At Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens & Youmans LLP, our highly experienced estate planning attorneys strive to stay on top of the ever-changing tax, trust and estate laws to meet specific goals—to ensure that our clients are informed, and their personal concerns and estate planning objectives are addressed in the most prompt and cost effective manner.
Our Approach to Estate Planning
We integrate all federal and state, income, estate, gift and other transfer tax strategies imaginable to minimize our clients’ worry, risk, administration fees, and expenses. And, most importantly, the transfer, other tax exposure and “up front” cost of the estate planning process. Our WKBK&Y team is located in the Sacramento area in Northern California. And, our attorneys are well regarded for their expert knowledge, lecturing extensively on estate planning to other attorneys and CPAs throughout California.
We offer estate-planning services including:
- Traditional estate planning, such as the preparation of wills, revocable trusts
- Living Wills and Advance Health Care Directives
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Support and Educational Trusts
- Generation-Skipping Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Family business planning, including (i) transition planning for closely held corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies; and (ii) buy-sell agreements and insurance programs associated therewith
- Life insurance planning
- Employee and retirement benefit planning
- Publicly supported charities, including charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts (“CRITS,” “CRTs” and “CRUTS”)
- Marital Agreements, including Premarital Agreements (“Pre-Nups”) and Post-Nuptial Agreements (“Post-Nups”)
- International estate planning
- Asset protection planning
- Post-mortem estate planning
- Estate (probate) administration and Trust administration
- Private foundations, including family foundations
While WKBK&Y has a wide range of clients (including individuals, entrepreneurs, corporate executives and owners of closely held businesses) our firm takes a very personalized approach to help our clients reach their goals. We help them accumulate, preserve, protect and transition their wealth in a transfer tax-efficient fashion consistent with their family values.
We also try to take the complexity out of the planning process. For example, we develop and implement understandable estate plans that can carry out the personal and family objectives of our clients in a sensitive manner. We believe estate planning should take into account opportunities that occur during the person’s lifetime, so we plan for current and projected changes in federal and state income, and estate and gift tax laws, to help minimize the need to update the plan any more frequently than necessary.
At Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens & Youmans LLP, we are accustomed to providing timely, practical, effective, and high-quality legal services. Over the years, we have developed and implemented sophisticated plans designed to carry out the personal and family objectives of our clients in a sensitive manner, while minimizing estate and income taxes. In our view, personal, financial, and estate planning should focus not only on the disposition of a client’s property at death, but also should take into account opportunities that occur during the person’s lifetime.
California’s Probate Process is necessary if a person dies with or without a will and they either own real property or have assets in excess of $100,000.
The process includes the following:
- Probate’s Purposes
- Assets Involved with Probate
- Assets Excluded from Probate
- Spousal Property Petition
- Selection of Executor, Administrator, or Administrator with the Will Annexed
- Court Appointments
- Asset Collection
- Bill and Debt Payment
- Estate Asset Sale
- Tax Payments
- The Federal Estate Tax
- Income Tax Returns – Prior to Death
- The Fiduciary or Estate Income Tax Return
- Additional Taxes
- Tax Liability
- The Estate’s Conclusion
There’s much to do when it comes to trust administration. The terms of the trust generally control the administration, so be sure to read the document before doing anything.
Every trust is different. Some trusts hold a small amount of property and are terminated within a very short time after the grantor’s death. Other trusts hold millions of dollars worth of property and provide income to trust beneficiaries for many years. Sometimes a trust becomes the subject of litigation when a beneficiary disputes how the trustee is administering the trust. A trust dispute can also arise when a disgruntled heir challenges the testator’s estate plan.
The amount of work involved in administering a trust varies depending on a number of factors including the:
- Type of trust
- Number of beneficiaries
- Amount of property in the trust
- Duration of the trust,
- Number of creditor claims against the grantor’s estate
- Quality of the grantor’s record-keeping
Regardless of these factors, trust administration typically involves many of the following activities:
- Obtaining legal documents and records necessary to administer the trust and certify the validity of the trust when dealing with third parties
- Collecting monies owed to the trust
- Maintaining an inventory of trust property
- Consulting financial, tax, and legal advisors regarding proper administration of the trust
- Paying debts and expenses of the trust
- Managing trust assets and investments
- Obtaining appraisals or valuations of trust assets
- Selling trust property
- Keeping accurate records of trust income and expenditures
- Filing tax returns
- Providing information to trust beneficiaries if required by the trust
- Distributing trust income and property to beneficiaries
- Executing documents to transfer title to trust property to beneficiaries
Click for an Overview of the Trust Administration Process.
When a loved one develops difficulties in managing his or her financial affairs (or in providing for personal needs as a result of illness or advanced age) sometimes it is necessary for family or friends to obtain court authority to act on the individual’s behalf. This is especially relevant when the individual has not executed the appropriate estate planning documents or resists such assistance.
In California, this is accomplished through a proceeding known as a conservatorship.
Because conservatorships are complicated, individuals who seek appointment as conservator and who act with the best of intentions can still find themselves unintentionally running into problems because the legal requirements imposed on them.
If you are planning to seek conservatorship over a loved one, you will want to ensure that you have qualified legal assistance to guide you through the process. At Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens and Youmans LLP, our probate attorneys have extensive experience in the area of conservatorships and have handled numerous complicated conservatorship matters, including contested conservatorships and limited conservatorships. Let us help you help your loved ones.
Guardianships are complicated proceedings and are difficult to navigate without expert legal advice. Here, at Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens and Youmans LLP, our probate attorneys have extensive experience in assisting clients in establishing guardianships of the person and estate.