Estate Planning

Every good estate plan is the expression of personal choices that incorporates smart tax planning, a strategy for future health care and financial needs, and is one that provides for ease of management. Most importantly, it brings you peace of mind.

I am an experienced estate planning attorney. Let me help you create a plan specifically tailored to you and your family; one that provides you with the security of knowing that your assets will be used to meet your needs and your family’s needs when you are no longer present. My role is to help you fully plan not only for the disposition of your property after your death, but also make arrangements so that if you become disabled or unable to important life decisions, there are trustworthy people in place to help you when you need it most.

An estate plan can take many forms. Sometimes a simple will is best. Other times, a Revocable Trust best suits a client’s situation. I am particularly skilled at working with clients who have children from former relationships who want to provide for all of the members of an extended family. I can also help you make decisions with an eye to the tax consequences of those decisions. Should you sell or gift your property now or wait until later? Such decisions often have serious tax consequences which must be considered fully. I can help you minimize the amount of money you pay in taxes now and your estate pays in the future. Your estate plan might include irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, gifting strategies and family business succession planning.

A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a person of your choosing the authority to manage your finances if you ever become incapacitated. It is an important document that works together with a living trust to ensure that your finances and property continue to be properly handled for your best interest.

An Advance Health Care Directive allows you to write out your exact wishes regarding your health care treatment in the event that you are not able to make those decisions yourself. This legal document gives your loved ones a clear expression of your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatments, organ donations, funeral arrangements, and allows you to choose the person to serve as your conservator if you should need to have a conservator. A properly prepared Advance Health Care Directive also authorizes your agent to have access to your medical information, which is very important in light of federal and state privacy laws.

If you already have an estate plan, it makes sense to use the services of a skilled estate planning attorney to review that plan from time-to-time and after many life events. I can help you amend an existing plan to better suit your current needs. If it is difficult for you to travel to my office in Ukiah, I will work to arrange a meeting at your home or other convenient location.