Focused and Caring Estate Planning Attorney in Marin County
Prepare for the future by speaking to a qualified estate planning lawyer. Codi M. Dada Law Offices can help clients in Marin County and the surrounding areas create solid estate plans. Attorney Codi M Dada is a compassionate lawyer who makes legal processes simple. His focus makes him uniquely qualified to create your comprehensive estate plan. Trust him to assist with drafting wills, asset protection, and other related needs.
Assisting with a Range of Estate Planning Needs
Power of Attorney, Wills, and More
Codi M. Dada Law Offices can assist with:
- Drafting Wills: A will is one of the single most valuable tools in any estate plan. A will goes into effect upon your death and dictates where your assets will go. Work with an estate planning attorney to make sure your will is created correctly.
- Manage Your Estate: Attorney Codi M. Dada can help you manage your estate and make sure that everything is in order.
- Establishing Power of Attorney: There may come a point where you’re unable to make decisions for yourself. A power of attorney document will give another individual to make decisions in your best interests. Create this document with help from a qualified lawyer.
- Protecting Assets: You want to make sure that your loved ones get the assets they deserve. Codi can help you come up with asset protection strategies to keep your property safe from creditors.
- Minimizing Estate Taxes: Effective tax planning can help you reduce how much your loved ones will have to pay on your estate. Speak to an attorney to get assistance with this process.
Speak to an Attorney
Call for Your Free Initial Consultation
Codi aims to simplify the estate planning process for his clients. He will guide you through it, providing you with solutions that are tailored to your unique needs. If you’re near Novato, CA, or the surrounding areas, then consider calling today for your free initial consultation.
Estate Planning FAQs
Estate planning is the process of preparing all legally required documents and providing comprehensive instructions to grant authority to another person allowing them to legally make decisions about your health care and manage your assets, in the event you are unable to do so for yourself. This allows the most cost effective and efficient means to transfer wealth or direct benefits to you or other people and avoid probate of all trust assets.
While the cost of drafting a professional estate plan can vary greatly depending on where you live and the size of the law firm you select a good way to get the most for your money is by finding a small law firm that specifically focuses on living trusts and estate planning. Finding an attorney that has a small office and answers his own phone allows the attorney to charge each client less money for each estate plan. A small dedicated law firm not only allows for lower prices it provides you with better service because the attorney is well versed in the specific area of law, as well as dedicated to providing great service because they are not distracted with practicing other areas of law at the same time.
To make it simple, first gather the names addresses and phone numbers of each person you would like to have part of your estate plan. The people who will be involved are those discussed below.
Once you have obtained the full name address and phone number of each person you would like involved with your estate plan, call the estate planning Law Office of Codi M. Dada and schedule a complimentary consultation.
There are several things you’ll need to discuss with your estate planning attorney:
- Who will be the successor trustees? The first things that you should think of when preparing to draft an estate plan is to decide who you would like to designate as the successor trustee. (This is the person who will manage your assets if you are unable). You can select several who would serve as a trustee or as a backup if the first selected was not able. Also, you can select more than one person who would serve together at the same time. The advantages and disadvantages can be explained to you during your complimentary meeting with estate planning attorney.
- Who are the beneficiaries? Next, decide who you would like to give your assets to and in what amounts or percentages. Is there a minor child, then decide who you would like to designate as a guardian?
- Who are the health care agents? Who will make health care decisions for you if you are not able?
- Special instructions. What things would you like those people receiving your assets to accomplish with your assets? (For example, to finish college, purchase a home, buy their first car, pay for a wedding, etc.)
Discussing these issues with an experienced estate planning attorney is very helpful because the attorney can provide several options and common examples depending on your unique preferences and family situation as well as share his experience with each option.
During the initial meeting with an estate planning attorney expect to have a friendly but open conversation about your true concerns and desires relating to how you would like things to happen with your assets and family situation. Remember that an attorney has a duty of confidentiality and cannot share any information learned about you and your family.
During this conversation, the attorney should carefully listen and address each question you may have while giving you solutions and personalized guidance. Remember, that the estate planning attorney has a legal duty and is under oath to maintain the privacy of all information you share with them. The attorney is not there to place judgment on you but rather, is there to make sure that what you want to happen with your assets happens the way you want.
For example, is there someone that is struggling with drug addiction or is there children from a previous marriage you want to protect/ prevent or is there an heir you believe may have special needs requiring special instructions or is there someone you think may not honorably handle the responsibility of receiving your gift. Although these topics might be uncomfortable to discuss, it is important the attorney is aware of these circumstances, so the proper provisions can be included in your estate plan.
At the end of the meeting, the attorney will give you an accurate price for the cost of drafting your estate plan and a definite date when your estate plan will be complete. The price should be based on a flat rate rather than an hourly rate. Because estate planning is an area of law that is foreseeable, a reputable law firm should always provide you with a concrete flat rate and delivery date rather than an estimate based on hourly rates.
You are under no obligation to hire the attorney. If you decide that you would like to hire the attorney to draft your estate plan, most attorneys will require full payment up front. The attorney is required to hold your payment in the attorney’s client trust account until you are completely satisfied with your estate plan and the attorney has completed everything they promised.
A trust can be established in many different ways depending on each person’s circumstances. Below are typical scenarios of how a living trust works. An estate planning attorney can adjust any provision depending on your preferences and specific circumstances of your lifestyle.
What is a “settlor”?
The settlor is the person who requested the trust to be established and whose assets will fund the trust. You are the settlor of your trust.
What is a surviving spouse?
For a revocable living trust drafted for a married couple, the spouse that lives longer than the other spouse is referred to as the surviving spouse.
What is a trustee?
The trustee is the person who will manage the trust assets and administer the trust. Usually, unless specifically altered, during your lifetime you will be the trustee of your trust. For a trust involving married people, both spouses are the trustees of the trust. After the first spouse is no longer with us, the surviving spouse becomes the trustee of the couples living trust.
As trustee of your trust, you will be able to do anything with the trust assets as though you own them yourself. As trustee of your revocable living trust, there are very little limitations to what you can do with your assets held in trust. We will discuss this during our complimentary consultation.
There are several options in designating a trustee. While most people decide to be the trustee of their revocable living trust, other people prefer to hire a professional trust management company to manage the assets of the revocable living trust.
With a professionally drafted estate plan, a “Pour-Over Will” is created to minimize probate. It’s commonly referred to as a “pour-over” will because this type of will pours your assets into your trust. Basically, if there are assets that haven’t been transferred to your trust, they will be after you die. This, in turn, is done to make sure these assets are distributed properly. The will also designates the Guardian of any minor child. You have a “stand-alone” Power of Attorney and a Health Care Power of Attorney for any minor child). This will be explained further during our meeting.
The Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document which is designed to give another individual the ability to make certain decisions and manage assets on your behalf should you become incapacitated. (It should be noted, however, that there are certain things this individual won’t be able to do—for example, they can’t sell personal property.) If you have any concern about granting such broad powers, certain limitations need to be included in the language of the document. Discussing this document with a professional estate planning attorney is important.
An Assignment of Personal Property is a document that is required in a professional estate plan. This is how you can transfer certain personal property assets to your trust. A certification of trust should be included with a professionally drafted estate plan.