Respect for the field of law was instilled in me at an early age. My father, who I was named after, was Chula Vista’s first City Attorney back in the late 1950s. As a young child, I regularly saw him working in his office and occasionally witnessed him in court. He took the time to explain his cases and clients to me, and his guidance sparked my interest in becoming an attorney myself.
Today, the most important aspect of my practice is that it gives me the opportunity to help people with problems they are unable to solve on their own. An added bonus is that I have been able to develop longstanding relationships with several good people, many of whom I now count as friends. I specifically derive great satisfaction from solving difficult estate administration problems. Clients often come to me with absolutely no idea how to bring about the proper result. Sometimes it is difficult for us as attorneys to meet all of their wants and needs, so it is very rewarding when we succeed.
Areas of Practice
True estate planning is a means of defining personal values. Your legacy tells the story of your life and all that you have accomplished. Who you pass your legacy on to is a way of illustrating not only who you care about, but who you trust to shape the future with everything you have worked to build. Estate planning allows you to prioritize what you cherish most and to determine how you’d like it to be cared for in the years to come. It is imperative, then, to ensure not only that your financial resources are protected, but that you and your loved ones are empowered along every step of the way.
Power of Attorney
Life is a series of choices, but what would happen in the event that you were no longer able to make those decisions on your own? Many individuals choose to grant an agent, i.e. a child or spouse, power of attorney (POA) for this very reason. Electing a power of attorney to someone you trust ensures that you are well taken care of. Your agent will prevent you from being mistreated or subjected to situations you would not have chosen for yourself. Often, an agent such as this will assist you in your later years, but there are numerous other instances where a helping hand may be beneficial.
Wills and Trusts
One of the most crucial aspects of life is the ability to protect you and your family’s future. How would you like to spend your final years, and how would you like to provide for your loved ones then and thereafter? These are important questions to ask yourself when envisioning your life’s path. However, answering these questions is merely the beginning. You then must choose whether to solidify your plan in a will or trust. For many of my clients, this the trickiest step, so I’d like to give you a brief overview of each type of document so that you may begin to form an idea about what may best suit you and your family’s needs.
Probate and Trust and Administration
When a loved one passes on, the last thing on your mind is how to account for their assets and report your findings to the government. You need space to grieve and seek closure, but unfortunately, the law requires that a final accounting be done within a short period of time. This process can take one of two paths—probate or trust administration—depending upon the type of estate planning documents that were secured in advance. Here is what you should know regarding both scenarios.
Real Estate Transactions
If you’re like most, real estate is the single greatest purchase you will make in your lifetime. After all, a home or business is not only a significant financial investment—it is also the place you will spend the majority of your time. It is where you will create memories, form relationships and carry out the bulk of your daily duties. Therefore, it is a purchase that requires detailed research and prudent planning. However, real estate is not simply a “buyer beware” domain. Sellers can easily encounter pitfalls, too. Unfortunately, a small oversight in a real estate transaction may put a damper on your plans and land you in legal trouble.
Business Entity Formation
Starting a business is a way of fulfilling your life’s purpose. Whether you’re looking to form a startup or restructure an existing company, you probably spend much of your time envisioning your goals for the future. You have a vision, but you also need a legal plan that gives you the freedom to achieve your highest mission. It is wise to decrease your exposure to liability and to limit your tax burden so you can afford to allocate more resources to your true objectives. No matter the size or age of your organization, there is a type of formation that is right for you.
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