Estate Plan /
       Trust Services

Areas of Practice


The administration of an estate may be done with or without probate, depending on the size of the estate and how the property was titled or addressed prior to passing. Of course, a probate proceeding requires pleadings and filing with the court and should usually be done by the executor of the estate with assistance of legal counsel.

The administration of a trust estate does not mandate use of an attorney, although this can often be helpful, saving significant amounts of time and frustration trying to work though a court system that is not designed for the novice.

Many trusts may be written with complex layers of sub-trusts to achieve certain tax purposes. Other trusts may require ongoing administration when dealing with young or immature beneficiaries, or special needs provisions.

In these instances, it is often helpful to consult with an attorney in making sure proper disclosures and notices are given, and to make sure accountings to beneficiaries are done within the right framework and timelines. Many trustees will hire attorney offices for the day to day running of the estate until the assets of the trust are liquidated and disbursed.

The responsibilities of and actions taken by the Executor of the Estate can frequently lead to family in-fighting and the ultimate destruction of family ties. Use of a qualified attorney can dissipate the stress during difficult times.


This Directive grants a power of attorney or agency which is in that the persons to whom it is given can make health care decisions on your behalf if and when you become disabled. Unlike a general power of attorney, your durable power of attorney does not start until you are determined to be incapacitated and will survive your capacity issues.

It is “special” in that it gives its holder only the right to make decisions regarding medical attention and services. The holder cannot use this power of attorney for any other purpose.

This directive may also include power to make decisions concerning “Do Not Resuscitate” Orders, and orders to avoid heroics or extraordinary measures in terminally ill patients.

Durable special powers of attorney are often given to close family members. In the event of a medical emergency, this document can be presented to a health care service provider as written documentation authorizing the holder of the power to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so.


Many persons do not understand their rights when it comes to inheritance and there are many rumors and urban legends which keep beneficiaries from exercising their rights.

If you are in California, and you are a beneficiary or related to the decedent to the 2nd degree you have a right to have a copy of the entirety of the decedent’s trust and will. Failure to provide said copies by the executor / trustee is breach of their fiduciary duties.

Unfortunately, beneficiaries and executors alike often get confused with the no-contest and disinheritance laws when beneficiaries try to exercise their rights to obtain information.

If this is becoming a problem for you, give us a call.


It is unfortunate when a family needs to plan around a Conservatorship or Guardianship proceeding. Both proceedings are before the Probate Court and are expensive and time consuming as well as presenting special challenges for the proposed conservatee or ward. A Conservatorship Proceeding is used for adults; a Guardianship is used for minors.

When an adult has become or is incapacitated, it means that they are unable to make financial or healthcare decisions (or both) for themselves. Sometimes clients are prepared in advance by the creation of a Power of Attorney (POA) document or an Advance Healthcare Directive (ACHD). However, the POA and the AHCD need to have been prepared and signed prior to the person actually having become incapacitated.

The Conservatorship Proceeding may be contested, or non-contested and such decisions are often complicated when family members do not agree on who or how the Conservatee is to be managed.

A Guardianship Proceeding involves a minor and is often used when it is more beneficial for the minor to be raised by someone else – often an extended family member. The Guardianship ends when the child becomes an adult, whereas the Conservatorship will likely last until the Conservatee’s death.

If you and your family are facing these difficult times, we invite you to call us to discuss your options and to get details of what such a proceeding will likely mean to you and your family.


Title Transfer for Real Property

Real Property (Land and Structures permanently attached to the land) can only be transferred by a written deed. When the property is transferred (retitled) in the name of the Revocable Living Trust, the transfer can be completed without a Probate Proceeding.

A home is typically the single largest asset of the client. Proper transfer of the asset to the revocable trust is a crucial aspect of the Estate Plan.


Durable Power of Attorney for Asset Management

This power of attorney is “durable” in that the persons to whom it is given can continue to fund your living trust even if you are disabled and unable to do so. Unlike a general power of attorney, your durable special power of attorney will survive your disability.

