By now most people have heard about the living trust as being a common component of an estate plan. By having a living trust, you can avoid a court supervised probate when you die (and the huge attorneys fees that go along with it). What many people don’t realize however is that even a relatively small estate will require a probate given that under current California law probate is required for estates as small as $150,000.
Can’t we all just get along? Well, actually no. And if you could you probably wouldn’t be getting a divorce. Some people have the misconception that mediation is not for couples with high conflict, who can’t communicate, and really can’t stand to be in the same room together, (I have mediations where the three of us never meet altogether). That however, is the very kind of relationship that can benefit most from mediation and the skills of an experienced mediator à la a credited lawyer. Because you see, it’s the high conflict cases that when litigated end up costing the most in both attorney’s fee, frustration, and emotional turmoil.
Whether you recently found out you were named as a successor trustee of a trust or an executor of someone’s will, you will probably need to meet with a trust lawyer for help. It is often a difficult and even thankless task; however, the person who selected you did so because they trusted that you would get the job done and get it done right. The guidance of an experienced lawyer can help make the process smooth and efficient and ensure the least amount of bumps along the way.
Marriage is probably one of the most important legal contracts that many people will ever enter into. Even so, most people do not address or plan for the possibility of what happens if it doesn’t work out. Marriage is a spiritual union of two people in love and promising to stay together forever. To ask your betrothed, “Oh and honey can you sign this just in case?” is arguably somewhat disingenuous.