The Law Offices of Sevag Nigoghosian.

101 N. Brand Blvd.
Suite 1970
Glendale, CA  91203

T. (818) 956-1111
F. (818) 956-1983

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Wills

The Law Offices of Sevag Nigoghosian assists clients in all areas of individual estate planning and family business succession planning. With the ability to utilize techniques ranging from simplistic and conservative to complex and cutting-edge, our estate planners provide services for clients regarding planning for relatively modest to extremely large estates and businesses. Expertise includes preparation of simple and complex wills, living trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts and other long-term irrevocable trusts (e.g., family dynasty trusts), qualified personal residence trusts, charitable lead and remainder trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts and private foundations, among other items. Our attorneys also have substantial expertise in the areas of estate and generation-skipping transfer tax avoidance or minimization, including family business planning, valuation discount planning, probate avoidance, transfers in trust, including the use of family limited partnerships and family limited liability companies, and probate and trust administration.

The Law Offices of Sevag Nigoghosian works closely with clients to explain the advantages and disadvantages of planning techniques in order to ensure each client’s wishes are accurately reflected during the planning process.

We have also served as counsel in significant matters involving defense of fiduciaries’ conduct, indemnification of fiduciaries, removal of fiduciaries and breach of fiduciary duties. Realizing the difficult nature of estate and trust cases, the group provides counsel to fiduciaries with respect to beneficiary communications and appropriate courses of conduct and action to avoid potential litigation.

Free California Case Review – Call (818)956-1111.

WILLS FAQ

What is Probate?
Probate is the court-supervised process by which your estate is administered. The court assumes control over your assets; makes sure that your bills are paid, will contests are resolved, estate and income taxes are paid, and that the property is then distributed according to the instructions in your will, or according to law if you have no will.

What is a Conservatorship?
Conservatorship is the court-supervised administration of your estate during any period that you are unable to do so yourself because of incapacity. The probate court, although authorizing the conservator to handle the day-to-day management of your estate, assumes control over your assets and closely monitors what is done with those assets.

Both probate and conservatorship result in an invasion of your and your family's privacy. Your will (in the case of probate), your mental and physical health (in the case of conservatorship), your assets and debts (in both cases) become a matter of public record.

Both probate and conservatorship are burdensome and time-consuming. Both are expensive. In the case of probate, the attorney's fees and the executor's fees are set by law and are a percentage of the gross value of the probate estate.

What is a Living Trust?
A living trust is a legal document that allows you to transfer ownership of your property from your individual name to your name as trustee of your trust so that all of your assets are 'owned' by the trust. Unlike any other kind of trust you, as the creator and trustee of the trust, have absolute, 100% control of the property in the trust during your life and capacity. Nothing changes except the name on the title to your property. The trust is both revocable and amendable during your life.
Upon incapacity, your 'backup trustee', named by you in the trust instrument, automatically steps in and administers your estate without court involvement.
Upon death, your 'backup trustee' automatically steps in and distributes your estate according to your instructions. No probate is necessary because you owned nothing in your own name; your trust 'owned' all of your assets.

Does having a will avoid probate?
No. Having a will does not avoid probate; on the contrary, a will only becomes effective after being admitted to probate. A will, therefore, ensures that probate will be necessary (unless your estate is very small).

Does having a power of attorney avoid probate?
No. A power of attorney is automatically revoked upon the death of the maker. A power of attorney merely gives someone else the right to act on behalf of another during life. It does not empower another to distribute assets after the maker's death even when there is a will.

Does avoiding probate avoid paying estate taxes?
No. Estate taxes are payable regardless of whether an estate is probated or not. Probate is merely the administration of an estate through the court process. To avoid probate is to remove the court's involvement in estate administration. Estate tax avoidance is an entirely separate matter.

Is it true that avoiding probate is necessary only if the estate is worth more than $1.5 million?
No. This myth results from confusing probate avoidance with estate tax avoidance. An estate of $1.5 million or less is not subject to estate tax. However, such an estate is subject to probate.

What is your Privacy Policy?
No personal information of any kind whatsoever is collected on this website. Information from clients is collected in person, by e mail or by telephone but not directly through this website. It is my duty as well as the duty of every attorney to maintain information collected from clients private in all circumstances. No client information is disclosed to non clients without the explicit written permission of my clients.

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