Estate Planning Attorneys in Los Altos
Customized & Practical Approaches to Estate Planning
Estate planning is a catch all phrase that refers generally to pre-death planning. At Kohler Legacy Law Group, our estate planning practice encompasses the following:
- Preparation of revocable living trusts, wills, powers of attorney and ancillary documents in which you to direct the disposition of your assets at death, designate individuals to make financial and medical decisions for you during your incapacity, state your end-of-life preferences, and nominate guardians for minor children;
- Assistance with funding revocable living trusts to prevent Probate Court involvement at death;
- Advice regarding beneficiary designations for life insurance, retirement accounts and stock options to ensure they are coordinated with your other documents and structured in a manner to minimize taxes;
- Preparation of a range of irrevocable trusts, including Crummey trusts, GST trusts, GRATs, CRTs, QPRTs, and ILITs, and advice regarding other sophisticated estate planning strategies to address estate, gift, generation-skipping and property tax;
- Advice regarding intra-family and charitable transactions, such as gifts, sales, and loans;
- Preparation of petitions to the Probate Court to resolve a range of issues, including petitions to approve trust accountancy, to modify an irrevocable trust, to update trustee succession, and to seek instructions from the Probate Court on a particular matter; and
- Preparation of federal gift tax returns.
Your estate plan is intended to be updated from time to time as your goals, relationships, or wealth changes, or as the laws change. If you already have an estate plan in place, we will review it with you to ensure that it still carries out your wishes and complies with state and federal law.
In the estate planning process, we pay attention to the various tax issues that arise, whether it be estate tax, gift tax, generation skipping transfer tax, income tax or property tax, and to other fees that may be imposed on your death. We will let you know how your estate plan can be structured to carry out your wishes while also minimizing these taxes and fees.
Estate Planning areas we will discuss with you:
Will vs. Revocable Living Trust
While it is slightly more time-consuming and expensive to establish and fund a revocable living trust, by using a revocable living trust your estate will be able to avoid a court-supervised conservatorship and probate administration. In addition, unlike a will, the terms of your revocable living trust will not be available for public scrutiny following your death. Even with a revocable living trust, we will prepare a simple “pour-over” will for you. In some circumstances, a will, rather than a revocable living trust, will be the better vehicle for your estate plan.