As a sole practitioner in downtown Santa Cruz, my emphasis since 1999 has been on estate planning and administration, probate, conservatorships, special needs trusts, and adoptions.
Estate planning involves the preparation of a plan of administration and disposition of your property upon incapacity or after death. Includes the creation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, gifting, as well as inter vivos structuring of ownership. Also includes preparation for a person's incapacity during their lifetime by creating powers of attorney and advanced health care directives (also known as medical directives).
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a written document that allows a person of your choice to act as your agent to manage your assets that are not held by a trust during your lifetime. It may be a "springing" durable power of attorney, which allows your agent to act in your stead only when you are incapacitated; or, it may be a durable power of attorney, which allows your agent to have equal rights as yourself to manage your assets while you are living, regardless of your competence.
A trust is established by a written agreement between a "trustor" and a "trustee" that provides for the management of the trustor's assets by the trustee during the trustor's lifetime and the distribution of the estate on the trustor's death. A trust can be revocable or irrevocable. There may be more than one trustor and more than one trustee. For most clients, the trustor(s) establishes the trust and appoints himself/herself or themselves as initial trustees.
A will is a written document executed in accordance with state law that provides for the disposition of your assets after death. The will is enforced by the probate court in the county where you reside. If, however, you own property in more than one state, a separate auxiliary probate must be initiated in each state where the property is situated.
Types of court proceedings include Probate, Conservatorships, Guardianships, Adoptions and Court Established Special Needs Trusts.
Contact me to discuss your needs.