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Trust and Estate Attorney

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Trust Administrations & Probates

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Are you wondering about the complexities of trusts and estates? Do you need a trust and estate attorney in California? Welcome to Vaksman Khalfin, PC – your source for trusts and estates guidance in California. We’re here to guide you through the intricate world of trusts and estates. Our California trusts and estates lawyers provide expert advice and unparalleled legal assistance.

California Trusts and Estates Law?

Trusts and estates law in California includes various legal matters, involving asset management, protection, and distribution when someone passes away. These assets often include money, real estate, and personal property. Trusts and estates law also covers the creation of wills and trusts. These laws give you the power to decide who will control your assets if you become ill and who will receive them after you die.

Who Needs a Trust and Estate Attorney?

Trusts and estates aren’t solely for the wealthy or elderly. If you own property, have savings, or care about managing your assets after passing, you should consider creating a trust or estate.

People in different life stages can all find value in consulting a trusts and estates attorney. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young professional accumulating wealth, a parent who wants to secure your children’s future, or a senior interested in preserving your legacy. Having a knowledgeable trust lawyer on your side can help ensure the proper execution of your wishes according to California law.

Additionally, anyone dealing with complex situations, such as blended families, individuals with disabled dependents, or business owners looking to safeguard their enterprises, can greatly benefit from the specialized expertise of a trusts and estates attorney.

Practice Areas

california estate planning

Estate Planning

We specialize in Estate Planning services that shape the future you envision. Our team of experienced and dedicated attorneys ensures that our client’s assets and families are safeguarded.

california probate

Probate

Dealing with Probate after a loved one’s passing can often be a complicated and distressing process. Our attorneys are experienced in Probate proceedings, assisting clients by simplifying the process, offering meticulous legal advice, and helping resolve disputes regarding the division and administration of an estate.

california trust administration

Trust Administration

Effectively managing a trust or estate requires extensive knowledge, planning, and execution. Our experienced attorneys have successfully administered hundreds of trusts, ensuring that all assets are accounted for, and distributed correctly and that tax obligations are met.

California Tax Planning

Estate Tax & Asset Protection

Our law firm offers comprehensive Estate Tax and Asset Protection services, specializing in preserving your wealth through strategic planning to minimize estate tax liability and maintaining robust legal structures to safeguard your assets from potential threats or liabilities.

Which is Better: A Will or Trust?

You may wonder whether having a will or a trust in California is better. The answer depends on your specific circumstances. Wills and trusts serve different purposes. Many primarily use wills to distribute assets after death. But, a will must go through probate to achieve this. Probate is the legal process of distributing your assets and is often lengthy and expensive.

Trusts offer a broader range of benefits, including avoiding probate and maintaining privacy. Our experienced trust and estate lawyers can assess your situation and guide you to the right solution.

What Does a Trust and Estate Attorney Do?

A trusts and estates lawyer specializes in the legal aspects of property, assets, wills, trusts, and estate planning. Their primary role involves assisting clients in managing and planning for the distribution of their assets in the event of death or incapacity. Here are some key things a trusts and estates lawyer can assist with:

  • Creating wills
  • Establishing trusts
  • Developing comprehensive estate plans
  • Providing guidance on minimizing estate taxes
  • Ensuring the proper transfer of assets to beneficiaries
  • Appointing guardians or trustees
  • Handling probate proceedings
  • Representing clients in court when disputes arise over wills or trusts

Our trusts and estates attorneys are experts in the field. We’ll assist you in creating a comprehensive estate plan that aligns with your goals. We’ll also prepare and review your legal documents, and offer guidance on tax planning and asset protection. We’re here to help you protect your assets and ensure their proper distribution according to your wishes.

Costs of a California Trust and Estate Attorney

Concerns about costs often arise when seeking legal assistance. The cost of hiring a trust and estate attorney can vary depending on your case’s complexity and the services required. Attorneys typically charge in various ways, such as hourly rates, flat fees for particular services, or a percentage of the estate’s value.

Hourly rates can range from a few hundred to several hundred dollars per hour. An attorney might charge flat fees for services like drafting a will or establishing a trust. For more intricate cases involving extensive estate planning, ongoing management, or litigation, costs can escalate substantially.

Discussing fees and payment structures with your attorney upfront is essential. During your initial consultation, we’ll provide a clear breakdown of the costs and work with you to find the best solution.

What are the do’s and don’ts when dealing with a trust or estate attorney in California?

Do’s:

  • Do choose an attorney with expertise in trusts and estates.
  • Do communicate your goals and concerns openly.
  • Do review all legal documents carefully.
  • Do ask questions and seek clarification when needed.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t hide assets or information from your attorney.
  • Don’t make decisions without consulting your attorney.
  • Don’t delay in updating your estate plan when circumstances change.
  • Don’t forget to inform your loved ones about your estate plan and the location of significant documents.

Robert B. Vaksman, Esq.

Founding Partner

“Some cases are easier than others, but this doesn’t matter at Vaksman Khalfin, because we have the resources to help our clients no matter what is at stake, especially if it’s hard."

