Practice Areas

ESTATE PLANNING

Estate planning ensures that your property passes to your chosen beneficiaries quickly and efficiently. An estate plan includes a package of documents – Trust, Will, Power of Attorney, and Advance Health Care Directive. The contents of those documents vary based on your family situation, assets, and goals. For large estates, we provide advanced estate planning techniques to minimize or eliminate taxes at death. Each estate plan we create is crafted to address your unique circumstances.

TRUST ADMINISTRATION

A Trust requires administration when the person who created it dies. For spouses with a Revocable Trust, the Trust usually continues for the benefit of the surviving spouse; however, there are still important legal actions the surviving spouse must take to continue to use his or her property without restriction. In some instances, these actions must occur within nine months of the date of death. It is important to contact an estate planning attorney to find out what actions must be taken to minimize or eliminate taxes and ensure the smooth transfer of property to your surviving spouse or other beneficiaries.

PROBATE

We are experienced probate attorneys who understand the legal requirements of this complex legal proceeding. We provide experienced and effective guidance, advice, and representation to Executors throughout the probate proceeding, which typically takes one year or more to complete.

BUSINESS FORMATION AND TAXATION

We are experienced in forming all types of business entities, including LLCs, LLPs, Partnerships, S-Corporations, C-Corporations, Professional Corporations, and Family Limited Partnerships. We can explain the advantages of each type of business structure and help you select the entity that best fits your goals, while reducing taxes. In addition to our years of practical legal experience in the field of business formation and taxation, Emily J. Buchbinder and Peter L. Sanford possess Legal Masters Degrees in Taxation. Peter L. Sanford is a Certified Specialist in Taxation with the State Bar of California.

CONSERVATORSHIPS

A conservatorship allows a responsible person or professional to manage the financial and/or medical affairs for an impaired adult when that adult did not have any legal documents appointing anyone to serve as his/her representative. A conservator is appointed by the court. The court documents required to establish a conservatorship are complicated and burdensome. After a conservatorship is established, the court retains ongoing supervision until such time that the conservatorship is terminated.

GUARDIANSHIPS

A guardian is the adult who is legally responsible for the needs of a minor. You may only become a guardian in California by being appointed by the court. A guardianship is required in certain situations for minors. There are basically two types of guardianships, “guardianship of the person” – meaning legal custody and responsibility for the minor, and “guardianship of the minor’s estate” – meaning legal responsibility to manage the minor’s assets. In many cases, you will only need to obtain a guardianship of the person, unless the minor has assets in excess of $5,000. If a minor receives an inheritance in excess of $5,000, that minor’s parent must be appointed by the court as the guardian of the estate for that child.