- Orange County Estate Planning,
Probate and Trusts Attorney
Zev S. Brooks provides attorney services to clients in Los Angeles and Orange County in all aspects of estate planning, including drafting living trusts, wills, living wills, power of attorney documents, guardianship and conservatorship matters, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, and life insurance trusts.
- Meet Zev Brooks
- Practice Areas
- Estate Planning
- Business Litigation
- Contract Litigation
- Employment Litigation
- Intentional Torts: Libel, Slander, Fraud, Conversion
- NASD Arbitration (to help people recover illegitimate investment losses.)
- Legal Defense (defending clients when they have been sued)
- Business Philosophy
"Happy Customers Make For Healthy Business." As a sole practitioner, my goal is to provide my clients both quality legal assistance and quality customer service.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate Planning exists to advise a client how to organize and arrange his or her property so as to allow the client to dispose of that property at death according to the client's desires while minimizing the cost of transferring the client's property to the client's beneficiaries as well as the time it takes to do so. Estate Planning also enables a client to make sure someone is prepared to manage that client's property if that client is no longer capable of doing so.
Do You Need Estate Planning?
Since estate planning benefits a client not only in the orderly passing of his or her property at death, but also can serve to make sure that a client's assets and personal affairs will be managed according to the client's desires while the client is alive if the client is no longer able to do so, everyone can benefit from some estate planning. In other words, the need for estate planning is more than a function of one's wealth.
How Can Estate Planning Help You?
- Proper planning will make sure your property goes to the people whom you want to have it when you die and not some unexpected beneficiary.
- Proper planning can allow you to avoid the expense and delays associated with probate.
- Proper planning can help minimize or eliminate taxes that the government imposes on wealth transfers, "estate taxes" or "death taxes".
- Proper planning can help reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes on property transferred at death.
- Proper planning can make sure that if while you are alive you are no longer capable of managing your estate, someone can pick up the pieces for you.
- Proper planning can provide some asset protection.
- Proper planning can avoid conflicts in the event it is necessary to appoint someone as guardian of your minor children.
- Proper planning can avoid conflicts in the event it is necessary to appoint a conservator to manage your affairs.
What is Probate?
Probate is the court supervised process designed to transfer property from one who died to a beneficiary. Although probate provides a very orderly and fair process for the transferring of wealth, it is a very time consuming and often expensive process.
Are All Estates Subject to Probate?
No. In California estates that are worth less than $100,000 are not subject to probate and can be passed in a less costly and time consuming manner.
Are all Estates Subject to Estate Taxes?
Yes & No. The subject of estate taxes is complicated given the newly enacted tax laws passed in 2001. For the next several years, however, estate taxes will still be imposed on some large estates. Generally, the Federal government taxes the net value of all property owned by a person who dies that does not pass to a surviving spouse or charity.
What Is A Living Trust?
A Living Trust is an estate planning tool designed to allow a person to pass his or her property at death to designated beneficiaries while avoiding probate (and its costs) and minimizing any estate taxes.
Estate Planning Definitions
- Living Wills
- Guardianship and Conservatorship Matters
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Nonprobate Transfers at Death
Estate Planning for Vacation
Recently, I was mailed a thick envelope from a client of mine whom I was assisting with her estate plan. I opened her letter to discover she had mailed me the original of a draft living trust I prepared for her, fully executed.
Downside to Beneficiary Designations
As an estate planner and probate practitioner, it is commonplace to see people take advantage of pay on death designations on their bank accounts and other assets by naming their loved ones as beneficiaries.
Premarital agreements are often referred to as prenuptial agreements,
antenuptial agreements, and commonly called prenups for short. A prenup allows parties contemplating marriage to define their respective property rights toward one another.
My office services clients in all of the following Los Angeles County and Orange County cities: Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Buena Park, Cypress, Carona Del Mar, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Brea, La Palma. La Habra, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Rossmoor, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Westminster, Long Beach, Signal Hill, Culver City, Santa Monica, Cerritos, Carson, and Torrence.