Meet Robert
Robert Vaksman partners section

ALAN D. KHALFIN, ESQ.

Partner & Managing Attorney

"People call me when they need to plan, but also when something terrible has happened and they need help. It is personal to my clients, so it is personal to me. We have to help — no matter what."

Meet Alan
Alan Khalfin partners section
Client Profile

"I didn't want to leave my family unprepared, so I took action."

Rita, a working mom with two young kids, realized the necessity of planning for her family's future in the event she became incapacitated or worse, passed away unexpectedly. A Living Trust Estate Plan prepared by Vaksman Khalfin was the solution.

Rita K.

Estate Planning Client
Client Profile

"I didn't want to leave my family unprepared, so I took action."

What Our Clients Say

"I was referred to Vaksman Khalfin for Estate Planning. After working together for a year (the delays were all mine), I can vouch that their team is fantastic to work with. They’re cost-effective, efficient, knowledgeable and always willing to answer questions, explore options and explain legal concepts."

Rue R., Las Vegas, NV

Rue R., Las Vegas, NV

"My wife and I had a very good experience working remotely with Vaksman Khalfin on our Living Trust, Will, Healthcare Directives, etc. done with a fixed fee package. The process was streamlined end-to-end. All of our questions were answered promptly by phone or email. I highly recommend this law firm!"

Paul K., San Mateo, CA

Paul K., San Mateo, CA

"Vaksman Khalfin deserves great reviews. They helped my family during a very difficult time and they did so with compassion and dedication. No matter how many questions I posed (sometimes the same one several times), I received quick and clear responses. Our documents were delivered on time and thoroughly explained."

Mike T. San Diego, CA

Mike T. San Diego, CA

What should I bring to an estate, trust, and will attorney?

When meeting with an estate, trust, and will attorney, it’s essential to come prepared with relevant documents and information, including:

  • Identification documents
  • Any existing wills or trusts
  • Lists of assets and liabilities
  • Information about beneficiaries
  • Previous tax returns
  • Documentation related to end-of-life preferences

These details help your attorney better understand your situation and provide the most appropriate guidance.

What Sets Us Apart?

At Vaksman Khalfin, PC, our unwavering dedication to each client’s unique journey separates us from most attorneys. We don’t just offer legal expertise. We build ongoing relationships founded on trust and personalized attention. 

What truly sets us apart is our commitment to understanding the intricacies of individual needs and goals. Our team crafts tailored strategies that go beyond the ordinary. We derive our innovative solutions from a wealth of experience and a profound understanding of the complexities within trusts and estates. 

Empathy and a genuine desire to achieve the best outcomes for our clients while upholding the highest ethical standards are at the core of our approach. Our clients always come first. We guarantee to approach every interaction with integrity, reliability, and passionate pursuit of exceptional results.

How to Get Started

If you’re considering creating a trust, or need assistance with an existing estate plan, don’t hesitate to reach out. Schedule a consultation with our experienced attorneys. During this meeting, we’ll discuss your goals and offer the guidance you need to make informed decisions.

Contact Vaksman Khalfin Today

At Vaksman Khalfin, PC, we’re here to assist you with all your trusts and estates needs in California. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let our dedicated attorneys guide you through the complexities of trusts and estates law. We’re committed to providing top-tier legal assistance to ensure the protection of your assets and the proper fulfillment of your wishes.

California Trust And Estate

Frequently Asked Questions

Under California Law, you can create a trust for any legal purpose that doesn’t go against public policy. California Probate Code outlines the rules and regulations for creating and administering trusts and estates in the state. It covers various aspects, including wills, trusts, probate procedures, and rules for distributing assets. Our experienced attorneys can help you navigate this complex legal landscape.

When someone with a trust in California passes away, the trust becomes irrevocable, and the assets held in the trust avoid probate. The appointed successor trustee takes over the management and distribution of the assets according to the terms of the trust. This process is typically more efficient and private than going through probate court.

The cost of setting up and maintaining a trust can be higher than creating a will. Trusts also require ongoing management, and they may not be suitable for simple estates. It's essential to consult with a trust and estate attorney to determine if a trust is the right choice for your specific circumstances.

Deciding on a will or a trust in California depends on your unique situation and goals. Creating a will is generally simpler and less expensive, making them suitable for some. Trusts provide benefits like avoiding probate and maintaining privacy but can be more complex and costly. Consulting with an attorney specializing in wills and trusts is crucial to determining the best option for your needs.

A trust and estate attorney specializes in legal matters related to trusts, wills, and estate planning. They can help you create and manage trusts and wills, navigate the complexities of probate, and provide guidance on tax planning and asset protection. These attorneys ensure your assets are safeguarded and distributed according to your wishes.

The timeline for these legal processes can vary depending on the complexity of the case and your attorney’s workload. Filing a will often takes several weeks. Certifying a trust may take a few months due to the need for a thorough review and asset transfer. Filing a small estate affidavit can be quicker, often taking a few weeks to a couple months. It's advisable to discuss the estimated timeline with your attorney based on your specific situation.

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California Trust Administration

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