4 posts categorized "Probate"

July 09, 2010

Do I Need An Estate Plan? Cute Video

Hi Folks,

I thought I'd like to use a bit of creativity and make a short, cute and informative video pointing out a couple of pluses when it comes to why we all need an estate plan. 

Naturally, I'm telling you this because we, at the Law Office of Lowell Steiger, provide this necessary legal service for you.

For a Free Consultation Call

Attorney Lowell Steiger

We'll Advise You on Your Plan

Create (as needed) Your




323) 852-1100

[email protected]

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"

June 24, 2010

Getting Your Ducks in a Row Through Estate Planning

What Is Estate Planning?


            Getting your ducks in a row -- that's what estate planning really means!  Depending on the nature of your assets and future needs, the process of estate planning can be simple or complex.  Surprisingly, estate planning involves more (much more) than simply writing a will.  In fact your estate plan, which should include the creation of a trust,  is a dynamic plan which addresses many issues including

·        Your family

·        Other individuals

·        Charitable organizations

·        Your property (assets) and the many types of ownership and title that your property may take

·        Financial planning

·        Medical planning

·        Tax planning

·        Business planning and/or

·        Future needs if you’re ever incapacitated or otherwise unable to care for yourself

Why Estate Planning Is So Important To You

         Who will be in charge of your medical decisions should you suddenly become incapacitated by a heart attack or stroke?  Do you want heroic measures taken or do you NOT want heroic measures taken.  Without an advance health directive, you're leaving your fate in the hands of others (who may be well-intentioned but do not know your wishes).  What if you want to be resuscitated but you don't have the ability to communicate that message?  What if you don't want this sign over your hospital bed?

Do not resuscitate

            Plan, plan, plan.

          It will come as no shock to you when I say that we live in an uncertain world.  So while you’re still of sound mind it is important that you plan for the future.  Through an estate plan, you can determine many things:

·        What if you become incapacitated? Your estate plan will define

o       How and by whom will your assets be managed for your benefit during the remainder of your lifetime

o       Who will take care of your minor children

o       How you will be cared for

o       Who will make your health care decisions with direction as to what those health care decisions shall be (don’t leave it to chance)

·        At what point it will make sense to distribute your assets during your lifetime

·        Who will get your assets after your death – and by what means?

·        How your assets will be managed after your death

·        What happens to your remains after you die

Simply Put: You Need An Estate Plan

Estate tax

            Bottom Line: It doesn’t matter if your estate is large or small.  You, your children, your grandchildren and your assets must be protected and provided for as determined by you.

·        Small Estate: Your plan may focus on

o       Who will receive your assets after your death

o       Who will manage your estate

o       Who will pay your final debts

o       Who will handle distribution of your assets

·        Large Estate:  Your lawyer will discuss plan and focus on the small estate issues PLUS

o       Ways to preserve assets for your beneficiaries

o       Ways to reduce / postpone amount of estate tax that may otherwise be payable upon your death

What If You Don't Have An Estate Plan?

            Wow, not having an estate plan pretty much leaves it up to a judge to pick someone to handle your assets and your personal care.  Your estate will go through the lengthy and uncertain process called probate.  Your assets will be distributed to your heirs per the rules of intestacy (dying without a will).

            Your assets will not necessarily go to the state.  In fact, per the rules of intestate succession your assets will go to your relatives, no matter how remote!

            With an estate plan, it is your choice as to whom your assets go after your death.  You have control of care of your minor children, your own care, distribution and control of your assets during your life and after your death, handling of your remains and a host of other issues.

What's Actually In My Estate?


