MARIN ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER

Do you want to protect you, your family, and your assets in the event of your untimely incapacity or death? If you already have an estate plan, congratulations! If you do not have an estate plan, pretend for a moment that you were either involved in a really bad accident (car accident, slip and fall, etc) or suffered from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease and were rendered totally incapacitated.  Pretend further that you were incapacitated for weeks, months or even years. Would you, your family, and your assets be protected? Would you and your family have quick access to liquid assets?  Or would you and your family be faced with financial and medical uncertainty?   Pretend further that you died from this bad accident or disease.  Would your family and your assets be adequately protected? Would your final wishes be honored by having your assets go to specific individuals of your choosing?

Simply put, incapacity cases are dramatically on the rise because people are living longer due to advances in medical technology.

So doesn’t it make sense to have an estate plan in place to address the ever increasing odds of you becoming incapacitated? And when it comes to death, we all know that it is certain. So clearly it makes total sense to plan for an event that is certain to happen, right? YES!   However, far too many people in California do not have an estate plan. According to an article by Forbes.com dated April 9, 2014, 51% of Americans age 55 to 64 don’t have wills.  Worse, 62% of those age 45 to 54 — and 67% of women that age — haven’t drafted wills.  This data reveals that too many individuals and their families are unprotected in the event of their incapacity or death.  The chances are that you are among those who do not have an estate plan in place. At The Law Office of Matthew W. Harris, my office wants to reduce apathy that too many people have when it comes to estate planning.  The Law Office’s goal and purpose is to see to it that every person we deal with has an estate plan, such as a trust, will, power of attorney in place in the event of their incapacity or death. By having a valid and comprehensive estate plan done by Matthew W. Harris, you, your family and your assets will be protected when you yourself are unable to protect you, your family, and your assets. Protect your family now by contacting Marin County estate planning attorney, Matthew W. Harris today.

At the Law Office of Matthew W. Harris, I believe that every person should have a comprehensive estate plan whether it is a will, trust, advance health care directive, and power of attorney.   Sonoma County estate planning attorney, Matthew W. Harris believes that too many people in California are either apathetic about estate planning or have misconceptions about estate planning.  I believe that you, your family, and your assets deserve to be protected if you were unable to protect them yourself.  The mere fact that you are reading my website (and the next-to last sentence on this page) clearly demonstrates your initiative in taking the first

step to protect you and your loved ones by contacting The Law Office of Matthew W. Harris today for a free estate planning consultation.

WILLS AND TRUSTS CAN AVOID PROBATE AND CONSERVATORSHIP 

If you do not have a valid estate plan at the time of your incapacity or death, the State of California will create a mandatory “estate plan” for you.  For example, if you were to become incapacitated, the State of California will create a court-ordered “estate plan” for you in a legal process called a conservatorship.  The court will order where you live, how you live, who will control your medical wishes and assets, and what you can or cannot do. Chances are pretty good that you will not like your court-ordered “estate plan.”  Furthermore, your assets (if solvent) will be used to pay for attorneys fees, conservator fees, court filing fees, court investigator fees, and other miscellaneous costs.   On the other hand, if you died without an adequate estate plan, the State of California will also create a mandatory “estate plan” for you in a legal process called probate.   Under California intestate succession, your belongings, possessions and assets will be distributed to certain individuals according to a mandatory list, and regardless of your true intentions. Furthermore, your assets (if solvent) will be used to pay for attorneys fees, executor fees, court filing fees, appraisal fees, and other miscellaneous costs.

WILLS AND CONSERVATORSHIPS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 

To make matters even worse, conservatorship and probate matters are open to the public, meaning that any person (and business) can go to the courthouse and review conservatorship and probate records.  Regarding conservatorship matters, certain medical information, certain assets, and certain family information (names and addresses), will all be open for public inspection. With respect to probate matters, certain medical information (death certificate), certain assets, and certain family information (names and addresses) will be subject to public inspection.

And now for the good news, an estate plan such as a will or trust can avoid conservatorship and probate matters.  By creating your estate plan, it will be yours, and not California’s “estate plan” version.  Your estate plan will govern how and where you live, how you want your medical issues addressed, and how you want your assets to be handled and distributed.  Your estate plan gives you the power to control your life, protect your family, your pets and your life-savings.

Call Marin County Estate Planning Attorney, Matthew W. Harris, today at (415) 521-5610 for a free estate planning consultation.

MARIN CONSERVATORSHIP LAWYER

Many adults and the elderly become incapacitated for many reasons (slip and fall, auto accident, disease or old age dementia) and are unable to take care of their person and finances.  If an adult does not have an estate plan at the time of his or her incapacity, then a probate court generally commences a conservatorship to assist the adult person.  Under a general conservatorship, the probate court issues a protective order appointing a competent adult person to help another adult with their person and finances.  Under a limited conservatorship, these may be set up for adults who have developmental disabilities (such as mental retardation, epilepsy, cerebal palsy and autism that began before 18 years of age) who cannot fully care for themselves or their property, but who also do not need the higher level of care or help under a general Conservatorship.

Conservatorship attorney Matthew W. Harris represents conservators, conservatees and professional fiduciaries.  Call The Law Offices of Matthew W. Harris at his San Rafael office at (415) 521-5610 for a free consultation.

PROBATE ATTORNEY–MARIN, SAN FRANCISCO, SONOMA, CONTRA COSTA

Formal probate is a legal process where the deceased’s last will and testament is “proven valid” in probate court. The overall probate process transfers title of the deceased’s property to his or her proper beneficiaries, and the deceased’s debts and liabilities are usually paid in full.

Call San Rafael, 94903, Marin, wills and trusts attorney, Matthew W. Harris, at his San Rafael office at (415) 521-5610 for a free consultation.

MARIN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY

Whether you’re single or married, estate planning, wills and trusts lawyer, Matthew W. Harris, will protect you, your family, your home, your pets, and your life-savings by creating a comprehensive estate plan.

Marin County estate planning attorney