Personalized Estate Planning – Wills & Trusts
Most of us don’t want to think about death and dying. However creating an estate plan gives us a sense of security about what happens to our families and our assets after our deaths. Allowing me to help you complete this process will guarantee that your assets are transferred exactly as you wish them to be, as well as empower you to decide on the nominated guardians for any minor children. Taking the huge step to complete your estate plan will halt the laws of California from deciding who gets your assets and who is the guardian of any minor children – these decisions will be guided by the language in your estate planning documents.
Probate & Trust Administration
Regardless of whether your loved one passed away with a trust, a will, or without a document expressing their wishes, the Law Office of Edward Broitman can help you during your time of need. My office provides legal representation in probate and trust administrations throughout the Bay Area counties, including Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, and Alameda Counties.
Probate & Trust Administration Expertise
- Advising trustees and personal representatives with legal and tax issues
- Compiling an inventory and valuation of assets
- Dealing with creditor claims
- Distributing and selling assets
- Notifying trust beneficiaries and heirs
- Preparing necessary court documents
- Reviewing how assets are titled
Trust & Probate Litigation
Probate litigation is a complex and unique area of law. Not only am I a seasoned trial lawyer with many years of experience in the probate court, I am extremely knowledgeable in the particular issues that arise in this domain such as: disputes over a will or trust, or the administration of an estate or trust. I possess extensive knowledge of the substantive law and unique procedures applicable to trust and probate disputes, whether that involves mediation, settlement discussions, or going to trial. I know when to negotiate and when to litigate. You can rely on me to ensure you are protected if you are experiencing issues or problems surrounding a probate or trust matter.
Areas of Expertise
- Actions involving “No contest” clauses
- Actions to remove fiduciaries
- Claims of an estate against third parties
- Contests based upon undue influence or lack of capacity
- Defense and prosecution of breach of fiduciary duties, such as mismanagement or misallocation of assets and avoiding conflicts of interest
- Disputed property claims under Probate Code § 850
- Inventory and appraisal litigation
- Lawsuits invalidating gifts under Probate Code § 21350/21380
- Petitions for property not properly titled in a trust
- Proceedings involving ambiguous provisions in a will or trust and trust reformation
- Property rights disputes
- Third-party claims against an estate
- Trust and estate accounting disputes
- Valuation disagreements
- Will and trust contests
Very few disputes are actually tried in court. Most legal disputes are resolved by the parties. With my familiarity with the mediation process, I provide clients with the information they need to understand the benefits and drawbacks of handling cases through mediation. In addition, I am a trained certified mediator who can act as a neutral party for all types of probate cases.
The possibility of a settlement must always be considered. The loss of a loved one coupled with actual and/or perceived impropriety in the handling of the deceased’s estate understandably creates a high level of emotions. Unfortunately, these issues and the emotions they generate tend to strain and, at times, even destroy the relationships of the family and friends of those with an interest in the estate.
Mediation often provides a path for resolving trust, probate and estate litigation while, at the same time, helping to preserve the relationships of those involved. In contrast to litigation, which pits family member against family member in a court setting, mediation utilizes a third party in an informal setting to help the parties understand the issues involved and how they are likely to be decided in an effort to reach an agreement that everyone can embrace.
Mediation is a confidential, non-binding process in which a trained mediator acts as a neutral person who facilitates communication between disputants and assists parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of all or part of their dispute. The primary benefits of mediation include confidentiality, costs savings and ultimate control over the outcome. When appropriate, I utilizes mediation to take the matter out of the court’s hands and foster a mutually acceptable resolution in keeping with a clients’ best interests.