Estate Planning Overview

Probate Administration

Probate is the process of gathering the assets, paying the creditors and transferring the property and belongings of the decedent to their heirs. Despite what you may have heard, probate does not need to be lengthy, expensive or complicated. The probate system is intended to help heirs and beneficiaries clear title to the assets as quickly and easily as possible, and to prevent false claims against the decedent’s estate.

At the Law Offices of Gregory I. McMurray, P.C., we have helped many clients with probate and estate administration by filing the necessary pleadings, and preparing the documents required under California law.  We also work with beneficiaries to help them understand and comply with the appropriate laws. Our experience will guide you through the often intimidating process of determining the best course of action to protect your loved one’s assets, and help alleviate the anxiety of this already difficult time.

Estate Planning

Regardless of your age, or the size and complexity of your estate, an estate plan is important for everyone. Planning for your estate will ensure that your final property and health care wishes are honored, and that loved ones are provided for in your absence.

An estate plan can help you appoint family members and other loved ones to receive your property after your death. It will also ensure that your property will be transferred to those you have identified, as quickly and easily as possible. Often times an estate plan can help you minimize the amount of taxes that will need to be paid in order for your property to pass to your beneficiaries after your death. In certain circumstances, an estate plan can avoid the time and costs associated with the probate process.

The estate planning process typically involves working with your financial, tax and legal advisors to develop a customized estate plan.

Many estate plans include the following:

  • Last Will and Testaments
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Guardianships
  • Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care
  • Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Management
  • Advance Medical Directives
  • Conservatorships
  • Planning for Disabled Children
  • Gifting Strategies
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Family Limited Partnerships
  • Probate

Establishing and Managing Guardianships and Conservatorships

Many people don’t realize that setting up and maintaining a guardianship or conservatorship is a document-intensive process that can involve complex legal issues.  Guardianships and conservatorships are court-supervised proceedings by which a minor child or an incapacitated person’s affairs are handled.  Guardians and conservators can be appointed to care for a person or manage an estate.  When managing an estate, the guardian or conservator must file financial accountings with the probate court.  In addition, they must seek court approval before engaging in certain transactions.  If you have questions about establishing or managing a guardianship or conservatorship, or if you simply want more information, call us today for a free consultation. The Law Offices of Gregory I. McMurray, P.C., has the experience and legal knowledge to satisfy the requirements of guardianship or conservatorship.

Focused on Your Estate Needs

At the Law Offices of Gregory I. McMurray, P.C., we focus on your concerns and desires so that we can offer you the best possible options in preparing your estate plan. We understand the complexities of the law. More importantly, our experienced legal team will make sure that you understand the documents you are signing and the tools you are using to protect your family.

Contact Us

One of the best ways to help assure that your assets will be managed for your family as you intend is to develop a comprehensive estate plan designed to meet your individual needs. Contact us to start with a thorough review of your estate planning needs during a consultation at our Santa Barbara office. Call 805-965-3703 or email us to schedule your consultation.