Los Angeles Estate Planning and Probate Attorneys Protect Your Wealth
Reliable strategies for asset protection and succession
Individuals with significant assets require advanced estate planning by attorneys who understand complex trust instruments, and who can offer specifically-tailored wealth protection strategies. At Barton, Klugman & Oetting LLP, our attorneys engage in all aspects of trust and estate work: planning, estate and trust administration, and probate. Our goal is to help you manage and transfer your personal estates, properties and businesses, while minimizing losses due to taxation or delay.
Executing your will: the first step towards a secure estate plan
At the absolute minimum, every person should have a validly executed will. Without a will, your property passes according to California’s intestacy laws, rather than according to your wishes. Our attorneys draft clear, concise, unambiguous wills that stand up to court scrutiny. If you already have a will, we recommend reviewing it every two to three years, and amending it to conform to any circumstances that may have changed. We can also draft living wills and powers of attorney to give you greater security in old age.
Trusts to protect your wealth and pass it on
Trusts are legal entities you create to hold and manage your assets now and to transfer them to your beneficiaries later. Trusts are flexible instruments which we can adapt to your particular needs. We have assisted clients in the creation of:
- Annuity trusts
- Life insurance trusts
- Lifetime gift programs
- Private charitable foundations
- Inter vivos trusts
- Qualified personal residence trusts
- Qualified terminable interest property trust
- Special needs trusts
- Testamentary trusts
Our trust work has been extensive. We have organized and continue to represent major charitable foundations in all aspects of their activities. Members of the firm have had articles published in this area in Trust and Estates Magazine, Journal of Taxation, Proceedings of New York University Law School Tax Institute and The Tax Institute of the University of Southern California. You can rely on our knowledge and attention to detail to provide you with the right combination of trusts to meet your objectives. We can also administer any trusts you create, so you can be confident in their smooth operation for the duration of their existence.
Shepherding your estate through probate
As estate and probate administrators, our attorneys perform all the tasks necessary to settle the estate so that assets can pass to the beneficiaries. These include:
- Having the court validate your will
- Paying creditors with valid claims against your estate
- Collecting debts owed to your estate
- Settling all state, local and federal taxes
- Administering guardianships for minor children or dependent adults
- Executing deeds for the transfer of real property
- Resolving any disputes among your beneficiaries
These issues sometimes require litigation to resolve — we act decisively to assure prompt settlement to minimize losses to your estate and to release assets as quickly as possible to your heirs.