It is “special” in that it gives its holder only the right to put your property into your living trust and or control property not in the trust for your benefit. The holder cannot use this power of attorney for any other purpose.

Durable special power of attorney is often given to close family members and trusted advisors. This is done so that you can be assured that someone will be available on short notice to fund your trust in the event of a medical emergency.


It is an unfortunate truth; People do not plan to fail, but fail to plan.

Emergency planning can be considered in two different lights; 1. All estate planning is for emergencies and should be done by all responsible adults; and 2. If we are given enough time, and the person in need still has capacity to act, we can provide rush services.

All too often we are called out to the hospital for emergency plans and writings. Please call us with your situation and we will see what we can do to help. These are sad, but necessary times, and we handle these times with the dignity, but urgency that is needed.

The prevailing factor is always whether or not we are too late. A determination needs to be made whether the person in the hospital has maintained or lost their capacity to act.

Do not wait until it is too late, call us now.


An effective Estate Plan is one which can answer all the following questions concerning the individual or family:

What happens to my property when I am alive and well?
What will happen to my property when I die?
What will happen to my property if I cannot make decisions for myself?
What property will go to my spouse?
What property will go to my children?
When should my property go to my children / grandchildren?
What if my spouse does not survive me?
What if my children do not survive me?
What if my children / grandchildren are minors?
Who will administer my property while I am alive?
Who will administer my property when I die?
What if the person I choose to be my executor does not survive me?
Will my estate require court oversight / probate?
What will happen to my assets not in Trust?
These are just a few of the numerous questions we are regularly asked when friends and clients first began to consider what a complete Estate Plan entails. Effective plans, like those created in our office, take into consideration all these questions and more.

We use the approach that our client “does not know what they do not know” and it is our responsibility to make sure these questions are answered; even when our client does not think to themselves to ask these types of questions.


The tax laws are changing, and in fact change with some regularity. The present Federal Estate Tax and Gift Tax laws in place are the result of the 2018 TRA, which is set to sunset of Congress does not make it permanent prior to 2026. This means that the laws could revert back to what was in place or a compromise of what is currently in place and what was in place in 2018. We continue to monitor the situation and will advise clients as the situation develops.

Other planning tools may include use of irrevocable trusts such as the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust using life insurance for tax consequences and/or Charitable Remainder Trusts giving highly appreciated assets to charity, while enjoying the income streams they provide for the couple’s and the children’s lifetimes

See us for your planning needs.


There are several forms of irrevocable trusts, with the most common being a revocable trust that has now become irrevocable.

When the Settlor(s) of the revocable trust becomes incapacitated or dies, the trust they created as a revocable trust, is now irrevocable, meaning it can no longer be changed or revoked, it is now etched in stone.

Seldom will a person or couple knowingly create an irrevocable trust due to the lack of flexibility. However, there are times when an irrevocable trust is the right answer.

High net worth clients may use multiple trusts to disperse assets, one or more of which might be placed into an irrevocable trust. This shields the asset(s) in the irrevocable trust from liability incurred by the Settlor.

A Charitable Remainder Trust is another form of irrevocable trust which is used for tax purposes with highly appreciated assets to allow a continued income stream, while ultimately giving the asset away to a charity, avoiding the capital gains, and receiving a charitable deduction.

There are also times when a beneficiary needs to be shielded from the burden of receiving an inheritance. This is often in the form of the beneficiary who is on state or governmental assistance, which is wealth based. A Special Needs Trust is used to keep the beneficiary from becoming disqualified.


A Living Trust is a Revocable Trust – the terms are interchangeable, and they mean that this is a trust which can be amended by the Settlor(s) – the person(s) who created the trust – you.

Living Trusts are separate legal entities capable of owning property. As such, you can place your property into the Living Trust and that property can be managed by you, for your benefit allowing you to enjoy all the fruits and benefits of owning the property while ensuring that your property will pass to those that you wish, when you wish, receiving step-up in basis where appropriate and avoiding probate proceedings.

