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Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning should form a part of nearly every person's financial plan. Individuals with children especially require the foresight and peace of mind that accompany a formal estate plan. But even those without children can reap a myriad of benefits from the careful formulation of a plan for the transfer of their assets, from a simple will to a complex estate plan or living trust.



Each state has formal requirements for preparing and signing a will. Marin Law Partners, LLP, is skilled and experienced in all aspects of California law touching on the preparation and execution of wills. Generally, the individual making a will must declare that the document being signed is indeed that individual's will. The signature must be witnessed by at least two witnesses, each of whom must sign in the others' presence.  Further, there are specific requirements regarding how such signatures are to be made.

Generally, wills should be prepared so that they are "self-proving," which means that the instrument has been signed with all the formalities required by California law. A will which has been properly and formally prepared, by a qualified attorney, can save a great deal of trouble and effort when witnesses cannot for any reason be located, or have predeceased the testator.

If a person dies without a will they are said to have died "intestate," and the disposition of their property proceeds under California's rules of intestate succession. The disposition of property under these rules depends on the marital status of the decedent and whether they have children.  For example, under California law, only one-half of an estate will go to the spouse of an intestate decedent.


In a "trust," one party, called the "trustee," has legal control over property transferred to him by the person making the trust, the "grantor." The trust assets are managed and invested for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. Trusts can be established during the grantor's life - the "living" trust - or set up by operation of a decedent's will - the "testamentary" trust. Further, trusts that can be terminated or modified at any time by the grantor are called "revocable" trusts. Other trusts are "irrevocable."

There are special considerations in making a trust in California, a community property state. For example, making a California living trust may take the subject property out of the realm of community property and could therefore have important legal and tax implications for a married couple, or their heirs.

Estate Planning

Estate Planning is a professional service which may incorporate aspects of wills and/or trusts, and always involves legal and tax implications, in addition to the wishes of the client.  Marin Law Partners, LLP is a law firm specially qualified to assist you in planning your estate. The firm brings a unique combination of legal and tax experience, knowledge and skill to bear upon the client's needs and wishes with regard to Estate Planning. Contact us to find out more!

Marin Law Partners, LLP
21 Tamal Vista Bld. Suite 204
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Phone: 415.927.2333
Fax: 415.927.2354

575 Jefferson Street
Napa, CA 94559
Phone: 707.252.9225
Fax: 707.252.2080

135 Keller Street, Suite C

Petaluma, CA 94952

Phone: 707.763.1553

Fax: 707.763.4204

Email: info@marinlawpartners.com

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