Wills, Trusts, &
from the McGovern Law Group
We equip clients with the tools to plan their legacy and protect their hard work while avoiding uncertainty, conflict, and court intervention.
Forming an estate plan is something every adult should consider, no matter their life stage. When you have a proper plan in place, it gives you the peace of mind of knowing that if something tragic were to happen, your loved ones would be empowered to handle your affairs with as little court intervention as possible.
Revocable Living Trusts
Trusts create contingency plans in case of incapacity, transfer assets to heirs without court intervention, and allow you to determine how your property is transferred in the future.
Last Will & Testaments
A will allows you to set a plan for the distribution of your property to your heirs and allows you to nominate a guardian for minor children in case of a tragedy.
Power of Attorney Documents
Power of attorney documents empower your representative to make critical health care and financial decisions in the event that you are unable to make decisions on your own behalf.
Where do I begin?
New to estate planning? You're not alone. The first thing Californians should know about estate planning is that if you pass away owning property—even with a will—your loved ones will most likely still need to go through probate court. Transferring property to a living trust has many benefits, including keeping families out of court. Check out this short video to learn more about living trusts.
If a person passes away with no estate plan, they are said to have died "intestate." At a minimum, that means that someone must then establish the authority to file affidavits with various institutions to transfer the property of the deceased. If the deceased owned significant property like a house, then transfers must go through probate court. The process can take months or years, turn into family conflicts, and be very expensive. Careful estate planning avoids these negative outcomes that make tragic events even worse.
1. Saves Money
The up-front investment of estate planning is often a small fraction of the potential cost to probate an estate with no estate planning or an outdated, ineffective plan. In California, probate attorneys are generally paid a percentage of the gross, fair-market value of a person’s assets that go through probate court. For example, based on California law, to probate a person’s assets with a total gross value of $1 million, the attorney fees alone could reach approximately $23,000.
2. Avoids Conflict
Unfortunately, few things can tear friends and family members apart like arguments over money and assets. A well-drafted estate plan removes the uncertainty from property division. Your wishes become binding and family fights over money are prevented before they occur.
3. Effects Quick & Private Transfers of Property
Taking assets through probate court is a lengthy process that normally lasts months or even years. Further, because your property is being divided by the public court, a public record is created of your assets, who received them, and any conflicts that occurred regarding the division of property. Property held in trust, on the other hand, avoids probate court so it is transferred privately and with no practical delay.
4. Creates a Plan for Incapacity
Estate planning doesn’t just consider what happens when you pass away. A trust also takes into account what would happen if you were unable to care for yourself at some point during your life. When your property is held in trust, your designated successor trustee can step in and use your property to make sure you receive the care you need should you become incapacitated. This avoids a tragic scenario where loved ones must use their own resources to provide you with care while you are unable to care for yourself.
5. Ensures that Minor Children are Cared For
For parents, often the biggest concern in estate planning is making sure their children would be cared for if the parents were to pass away. Proper estate planning allows parents to nominate a guardian to care for minor children. Further, the parents’ assets can be held in trust and used for the care, education, and well-being of the children until the children are old enough to manage the property on their own.
Our Planning Process
At the McGovern Law Group, we partner with our clients, listen to their goals and concerns, and draft each plan to address their specific needs. We're here to provide peace of mind so that you can walk away knowing that your loved ones and your legacy are protected.
We offer virtual, in-person, and/or in-home meetings where we get to know you, your goals, and the specific circumstances that need to be addressed in your plan.
Drafting Your Plan
You sit back and relax while we draft a plan that addresses your needs, the most recent legal developments in probate law, and a wide range of contingencies that could affect your plan.
There are very important actions you must take in California to make an estate plan valid. That's why we schedule a meeting to make sure all necessary documents are signed, witnessed, and/or notarized.
We're in it for the long run. We'll maintain your file so that we can assist down the road with updates or changes in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.
''I had a question about Trusts, and went to Sam McGovern for answers. I found him to be informed, professional and friendly. I highly recommend his firm.''
Jose A.Five-Star Google Review
''I have been so lucky to have found The McGovern Law Group. They are professional and quick to respond to their clients. You will be in great hands with them. Sam has been extremely helpful in explaining everything to me and answering my millions of questions.''
Amanda M.Five-Star Google Review
''Sam is a wealth of knowledge and has helped me with my estate planning. He took the time to work through the different options and answered all my questions. which there were a lot! Thank you McGovern Law Group!''
Greg K.Five-Star Google Review
''Never really heard of clients commenting on how much their lawyer cared and was so attentive until Sam McGovern. I cannot recommend them enough.''
Setting up a time to talk is the first step in achieving peace of mind through estate planning. Introductory phone calls are free, confidential, no pressure, and no obligation. Use the link above to schedule a time for Attorney Sam McGovern to call you, or reach out to our office with a call or email.