The Living Trust also provides management plans should the Settlor become incapacitated. The Successor Trustee can step in to act on behalf of the Settlor. This ensures that you have a person whom you have faith and confidence in making decisions for you; not someone appointed by the Court or someone you would not have chosen if you were able.

Upon your passing the Living Trust will organize and distribute your property to whom you want when you want. Clients often send their property to their children, although this is not always the case. Sometimes these children are young or immature and will need help to manage their new inheritance. You make the choices under your Living Trust.

The Living Trust avoids Probate Proceedings. A Probate Proceeding is required when a person dies, owns property in their own name, and such property has a greater gross value than $61,500 for real property and/or $184,500 for personal property. When the Living Trust owns the property, you do not and if you do not, then a Probate Proceeding is physically impossible.

Many high net-worth clients wish to ensure that they have taken advantage of all the tax saving measures available to them. This may come in the form of a Credit Shelter Trust, often referred to as am A-B Trust. These tax saving principles are incorporated into the Living Trust.

If you are an adult who owns their own home; if you are a parent or grandparent; if you wish to make decisions for yourself regarding the management of your financial affairs, then you need a Living Trust. Give our office a call to set up your free no obligation consultation.


California Probate Attorney
Do you have a probate matter in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara or Ventura County?

If a loved one passes away, and probate is necessary, the Court will need to appoint someone to manage the estate. That person is called an Executor if there is a Will or when there is no Will, the Court appoints an Administrator. A generic term for an Executor and an Administrator is Personal Representative.

The Probate Court system can be complex and during these times of budget cuts and staff shortages, the time delays can be exasperating. Many Courts have continued to increase the amount of “dark days” they have schedule to cut costs and Los Angeles County has gone to the extreme by closing nine of their thirteen Probate Courts County wide.

1. Probate
Probate is a Court procedure where a deceased person’s assets are administered to ensure that all creditors are paid, all rights of the beneficiaries and heirs are protected, and the estate assets are properly and fairly distributed.

Probate takes a long time to finish and is anywhere between 1 year and 1.5 years pre-pandemic and now takes much longer in addition to its complications.

Probate is also very expensive. California’s Probate Code sets attorney’s fees at 4% of the $100,000 Gross Value of the Estate 3% of the next $100,000, and 2% of the next $800,000. The executor receives an equivalent fee. Accordingly, the attorney fees on the 1st million are $23,000 and $10,000 for each million thereafter. The Court Appointed Fiduciary (Personal Representative) is also compensated at the same rate. This is in addition to the hard costs e.g., filing fees, publication, appraisals and more. All of this simply takes money away from your heirs.

With proper estate planning, probate and these costs can be avoided. However, if a person dies without this type of planning, probate will be necessary.

2. Executors/Administrators
If the deceased person had a Will and a person is named in the Will as the Executor, that person has priority to be appointed by the Court as the Executor. If there is no Will, then any interested family member or person can petition the Court to be the administrator of the Estate. Executors and Administrators are generically referred to as “Personal Representatives”. We represent Personal Representatives on a regular basis and ensure that they comply with all required laws and legal procedures. We are well-versed in all the Probate Court processes, and our goal is to ensure that our clients move the estate swiftly and efficiently through probate.

Being a Personal Representative is a big responsibility. California’s probate code contains pages and pages of complex legal rules and procedures that a Personal Representative must follow in the course of probate. If a Personal Representative violates any of these rules, they can be held personally liable for losses to the estate. For these reasons, it is imperative that such a person is represented by competent legal counsel who has extensive experience in dealing with these matters.

Also, there are certain deadlines that an Executor must meet in filing papers with the Court. It is imperative that any person so named in a Will contacts an attorney as soon as possible after the death of the decedent to avoid legal liability. In extreme cases, that person can be held financially liable for failing to abide by their legal duties.

