California Wills, Trusts, Estates and Probate Attorneys
Preserving your family’s wealth for future generations
Whether you’re planning to transfer your estate to your children or future generations, or establishing support for loved ones upon your death, Scherer & Bradford can help with all aspects of trusts and estates issues, including:
- Estate planning
- Trust & estate administration
- Estate tax issues
- Trust & estate litigation
- Wealth management
- Choosing the appropriate executor and trustee
- Medical advance directives for health care
- Revocable living trusts
- Will drafting
- Securing your Legacy
You work hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well-being and financial security can bring you comfort. The attorneys at Scherer & Bradford thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones.
Revocable Living Trusts and Last Will and Testament
An estate plan is essential at every stage of your life. Your estate plan provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. An estate plan, whether simply a will or a revocable living trust, is necessary if you intend to leave property to somebody besides a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, friend or charity. If you die without a will or trust, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your beloved pet — decisions that might not reflect your desires. In addition, medical advance directives, as part of your estate plan, can set parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated. This assures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored.
Updating your Estate Plan
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your will throughout your life. Scherer & Bradford can amend your estate plan to address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions. In addition, frequent changes in tax, trust and probate law may impact older estate planning documents. Therefore, a periodic review of these documents may ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.
Revocable Living Trusts – Irrevocable Trusts
Scherer & Bradford helps people create trusts to ensure that their assets are properly managed and held for the future use of their family members and designated beneficiaries. The assets held by a trust can be used to pay for necessary medical, educational and health-related expenses for the trust’s beneficiaries. Because a trust is designed to exist for a certain period of time, the courts require that a trustee be chosen to administer and be responsible for the management of the trust. Trusts may be used to avoid the probate process, to minimize estate and income taxes, to manage and distribute gifts to children and grandchildren, and to hold life insurance policies to minimize estate taxes.
The attorneys at Scherer & Bradford apply their extensive knowledge about the California probate court to guide you through the complex process of probating a will. They assist executors in all steps of the process, including:
- Creating a plan of action to probate the estate fairly and expeditiously
- Filing the will with the California probate court
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Valuating the estate
- Managing and liquidating assets as appropriate
- Paying taxes and other debts
- Locating heirs and beneficiaries
- Hiring professionals and experts when necessary
Trust & Estate Disputes and Litigation
When disputes occur between beneficiaries, or between beneficiaries and trustees or executors, the firm has experience to represent your interests. Whether you are a beneficiary or a trustee or executor, the attorneys at Scherer & Bradford have the extensive knowledge to challenge invalid wills and trusts or to defend valid wills and trusts against the improper assertions of dissatisfied beneficiaries. The attorneys at Scherer & Bradford are skilled mediators and litigators who can negotiate between beneficiaries to preserve relationships or diligently pursue your rights in court when necessary.