Trusts & Estates Attorney in San Francisco and Danville, California

In order to assist his clients, Baron has prepared trusts and wills for many years. In the last several years, he has begun to extend this service to a wider client base.

Having litigated real estate issues and addressing real estate problems in bankruptcies and transactions, and preparing trusts following catastrophic injury cases, he brings a unique perspective to preparation of a trust.

There are a number of mistakes that people make with respect to their estate plans:

  • No estate plan. If you do not have an estate plan, you might place your family in the position of having to seek a conservatorship if you become incapacitated and require them to file a probate after your passing.
  • Failure to transfer real estate into the trust. Real property must be transferred by deed; otherwise, the trust will not be able to administer the real estate. Bank accounts and brokerage accounts have to be made a part of the trust as well.
  • Failure to properly maintain the community property aspect of their home. In California, property accumulated during the marriage is community property with a few exceptions. That community property characterization must be properly handled in the trust. The error could create adverse tax consequences.
  • Updating the estate plan is important. There may be children or grandchildren born since the trust was drafted. There may be changes in tax law. Is there now a beneficiary who needs special provisions to take care of them?
  • Failure to name beneficiaries is a common mistake. Without proper designation, your heirs may have to probate your estate. Sometimes with divorces or deaths occurring, insurance policies or retirement accounts have not been updated.
  • Failure to include provisions for government benefits. Many trusts do not provide for government benefits. If a need develops, there must be authority for the trustee to work with governmental agencies on your behalf.

If you do not have an estate plan, you need to make it a priority. A will may be less expensive to draft, but you then have to probate the estate which is costly and time consuming. The above points only provide general legal information, and not specific legal advice. This information is no substitute for a personal consultation with an attorney.