For over 23 years, we have represented Executors and Administrators in the California Courts. We are very familiar with all the legal rules and procedures governing these actions, and we assist our clients to ensure that that they carry out all of their obligations under the law and are duly protected.

A Probate proceeding is required to pass property from the surviving spouse to their family or children, and the person passing owns as little as $61,5000 in Real Property or $184,500 in Personal Property (gross value; not equity). Because the Probate proceeding is based on the gross value of the property the deceased owned at their death, it is almost impossible to own real property in California and have it avoid the Probate Process. As a result of the high value of property, literally every family in the state who owns a home can be exposed to this procedure.

Probate administration has to do with the management of the estate of a decedent who has left a will or died without a will. In the will, the decedent normally appoints a person to serve as the manager of the estate, called the executor. If there is no will, the court will appoint an administrator to manage the administration of the estate. If you have been named as the executor or administrator, you have a number of duties and must comply with specific requirements of the law. As these requirements are exact, it is advised that you have experienced assistance as you navigate this area. You are urged to contact us to discuss.

Probate Administration Actions
As executor / personal representative to an estate, you have a number of duties and actions. You are a fiduciary, which means that you as an executor have a duty to act for the best interests of the estate. You may not take advantage of your position for personal profit. You must keep the funds of the estate in a separate, well-marked bank account and do regular accountings to the court.

Your Duties as Executor
A number of specific actions are expected of an executor:
File the Petition for Probate; Publish Notice of the Petition to Administer Estate Mail notices of hearing to persons required to receive notice; File a bond to guarantee your performance; Prepare an Inventory and Appraisal of the assets; Give notice to known creditors of their opportunity to file claims; Pay debts (If not enough funds, you may have to sell assets to accomplish this); File a Final Accounting and Final Petition for Final Distribution; Give notice to all parties; Appear at final hearing; and then Implement the judge’s Judgment of Final Distribution.

There are other smaller, but just as important steps to be taken, missing any of them causes multiple delays and expense. It is best to contact a probate lawyer familiar with the County Court’s local rules and procedures to see you through the process.

Probate Lawyer
David R. Schneider is a veteran Southern California area probate lawyer, experienced in probate matters in all the southern counties. We are ready to help you to carry out your probate duties with a view to avoiding mishaps and upsets.

If you are a beneficiary or creditor unhappy about the administration of a probate estate, we would be pleased to meet with you and intervene for you if called for.

Contact David R. Schneider for help with your Probate Matter.


In 2013 the US Supreme Court cleared the way for same sex marriages in California and other jurisdictions. While the individual states must decide for themselves how they will handle this issue, California already allows such marriages and has such infrastructure in place.

These couples need to have their estate plans created or updated to include the provisions previously denied to them under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as struck down in United States v Windsor 570 US __ (2013). Now, same sex couples need to understand and plan for the use of community property, step-up basis and the use of Credit Shelter Trusts; all benefits previously denied to them.

Further, our estate plan is written according to California law. This means that when the Settlors of the trust move to another state which does not recognize same sex marriage, their trust is administered as per California law which does.

If these issues concern you and your family, please see us for a free consultation to show you the benefits now available.


A problem which faces many families today is how to pass an estate when a beneficiary may have special needs or disabilities which prevent that beneficiary from being able to manage such a gift for themselves. Additionally, in many instances, beneficiaries who are currently benefitting from one or more governmental resources would lose such benefits if they were suddenly to inherit from their parents or grandparents.

In these instances we recommend the use of a Special Needs Trust for the beneficiary. This type of trust withholds the distribution / gift from the beneficiary so no governmental source may claim that the beneficiary actually has possession or ownership of the property and such can never be counted against them as being a true asset.

This not only maintains the beneficiary’s eligibility in their government benefits, but also protects the beneficiary by using a trusted manager (trustee) who has the beneficiary’s best interests in mind.

