ESTATE PLANNING LEGAL SERVICES
We offer comprehensive estate planning legal services for those looking to create an estate plan for the first time. Every estate plan is unique, because every client has different estate planning goals and personal and financial circumstances. An estate plan is an important tool that can help you and your loved ones prepare for your future, especially if you have children and/or real estate and other assets. An estate plan not only allows you to designate what should happen with your assets and who should take care of your children should anything happen to you, but also helps your loved ones and those you care about potentially save a lot of money in taxes and other costs. A well constructed estate plan allows your beneficiaries to take advantage of property tax savings and also avoids probate, which is a very costly and extremely lengthy court process.
An inadequate estate plan can cost your loved ones not only a significant amount of unnecessary expense, but emotional turmoil as well during a very difficult time. We recognize the importance of achieving legal goals in a cost-effective and professional manner.
For new estate plans we typically charge a flat fee of $2500 for a single person with one property and $5000 for a couple with up to two properties. Each additional California property that is to be transferred to your trust is an additional $500. We do not handle transfers of real estate for any properties outside of California.
We will work with you to help you craft an estate plan that suits your unique wishes. A typical estate plan is comprised of 4 main documents that all work in concert to achieve a comprehensive plan:
· A trust, which is like a financial bucket in which you put all of your assets into
· A will, which allows you to name a guardian for your children and funnels any missed assets into your trust
· A financial power of attorney which allows a third party that you have named to step in and make financial decisions for you if you are not able
· An advanced healthcare directive which allows a third party that you have named to step in and make health care decisions for you if you are not able
We also help you with the final step, which is making sure that appropriate assets are actually in your trust and ensure that the remainder of assets are transferred as appropriate.
ESTATE PLANNING UPDATES AND CHANGES
When an estate plan is in place, its documents may require some maintenance within your lifetime. Family members come and go, relationships change, and it Is possible that an estate plan that made sense five or ten years ago no longer reflects your wishes. It Is a good idea to revisit your estate planning documents periodically to ensure that the provisions are up to date and still accurately express your wishes. For those looking to update their estate plan or make other changes we charge an hourly rate of $500/hour.
When a person passes away, his or her affairs will need to be settled. This process involves making a list of all assets the person owned, paying off the person's debts, and distributing the remaining assets to whoever is entitled to receive them.
Upon your passing or the passing of a loved one or client, we can help you with the administration of the trust. Whether you are the child, spouse, beneficiary, heir, trustee, fiduciary, executor, attorney-in-fact, or health care agent, we can advise you on your rights and responsibilities as well as guide you through the entire process, from start to finish, helping you meet your legal responsibilities and limit your liability. We will walk you through all necessary tasks, keep you on track to meet the various required deadlines and be there to answer all of your questions.
We charge $500/hour for trust administration work and typically ask for a retainer of $5000. Any unused amount is fully refundable.
Shrem Law is a Bay Area based law firm with offices in El Cerrito. We provide legal services to Northern California residents, primarily in the East Bay (Alameda County and Contra Costa County), including Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Brentwood, Crockett, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Kensington, Lafayette, Martinez, Oakland, Orinda, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Walnut Creek and surrounding communities, as well as Marin county and San Francisco.
Copyright 2001 Jean Shrem & Shrem Law
Jean Shrem Esq. 510-882-9992. Jean@ShremLaw.com