Estate-planning

ESTATE PLANNING (WILLS AND TRUSTS) LAW

Thousand Oaks estate planning attorney  Kent W. Keating offers a variety of estate planning legal services. We assist our clients in achieving their goals of protecting and transferring their wealth, eliminating or reduce estate taxes, avoiding probate, and minimizing the risk of will contests.

A sample of the type of documents and techniques that we use include:

  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Wills
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts and Foundations
  • Durable Powers of Attorney for Economic Matters
  • Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care
  • General Assignments to Living Trusts
  • Business Trusts

In addition to drafting and customizing the above documents, our attorneys assist our clients in funding their trusts by preparing the necessary documentation to transfer assets such as real property, bank/brokerage accounts, stocks, life insurance policies and retirement accounts.

REVOCABLE LIVING TRUSTS

The biggest advantages of a living trust are that you can:

  • Avoid probate.
  • Reduce or completely avoid paying estate taxes
  • Distribute your estate privately and relatively swiftly.
  • Instruct the administration of gifts and inheritance to minors without requiring that the courts get involved.
  • Keep your assets protected in trust until the time that you decide that you want your beneficiaries to receive them.
  • Protect your family members with special needs or disabilities, and ensure that they receive the care that they need.
  • Create a living trust that is very difficult to challenge.

Formation and administration of living trusts has become a crucial part of estate planning law. California courts are overwhelmed with cases and simply do not have the resources to handle a myriad of estate, probate and will contest cases for the growing number of senior citizens. Creating a revocable family trust is a relatively simple process for the preservation and protection of your assets for your heirs.

A revocable living trust is a legally binding document that allows you to choose how your assets are to be distributed when you die. At the same time, because it is revocable, you can still control those assets while you are alive.

Our attorneys can also review an old trust, prepared by another attorney, to update or make significant changes thereto. If you have an existing trust that you want reviewed or changed, contact the Law Offices of Kent W. Keating today.

WILLS

Some of the purposes of a Will are:

  • To let you designate the people, trusts or charities that will receive your assets when you die.
  • Name a guardian for your minor children in case of death.
  • Name an executor to manage the distribution of your assets in probate.

We typically prepare wills in conjunction with preparing living trusts because a Will alone does not allow you to avoid probate. Having a Will, by itself, ensures that your estate will pass through probate, and that its distribution will be public information. Also, Wills are typically easier to contest than a living trust, and Wills are usually not enforceable from state to state.

TRUST ADMINISTRATION AND SETTLEMENT

Our lawyers provide full-service trust administration and settlement. Many firms claim they are experts in estate planning but merely write a trust on your behalf. Our firm will handle the administration and settlement of your living trust after you pass away. Proper trust administration is a crucial aspect of estate planning. If every detail is not properly addressed, your assets may be wrongly distributed or vulnerable to liability. Our attorneys work towards continuously protecting your assets during your life and beyond.