This planning is important on a multi-generational level. A scenario which has come up in the past is where the Settlor of the trust has two children, one of whom has a special needs child (grandchild). The Settlor simply leaves their estate to be divided equally between their two children, but unfortunately one of their children pre-decease them – the child with the special needs grandchild.

Since the Settlor’s trust was written prior to the birth of the special needs child, their grandchildren of their deceased child inherited equally. The special needs child had all his inheritance go to the state for reimbursement and the child no longer qualified under the programs he presently enjoyed.

If you family has these special circumstances, please see us for a discussion as to how we can set up the Special Needs Trust for the benefit of the beneficiary, allowing for their incidentals to be protected while maintaining their eligibility for their governmental programs.


Assets in a trust can avoid the probate process. Probate occurs when three things are present, and all must be present:

A person dies; and
That same person owns property in their own name; and
That same property has a greater gross value than $61,500 of real estate a/o $184,500 of personal property

The Trust is a separate legal entity which is capable of owning property. Thus when the trust owns the property, the person does not. When the rules are applied, the question is asked what did the decedent own? When the answer comes back nothing, property was owned by the trust. It is physically impossible to have a probate proceeding, without a probate estate – there must be something that has to go into probate and trust assets do not.

How a Living Trust Works
When you create a living trust, you name yourself as trustee and a trusted relative or bank as the secondary trustee. As long as you are able, you simply do what you want with the funds. If you become incapacitated however your secondary trustee gains access to the funds and takes over so long as you are unable. In accordance with your instructions the secondary trustee takes care of you and your family and pays your bills.

When you die, the secondary trustee disposes of the funds as you have directed to provide for your family. As the funds are in a trust, they were not technically yours at your death and so they do not have to go through probate. This also means that the trust is not a public record and affords privacy to your family.

David R. Schneider has been preparing living trusts for clients in the coastal counties of California since 1999. When a client comes to us, we listen and let the client describe his or her financial situation and family needs. We then propose to the client options to achieve the client’s objectives and due regard to estate planning, tax planning, avoidance of probate and other considerations. We then professionally prepare the documents the client desires.

Contact David R. Schneider for assistance with living trusts.

Do You Need Help with Trusts?
Trusts are vital tools for providing for family needs and have important tax planning benefits. When you create a trust, you put funds into the hands of a trustee with instructions as to how to provide for beneficiaries. An estate planning attorney can assure your trust is drafted properly to carry out your objectives and achieve maximum tax benefit. David Schneider is expert in helping to guide clients involved with an existing trust and answer any questions about trusts.

Trust Lawyer in all California counties, specifically Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties.

We have assisted clients with trusts throughout, California since 1999. We are a seasoned trust firm offering high quality, personalized service to clients. When clients contact us, we work out comprehensive estate planning to address their unique situations. This may include the creation of one or more trusts for high net-worth clients, or simpler versions to ensure an orderly transition from parent / grandparent to child / grandchild insuring both protection and probate avoidance. Where the trust already exists, we guide trustees or beneficiaries as the situation requires.

Preparation of Trusts

Different Trusts address different needs. Revocable Living Trusts can be used to provide a Trusted relative / friend access to your funds in case of your disability. They are also useful for avoidance of probate. Irrevocable Trusts are used as tax planning tool to minimize estate taxes and also for assets protection. They can additionally be used to facilitate eligibility for Medicaid or Veterans benefits. Special Needs Trusts enables you to provide for incompetent dependents in case of your death or incapacity.

Trust Administration
We are available to assist in trust administration. This can involve guiding a trustee to comply with legal requirements and avoid breach of fiduciary duty. We can also aid trustees involved in litigation or IRS investigations. We also take action for beneficiaries unhappy with the administration of a trust.
Contact an David R. Schneider Trust Attorney to discuss your trust needs


Do I lose control over my property?
A. No, your property is still your property to use and enjoy. You still retain full control over your property, you may use the equity in your property, continue to take the tax write off from the interest on your mortgage, exchange one piece of property for another. Everything you could do before you had the Trust, you can do after you have the Trust in place.

