Millbrae, California, Estate Planning Attorney
I, Robert G. Gottschalk, pride myself on helping clients create and execute estate plans that accurately reflect their wishes, while minimizing expenses and taxes.
With over 30 years of experience in estate planning and trust administration. I know the intricacies of probate and estate planning. Below, are a few tools I use to help my clients:
A living trust determines how your property will be distributed after your death and also can help protect assets in the trust if you become incapacitated during your lifetime.
Unlike a will, a living trust doesn’t go through probate. This saves time and money, because distributions from probate may be delayed from six months to a year. Probate fees are set by law. Distributions from living trusts may be made immediately.
After a will is filed in probate court, virtually anyone can read it. A living trust is confidential, only family members who receive property are privy to the information.
As long as you are competent, you can always revoke or amend a living trust. In the event of remarriage, you can change beneficiaries or make new gifts.
In order for your living trust to serve its purpose, your property must be owned by the trust. To put your real estate into your trust you will need a new deed. To transfer bank accounts, you may need a Certification of Trust and letters to your bank. I personally ensure that your assets are titled in the trust.
A pour-over will covers assets that may remain outside of the living trust, for whatever reason.
Powers of Attorney
These are helpful if you lose the ability to make decisions during your lifetime.
• Durable power of attorney for health care decisions
This designates someone to make medical decisions for you. For example, this person would determine what life-sustaining treatment should be provided or discontinued.
• Durable power of attorney for financial matters
This designates someone to deal with your finances. For example, this person would manage your accounts, receive Social Security checks, pay bills and file your tax return.
If you have a legal problem or issue, contact the law office of Robert G. Gottschalk today. I offer free consultations and am available for evening and weekend meetings if necessary. Located in Millbrae, I serve clients who live in cities such as South San Francisco, Daly City, Hillsborough, San Mateo, Foster City, Burlingame, San Bruno, San Carlos, Belmont, and Redwood City.