Here at CunninghamLegal, the Living Trust Lawyers, we do nothing but living trust and estate work. We don’t just craft plans for our clients; we keep our knowledge and their documents relentlessly up-to-date.
You Need an Estate Law Firm with Longevity and Backup
Estate Planning is not a one-off event. It’s a long-term proposition and a long-term relationship dealing with long-term matters. You need your trust reviewed on a regular basis as your family, your assets, and your needs change. When you need to include new beneficiaries in your estate plan or remove a current beneficiary, we are here to help. When an archival copy of your Living Trust-centered Estate Plan must be found years from now, your family needs a firm that still exists and continues that responsibility. Otherwise, disputes can arise and, in select cases, a long litigation process can follow.
It’s extremely common for the best-intentioned people to create enormous tax headaches for their heirs.
Importantly, your attorney should not go it alone. When making required decisions on trusts, attorneys need feedback and review from expert colleagues, and they need efficient staff support. Solo attorneys and many small firms just can’t provide those resources or the long-term stability—and sometimes create chaos when they retire or shut their doors.
You Need Significant California Estate Tax and Financial Planning Expertise
It’s extremely common for the best-intentioned people to create enormous tax headaches for their heirs. This is especially true for wealthy heirs, who have to engage in a careful balancing act with the IRS.
We find it shocking that many estate attorneys cannot explain how to plan things like complex IRA inheritances, or know how to move certain trusts out of high-tax California to places with zero state income taxes.
California’s arcane tax system creates special complexities and challenges, including not just California Proposition 13, but follow-up California Propositions 8, 58, 60, 90, 193, 218, and 19—all of which impacted how you can pass on property tax caps.
We find it shocking that many estate attorneys cannot explain how to plan things like complex IRA inheritances.
You deserve an estate lawyer with a deep understanding of these complex tax strategies, contemporary financial vehicles, and your options around everything from Roth IRAs to life insurance. The difference can double or triple the portion of your legacy your loved ones actually get to keep—and you will not find the right knowledge simply by searching “Estate Attorney near me.”
At CunninghamLegal, we pride ourselves on our tax expertise, and we retain staff attorneys with specialized degrees in tax law to consult on difficult issues. Importantly, we always make a point of working closely with your CPA and Financial Advisor.
Special Estate Circumstances Require Special Approaches
If you have a special needs child or grandchild, a disabled dependent, an angry ex-spouse, a blended family, an estranged family—or any of the countless unique life challenges we are familiar with—you definitely need more than a “regular” attorney.
You need a savvy trust lawyer who can make sure a special needs or disabled dependent gets properly timed disbursements and holds on to their public benefits. You need an estate attorney who can help plan for an irresponsible, even drug-addicted heir. An estate attorney who can create a specialized Asset Protection Trust to guard against bankruptcy, divorce, or frivolous lawsuits.
You Need a Firm that Does Trust Administration and Probate
Chances are, the person you choose as the Trustee of your estate and Executor of your Will won’t know much about their new job. They may have a general understanding of their role, they likely won’t know the laws, the deadlines, the forms, the pitfalls—or the very real personal liabilities that come with a Trusteeship.
To draft a good Living Trust and help you fund it correctly, you need a firm that regularly handles incapacity issues, after-death administration, probate issues, and the emotional roller-coasters that beset siblings, extended families, and spouses.
It’s far too easy to lose your Prop 13 tax cap when you pass on your house (especially with Prop 19), undercut the SSI benefits of a loved one, or fail to properly leverage retirement accounts in your Estate Plan.
Only such a firm can anticipate problems and get the original language right. If you become incapacitated, or when you pass, your loved ones deserve a firm that’s ready to lend proactive legal and administrative support to an overwhelmed family.
Remember that Reasonable Estate Planning Costs Can Save Fortunes
You already know you need a Living Trust to save your loved ones from the enormous hassles, outrageous expenses, endless delays, and strife of probate court.
A Living Trust can return your loved ones at least ten times the later expense of probate. But it has to be done right.
Cut-and-paste Trusts, automated Trusts, and “discount Trusts” can create disasters, and often send loved ones to probate anyway. Why? Because a knowledgeable attorney has not taken the time to discover all the issues which uniquely face their clients and their loved ones, then guided them through the process, resolved the questions, and created the best possible strategy for the future.
Learn More about Estate Planning
We invite you to explore the many educational resources available on our website, and we especially invite you to attend one of our informative online webinars—where you can ask your own questions of expert attorneys.
Our founder, Jim Cunningham, has also written a best-selling book: Savvy Estate Planning: What You Need to Know Before You Talk to the Right Lawyer. In this short but vital volume, Jim lays out the ten most common mistakes that could damage your financial succession, family, heirs and legacy.
Contact Us for an Estate Attorney Near You
Here at CunninghamLegal, we maintain offices throughout California with easily the best California estate attorneys around. It’s our job to know the complexities of the law and provide the depth of experience to make estate planning simple and painless—but effective—for both you and loved ones.
At CunninghamLegal, we care, we listen, and we work with compassion. Our services are provided at a reasonable price, because we believe that great estate planning should be available to everyone.
Click here to request a consultation with a lawyer, call us today at +1 866.988.3956, or see our list of Estate Planning offices throughout California.