At Eick & Freeborn, LLP, our attorneys primarily handle Estate Planning, Probate Proceedings, Trust Administration, Conservatorships, and subsequent Real Estate Transactions. Because our attorneys concentrate on defined areas of practice, our clients can rest assured that they are in good, knowledgeable hands.
Probate & Estate Administration
Probate is the legal process by which a person's debts are paid and assets are distributed upon his or her death. Estate administration includes probate as well as non-probate transfers of the loved one's property and assets. In the absence of a will or a trust, California State Laws direct the probate court how to distribute the estate. In such circumstances, the estate is distributed to close relatives based on many factors which must be carefully analyzed.
We handle a variety of estate planning matters. We help our clients plan for the distribution of their property at their death within the framework of property tax, estate tax, and income tax regulations. We provide our clients the maximum benefit of the law, while carrying out their specific wishes. Proper estate planning ensures an individual's legacy of a lifetime of hard work is distributed according to his or her wishes.
Wills were traditionally used to transfer assets at ones death. While wills are still used, some people have elected to create trusts. Often times wills are easier to understand than trusts because they are usually shorter in length.
Trusts are an important alternative to wills. While still ultimately subject to the Court's jurisdiction, trusts can avoid the initial court probate process that, under certain circumstances, can be expensive and time consuming. Trusts also provide an alternative to conservatorships if the client is no longer able to handle his or her own affairs.
In California there are several types of conservatorships. Conservatorships are for adults who are no longer able to handle their own affairs and who do not have other mechanisms in place, such as trusts or a power of attorney, to handle financial affairs and advanced health care directives to handle certain medical issues. Conservatorships are subject to Court oversight. The extent of the Court oversight has recently increased.
Probate & Trust Litigation
Unfortunately, some probate and trust matters result in litigation. This can include will contests, disputes among beneficiaries, disputes among trustees or trust accounting issues. Although each case is unique, we provide experience, diligence, and creativity for any situation that may arise and make sure that our clients receive the best possible outcomes.