How does a Trust avoid probate?
A. Probate occurs when three things are present (all three must be present) a) a person must die; b) when that person dies, they must own property in their own name; and c) that property must have a greater gross value than $61,500 in real property or $184,500 in personal property. When we use the Revocable Living Trust, the Trust actually owns the property. When the Trust owns the property, you do not. It is physically impossible to have a probate proceeding without a probate estate. When ownership is taken out of the equation, there cannot be a probate proceeding.

Does a Will avoid probate?
A. No, a Will is a probate guarantee. Because probate proceedings occur when a person 1) dies; 2) owns property; and 3) that property meets a minimum value, the Will seeks to ensure that these criteria are met. A Will can only work when someone dies; a Will can only control property owned by the decedent, and if the minimal values are met (and frankly it is hard not to meet those values in this county) the Will demands a probate proceeding to transfer the property to the beneficiaries. The best way to think of a Will, is to think of it like an instruction sheet – a Will does not own property.

Is it difficult to operate a Trust?
A. No. Once the Trust is set up and the property is re-titled in the name of the Trust, it is business as usual. Utilizing a Revocable Trust (also referred to as a Living Trust) is a two-step process; step one is to create the Trust, step two is to fund the trust by re-titling your assets in the name of the trust. Funding the trust is the most important aspect of the operation of the Trust. After this, you continue to use or enjoy the property as you normally would.

When do I need to create my Estate Plan?
A. Many people think this is necessary when they are or approaching retirement, but sadly this is not correct. The correct answer is that when you become an adult; when you own your own home or other significant property; when you have a family – these are all times when the Estate Plan and Revocable Living Trust are needed. There is no mandate that people only die after they retire or after they reach a certain age. In other words, you should create your Revocable Trust Estate Plan as soon as possible.

What happens if I become incapacitated?
A. Many people seem to be very confused by the discussion of who will become their decision maker when they can longer make decisions on their own – whether for medical needs or for financial needs. Once a person has lost their mental capacity, they are prevented from doing a great many things – including exercising a Durable Power of Attorney or Advance Healthcare Directive. We are constantly called by children whose parent is now incapacitated asking us to prepare power of attorney documents, but it is now too late to create these documents. The Power of Attorney can only be signed before the person becomes incapacitated. Once they have lost their capacity to act, it is too late. Now the family must look to a costly and burdensome conservatorship proceeding to get the authority and power to act on behalf of their loved one. All of this can be avoided by just planning ahead.

Do I have to put all of my property into the Trust?
A. We recommend that all property that can go into the Trust should go into the Trust. We often get the call or are given the statement that the client has a small checking account that they do not want to “bother” to put into the Trust. There is simply no reason to leave property outside of the Trust, especially bank accounts. The disadvantage to leaving it outside the Trust is that depending on circumstances it can be very difficult to deal with the bank after the death of the account holder, as well as having money outside the Trust and outside the flow of distribution set up by the Trust.

Do I need to transfer my car or motor home into the Trust?
A. No. So long as the client has ordinary cars which do not exceed the value of $184,500, they do not need to be titled in the name of the Trust. The complete Estate Plan utilizes a document called a pour-over Will which disposes small value property directly back to the Trust. If you are fortunate enough to own Ferrari’s, very large motor homes, or other exotic vehicles or boats, then they do have to be titled in the name of the Trust.

How long does it take to set up a Revocable Living Trust Estate Plan?
A. This answer depends entirely on the circumstances and schedule of both the client and the attorney. Generally speaking we prefer to work over the course of several weeks allowing for the client to think through the process, be comfortable in their decision making and to just let the information sink in. We are sometimes present “hurry up” situations due to travel plans, etc. and we try to meet those goals. Unfortunately we are called upon from time to time to create an Estate Plan under emergency conditions, even executing these plans at a home or hospital with mobile public notary. We can fit most schedules as the circumstances dictate.

