Estates and Probate Attorney Helping You Plan in Brentwood, California
Preserving your family’s wealth for future generations Whether you’re planning the parameters of your future medical care or establishing support for loved ones upon your death, H.F. Layton Law Office can help with all aspects of trusts and estates issues, including:
- Estate planning
- Estate tax issues
- Choosing the appropriate executor
- Health care directive
- Living trusts
- Will drafting
Securing your legacy
You work hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well-being and financial security can bring you comfort. We thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones.
Draft your health care directive and will
A will is essential at every stage of your life. Your health care directive sets the parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated. This assures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored. Your will provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pet – making decisions that might not reflect your desires. H.F. Layton Law Office can draft valid wills that ensure your intentions are honored.
Changing your will
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your will throughout your life. We draft valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.
Appointment of guardianship
If you have minor children, your will allows you to make decisions about their future care. This is especially crucial if you are a single parent or if both parents die in a common incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint a guardian for your children and can make decisions adverse to your ultimate parenting goals. You can also make arrangements for your pets’ care in your will, including naming a guardian to take responsibility for your pets.
Guiding you through the probate process
Probate follows what is typically a painful emotional loss. H.F. Layton Law Office has 22 years of experience in probate law and knows how to ease the stress of probate by guiding executors and beneficiaries. Most executors have rarely if ever probated a will and know little about the process. H.F. Layton Law Office can guide you through the complex probate process, including:
- Filing the will with the California probate court
- Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously probating the estate
- Finding and collecting assets
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Paying estate taxes
- Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
- Locating beneficiaries
- Hiring experts, when appropriate
Valuing and managing the estate
We assist executors with the arduous process of collecting, managing, valuing, protecting and liquidating the assets of the estate. H.F. Layton Law Office has a team of experts available to assist in every aspect of estate probate. When appropriate, the firm calls upon accountants, financial advisers, real estate agents, property managers and other professionals to assist with executor duties. We can access expert opinions about unique assets such as antiques, rare books, automobiles and other collectables for accurate valuation, management and possible sale.
Even in apparently straightforward estate cases, there are sometimes disputes between beneficiaries. Our professional courtroom presence can calm the emotionally-charged process of probating a challenged will or disputed executor or judicial decision. When it is in the best interests of our client to preserve cordial familial relationships, we are adept at mediating these disputes. When necessary, we assertively defend our client’s beneficiary rights within the California probate court.
Contact an estate planning law firm you can trust in Brentwood, California.
For estate planning and probate services, call H.F. Layton Law Office at (925) 240-1040 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.