            All of your assets are in your estate.  Those assets may be

·        Bank accounts

·        Real estate

·        Stocks

·        Bonds

·        Personal property

o       Furniture

o       Jewelry

o       Cars

·        Life insurance proceeds

·        Retirement accounts

·        Inheritance still owed to you

·        Tax refunds still due you


For a Free Consultation Call

Attorney Lowell Steiger

We'll Advise You on Your Plan

Create (as needed) Your




323) 852-1100

[email protected]

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"


June 03, 2010

Estate Planning: Important to You and Your Loved Ones


Estate planning ensures that:
  • Final property wishes are honored
  • Health care issues are clarified and honored
  • Loved ones are provided for in your absence
Estate planning resolves these (and other) legal questions when someone dies:
  • State of their financial affairs
  • Who gets what?
  • Guardianship of minor children
  • How much tax will need to be paid to transfer property
  • Appropriate funeral arrangements
What An Estate Planning Attorney Does For You

We will help you plan your estate.  At the Law Offices of Lowell Steiger, we can advise you and then prepare, your legal documents:
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Domestic Partnership Agreements
  • All other estate related papers
Prior to doing so, we will meet with you to discuss and advise as to:
  • Extent of your estate wishes
  • Preparation of your properties and estate to make it easy on your loved ones to manage with little or no interruption from
    • Government Agencies
    • Courts
    • Tedious Probate System
  • Preparing estate against various tax issues that spring up during life and upon death

Protect Your Assets

Asset Protection: What is asset protection? Asset protection planning involves figuring out and applying a lawful series of techniques that protect your assets from claims of future creditors. The techniques are designed to deter potential creditors from going after you, and frustrate them if they do, generally by making it difficult or impossible for future creditors to grab hold of your assets or collect judgments against you.

In cases where significant sums are involved, asset protection planning often includes setting up a series of:

  • Trusts
  • Partnerships
  • Off-Shore Entities
Contact me for more information.

Probate is a court involved process that determines how property, owned by someone who has passed away, will be distributed to the proper beneficiaries or heirs.

Avoiding Probate

The probate process is tedious and complicated and can easily be avoided through proper estate planning and trusts.

If Probate Is Unavoidable
We Will Help You Probate An Estate

If you or a family member needs assistance probating an estate or accessing a deceased person's financial affairs, we will help you here at the Law Office of Lowell Steiger.

Call us now for a free consultation!
Finally, and most importantly, please contact me if you have any legal issues whatsoever.  If it's not something that my office ordinarily handles, I will be delighted to refer you to a well-qualified attorney who does.

At the risk of repeating myself, I'm signing off with my warmest regards to you.

Lowell Steiger

Law Office of Lowell Steiger
8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 830
Beverly Hills, California 90211
Law Office of Lowell Steiger

Contact Me By E-mail

June 04, 2008

Estate P.A.C.T.: A Service For Preparing Probate Property for Sale

Lou_woolf I was having lunch with Los Angeles Real Estate genius Lou Woolf a couple of weeks ago.  Lou handles probate properties in a unique fashion.  Oftentimes probate properties are in grave disrepair and, as a result, are almost unmarketable.  Lou Woolf has a solution for this problem:  Hire tradespeople who, because of Lou's stellar reputation earned during 30+ years in the Los Angeles Real Estate Market, are willing to repair and beautify the downtrodden home and wait to be paid until after the home is sold.  In so doing,  Lou is able to maximize the results for his probate clients. 

In Lou Woolf's own words:

It can be a royal pain for an estate representative to sell the decedent's house.  In many cases the house needs extensive cleaning and some repairs (often cosmetic) before it can be sold.  But where does the money for these services come from?  If the house is the major asset of the estate, then the representative will often wind up paying for services out of his or her pocket, and then getting reimbursement when the house is sold.  That's not always a good idea (and if your representative doesn't have a bunch of cash sitting around, it may not even be possible).

A Los Angeles-based Realtor at Coldwell Banker, Lou Woolf, has a new service (called Estate P.A.C.T.) that could help in this area.  If you hire Mr. Woolf to sell your probate property, you gain access to a group of tradespeople who will (a) perform the necessary work on the house and (b) defer their fees until the house is sold.  (The fees are payable at the closing.)  Here is the press release and his web site site is www.EstatePact.com Mr. Woolf has indicated that His Estate Pact program will be made available to the general public (non-probate properties) on a limited, and case by case basis. 

Probate issues are tough enough without having to then go through the emotion and expense of rehabbing your deceased parents' home in order to sell it.  I've known Lou Woolf for over 35 years and can vouch for his dedication, passion and integrity when it comes to selling homes.  Call him at (818) 728-3911 or (866) Get-Wolf or send him an e-mail [email protected].


The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at [email protected]

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"


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