Do IRA’s and 401k’s go into the Revocable Trust?
A. No. Tax deferred assets must remain outside the Trust estate. This is due to IRS regulations regarding tax deferred – tax qualified – assets. Instead, we prepare for the client a Durable Power of Attorney for Asset Management to deal with the asset during the client’s life should they become incapacitated, and then further advise the client on beneficiary designations for the asset for when they pass. These assets will not pass through probate when the client passes away.

When should I give my children / grandchildren their inheritance?
A. The answer to this question is entirely dependent on the ages and maturity level of the children. 18 makes an adult in California, and yet most 18 year old children are far from mature. To leave an 18 year old $500,000 is to simply send them to the Ferrari dealer. We can tailor estate plans to deal with the varying level of maturity of children / grandchildren by holding the money in Trust for them; perhaps giving them some along the way e.g., 5% of their Trust share when they turn 21; 15% of their Trust share when they graduate from a 4-year college or university; 25% when they turn 27; balance when they are 30.

Can I leave money directly to my grandchildren?
A. Yes. Depending on how much one wants to leave we can tailor a plan to make sure the money is available at a certain age, it can just be a gift to use at the grandchild sees fit, it can be set aside as a college fund. We can make the gift anything the client wants it to be.

Can the Trust save on Estate Taxes?
A. US citizens and green-card holders in this country have a Lifetime Exemption – an amount of property which can be given during life or at death without any federal estate tax (inheritance tax, death tax); presently the exemption amount is 12.6 million dollars. For a majority of people their estate will not be large enough to create a Federal Estate Burden. For individuals who have estates larger than the present exemption (and married couples having estates larger than 25.2 million) we will work with planning professionals to protect the estate to preserve the wealth while reducing the tax burden.

What do I do if I have a child with special needs or is on state assistance?
A. Families who have experienced working with the State can speak firsthand about the difficulties and traps of not knowing your rights and completing the proper forms. In many state assisted programs, the beneficiary (the child with special needs) only qualifies based on their wealth – children generally must be at the poverty level to qualify for the benefits. Should a family leave their estate to their children, one of whom has been on state assistance, that child can become disqualified from state assistance due to their inheritance. To avoid such a loss, we can design a “Special Needs Trust” within the body of the parent’s Revocable Living Trust” which insures there is money available for some care needs of the special needs child, while not giving them ownership of the funds and preserve their benefits.

Do I have to re-do my Trust if I move to another state?
A. No. The plan we create for you may travel with you through all fifty states. You do not have to make any changes to the Trust just because you have moved out of California.

Can I put real property or timeshares from another state into my California Trust?
A. Yes. We have helped clients transfer real property to their Trust in over thirty more than half of the states so far, working with hundreds of different counties and parishes.

How do I get started – do I need a lot of paperwork and account numbers?
A. All you need to get started is to give our office a call and ask us for a free no obligation consultation and we will do all the rest. You are invited to meet with the attorney, ask all the questions you like and make the decision for yourself whether you wish to move forward. We are very confident you will like our relaxed atmosphere and the manner in which we can breakdown complex planning subjects into simple to understand English – not legalese. Meetings are both virtual and live.

Do I need a lot of paperwork and account numbers?
A. Generally not – we work together to identify the important information. We prefer not include account numbers or the specific names of financial institutions in the body of the Trust, as this information changes from time to time, especially in light of bank closures and mergers. We will take the time to go over with you exactly how the Trust interacts with bank and brokerage accounts.

Many times the client has the asset but does not generally understand the asset and just wants some un-biased help in understanding it – share it with us and let us walk you through it, we sell no financial products and receive no endorsements or kick-backs from any recommendation we might offer.

On a rare occurrence where the client wishes to have a specific account pass to a person(s) or charity – at this time we need to know what the account is and the number.