians

The process of estate planning is proactive. Detailed and thorough planning protects your assets, limits exposure to estate taxes, and helps your beneficiaries avoid probate.

We begin with an analysis of your existing income, assets, insurance, and needs. We then consider a wide range of estate planning tools beginning with wills, living wills, durable powers of attorney, and simple revocable or irrevocable trusts. We provide guidance with respect to Medicare and long-term care insurance.

As we develop a deeper understanding of your existing situation and your goals, we may recommend:

· Specialized trusts, including special needs trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and living trusts

· Limited partnerships or family limited partnerships, which result in a division of interests that reduces the value of the estate for tax purposes. These can be used effectively to transfer ownership of vineyards, orchards, agricultural property, and small businesses to the next generation.

· Limited Liability companies (LLCs), which can reduce transfer costs and limit gift taxation when certain assets are likely to be transferred to a giftee on a regular basis

· Annual gifting programs, when carefully planned in advance, can minimize the value of your estate that may be subject to tax

Domestic Partnerships

We are pleased assist gay and lesbian couples with the formation of domestic partnerships, community property issues, and other legal strategies to protect their relationships.

In particular, we recommend that every G/L/B/T couple have a durable medical power of attorney in place. The last thing you want is to have any doubt about whether your partner has the right to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so. Having an appropriate medical power of attorney reduces that anxiety.

Inheritance Rights

Inheritance is a very complicated legal procedure. Laws vary from state to state, notwithstanding any specific federal tax implications. Having a valid will in place helps to avoid problems typically associated with probate. There are a number of other methods available to minimize the financial obligations you might incur.

An Estate is the entirety of a property, real and personal, owned by an individual prior to distribution through a trust or will.

Estate planning is the process by which an individual, or nuclear family with the person's consent and approval, arranges the transfer of assets to heirs or other beneficiaries. The reason for this is to provide the family, or anonymous miscellaneous beneficiaries, with legal rights to the property after the individual has passed away.

Aspects of Estate Planning include:

  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Uniform Probate Code
  • Gift Tax
  • Dynasty Trust
  • Joint Tenancy

A good Estate Planning lawyer can do more than just manufacture a simple will. Estate planning also typically minimizes potential taxes and fees, and sets up contingency planning to make sure that your wishes regarding which items are allocated and who the main beneficiaries are.

Many trusts are created as an alternative to or in conjunction with a will and other elements of estate planning. State law establishes the framework for determining the validity and limits for both.

An Estate Planner can assist you with organizing your personal and business records such as:

  • Brokerage Accounts
  • Retirement Plans
  • Savings and Checking Accounts
  • Insurance Policies
  • Business and Partnership Interests
  • Debt Personal Property

An Estate Planner can also assist all other possible estate planning law concerns.

Our Services

Sofer Law will provide you the legal advice and support you need.

Please explore more about our specialties on each area of our practice.

Solutions

We get creative to help you solve whatever legal issue you have.

Whatever your problem may be, we have a strategic way at looking at the issue.

  • Strategic approach
  • Personal attention
  • Thoughtful advice

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