Trusts with Property in Multiple States

Description

We drafted estate planning documents, including a revocable trust, for an elderly gentleman with real property holdings in multiple states. After he passed away, we represented the successor trustee in the administration of the trust. We worked with law firms in each of the states where real property was located to complete the process.  

Result

Within one year after the date of death, all real property was sold and the trust estate was distributed to the beneficiaries.

Passing Away without a Will or Trust

Description

We represented a woman whose aunt passed away without leaving a will or trust and without leaving any children or other descendants. Because she did not have a trust, we were required to file a petition in the probate court to have our client appointed as administrator of the estate. Under the laws of intestate succession, the estate was to be distributed equally to the brother of the decedent and another brother who had already passed. The descendants of the deceased brother were scattered across the country and were difficult to locate, as they had not had contact with their aunt for decades. It is unlikely that the deceased aunt intended for any part of her estate to pass to persons with whom she had no contact. 

Result

The probate process took over two years to complete. A will or trust would also have ensured that the estate passed to those people named by the decedent, rather than to those persons specified by the laws of intestate succession. A trust would have prevented probate entirely.

Granting Power of Attorney in Advance

Description

We crafted documents, including a trust and powers of attorney, for a middle-aged husband and wife with adult children. They wanted to prevent their children from having to pay estate taxes or go through probate when they passed. Less than a year later, the husband was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and passed away within a month.   

Result

The power of attorney enabled the wife to easily deal with banks, insurance companies and employee benefit administrators in the weeks before the husband passed away. After his death, the trust then provided orderly administration without probate.

Small Business Purchases & Leases

Description

We assisted our clients in the purchase of a small business and a lease of the business premises. As the business grew, we represented them in the purchase of the business premises and several other parcels of real property, creating separate LLCs for each parcel.

Result

Ten years later, the business is very profitable, and the clients are considering selling the business, retaining the real property and retiring on the income that will be generated by the leases of the real property to the new business owners.

Preventing Business Liabilities

Description

We represented a husband and wife who had profitably operated a small business for over a decade. They consulted with us regarding the possibility of creating some entity that would provide them with some insulation from liabilities associated with the business. After consultation with their tax advisors, we determined the correct type of entity for their needs. 

Result

A California corporation was formed with the Subchapter S designation. The entire process took less than 30 days. The clients report that the business is now more profitable than before and that they worry less about potential liabilities.