California Trusts and Estates Attorney Helping You Plan
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 and favored charities upon your death, attorney Kathryn M. Murphy can help with all aspects of trusts and estates issues, including:
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 those charities you favor and protecting your loved ones.
Protecting vulnerable adults
At any age you may need an agent to temporarily handle your personal or financial affairs due to medical or other crises. You want to set the parameters of medical intervention if you are unable to give informed consent. You want to direct your agent in the care of your financial life. An advance health care directive (“living will”) and durable power of attorney can ensure that your wishes will be honored.
Draft your last will and testament
Your last 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 those relatives your state defines as your heirs and spouse / registered domestic partner, such as a non-registered domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed to your statutory heirs and spouse / registered domestic partner, who cares for your children, who is in charge of your estate and even what happens to your pet – making decisions that might not reflect your desires.
Create and fund your living trust
You may find creating and funding a trust during your lifetime will better protect your interests should you need to pass control to an agent late in life, reduce the cost and time needed to transfer your estate at your death and reduce/avoid the need for court intervention. Living trusts can be tailored to support your personal planning goals for your loved ones and your favored charities.
Changing yourestate plan
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your will or trust throughout your life. You will want valid codicils and trust amendments that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions. You will also want to review and update your durable power of attorney and your advance health care directive.
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.
Contact an estate planning attorney you can trust, Kathryn M. Murphy
For estate planning services throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and San Francisco counties, in California, call Kathryn M. Murphy at 510-845-8737 or contact us online to schedule your consultation in our Berkeley or San Francisco offices.