Elder Law Firm Serving San Fernando Valley
Wills • Trusts • Power of Attorney • Conservatorships • H.C. Directives
Who We Are
We are a compassionate and fiercely dedicated team of elder law attorneys. As a community-based practice, we bring together a broad range of professional skills that help clients take control of all their legal and financial goals. We also partner with other local legal professionals in order to provide our clients with a convenient and single resource for all our clients legal needs.
Protecting & Providing For Those You Love
Protecting and providing for those you love requires careful and timely planning. Depending on your needs and circumstances we can show you how to minimize taxes, while making sure your long-term assets remain protected for years-to-come.
As elder lawyers, we can prepare all the necessary end-of life documents you need such as Wills, Trusts, Health Care Directives, Power of Attorney and Conservatorships.
Consult with us early. Protect your assets and your family’s future and secure a brighter future for those you love. To learn more, schedule a free initial consultation by calling: 818-906-1441 or simply contact us online.
We Serve Clients In All Income Brackets
We advise and serve our elder clients by helping them preserve and protect their assets, while helping them reach the highest possible quality of life. We serve clients in all income brackets based on each client’s financial goals and needs. Should you have any questions or want to learn more about our services, you are invited to schedule a free initial consultation by calling: 818-906-1441 or simply contact us online.
Be Prepared – Make Sure Your Will Is Accurate and Enforceable
A will is a final written declaration of the “testator,” who names a person, called the “executor,” to manage the distribution of the testator’s estate for the benefit of the named “beneficiaries” at the time of death and according to the testators expressed instructions and intent. The primary goal of having a legally accurate and enforceable will is to avoid the unpredictability and expense of having to resolve contested issues through Probate court.
Having your will and trust carefully drafted by an experienced elder law attorney will help you avoid probate. To learn more on how to avoid probate, schedule a free initial consultation by calling: 818-906-1441 or simply contact us online.
Mental Incapacity –Conservatorships
Generally, conservatorships are established for people who no longer have the mental capacity to make important decisions concerning their own welfare. For many elders, the loss of capacity can arise from normal aging or brought on by progressive stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The elder’s incapacity can also be the result of a serious accident or illnesses. For many elders, having the court appoint an independent conservator to manage the elder’s affairs is often perceived as an unwelcomed intrusion into the elder’s independence and privacy.
One way to avoid having to setup a conservatorship is through a Durable Power of Attorney. This way, someone the testator chooses and trusts can step in on your behalf to make important decisions for you. To learn more about alternative options to establishing a conservatorship schedule a free initial consultation by calling: 818-906-1441 or simply contact us online.
Durable Power of Attorney
If you become incapacitated and can no longer make sound decisions about your welfare, by choosing a previously designated person (POA) to act as your Power of Attorney, the designee will be legally authorized to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. To learn more about the advantages of having a Durable Power of Attorney, schedule a free initial consultation by calling: 818-906-1441 or simply contact us online.
Advance Health Care Directive (Living Will)
Under California law, you have the right to express your health care wishes and to have them followed in medical situations when you are unable to make these decisions yourself.
A “Advance Health Care Directive” (Also called a Living Will) confers authority typically to a loved to make important health care choices for you, such as end-of-life care, should you be terminally ill. It also covers decision such as whether you would agree to undergo diagnostic testing, certain surgical procedures, and whether you are open to organ donation. By having your Advance Health Care Directive prepared while you still have your full mental capacity to make such choices, you can have the people you trust make highly personal choices on your behalf. To learn more about Advanced Health Care Directives, schedule a free initial consultation by calling: 818-906-1441 or simply contact us online.
Contested Wills & Trusts – Estate And Probate Litigation
As elder law attorneys we represent clients that are going through inheritance disputes arising out of probate, trust, and estate distribution proceedings. Ideally, the goal is to avoid will-contests and estate litigation through early and careful estate planning. However, should disputes arise between intended and unintended beneficiaries, you will want to have an experienced elder litigator in your corner. To learn more about estate and probate litigation, schedule a free initial consultation by calling: 818-906-1441 or simply contact us online.
Tell Us About Your Case…
Call 800-627-6566 or fill out the confidential Evaluation Form below for your no-cost initial evaluation:
Q & A
What happens to my property if I die without a will? How will my money and property be apportioned?
Each state has “intestate succession” statutes that predetermine who will receive your property at death if you die without a will. Under these laws (which vary from state to state), without a will, your property will pass to your surviving spouse and other blood heirs. If you want to leave some of your property to a friend or to a charitable organization, you must execute a will and designate the bequest specifically.
What if I die without a will and my spouse and children survive me? How will my money and property be apportioned under the law?
Here is what most states do with your money and property if you die without a will:
If your spouse and children survive you, your estate will be divided among them, with your spouse receiving a full one half of your estate and your surviving children will receive the other half, which gets equally divided among them.
Most spouses that have small or modest estates prefer to leave all or substantially all of their money and property to their surviving spouse. In this regard, most state intestate succession laws do not carry out the intent of the deceased. A will is needed. In community property states, the law treats widows and widowers more generously by giving them all of the community property accumulated during the marriage and dividing only separate property between the surviving spouse and children. California is a community property state.
Keep in mind that when we refer to a “surviving spouse,” we do not mean a former spouse. In order to inherit a part or all of your estate as a spouse under state laws, your spouse must be married to you at the time of your death.
What if I die without a will, I have no surviving spouse, but I do have children and grandchildren, how will my money and property be apportioned?
If only your children and grandchildren survive you and there is no surviving spouse, your estate according to most intestate succession laws will be divided equally among your children.
What about parents, siblings, and other relatives?
If you are survived by neither your spouse, children nor grandchildren, your estate will generally pass to your parents, if they are alive, and, if not, your property will pass to your siblings. If some or all of your siblings have died before you, their children – your nephews or nieces – will take the share of their deceased parent. If the closest relatives who survive you are aunts and uncles, they or their children – your cousins – will succeed to your estate.
What if I die without a will and have neither family nor relatives?
If you have no family or relatives that survive you, all of your money and property will go (escheat) to the state. This means the State will receive whatever money, personal and real property belonged to you effective upon your death. If you are fortunate, you might have a public road named after you.
Woodland Hills Office Serves The Following San Fernando Valley Communities:
Law Offices of Kenneth W. Drake & Associates, Inc.
21241 Ventura Blvd. Suite 288
Woodland Hills, Ca. 91364