Los Angeles Probate Trust Attorney

Sirkin &Sirkin


Tel.: 818-340-4479

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Los Angeles Trust & Probate Attorney

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Mina Sirkin handled the estate of my brother. This was most difficult since my brother lived in Venice California and I live in Yardley, Pennsylvania. From the out set Mina Sirkin provided me with all the information I needed to understand the legal aspects as well as my obligations. All matters throughout the probate process were handled very professionally, yet with care and concern for me the client. Most outstanding was the very efficient and effective way the legal problems and issues were handled, always with a very positive outcome for me the client. I am most appreciative that the entire probate process was handled without the need for me to make a trip to California.

What particularly distinguishes the services I received from the Sirkin law firm was the expert advice I received in a timely manner on all the numerous related details that I needed to attend to to settle the estate. They were honorable in all their dealings, and most importantly in their billing.

I would certainly use the services of the Sirkin law firm in the future and have no hesitation in recommending their services to relatives, friends and acquaintances.”
Herb. S.

Los Angeles Probate Attorneys; Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts

I have known Mina Sirkin for seven years. Mina is a life long learner, who puts the time and effort into staying on top of current events for estate law. This type of approach is very important for navigating the current times we are in; massive volatility in finances with commensurate changes in estate valuations which is coupled with unknown estate tax laws driven by the recent changes in government. You need someone who can help you address this uncertainty, rather than use a business-as-usual approach." Brad W.

Our Los Angeles probate attorney team can help you administer California Probate and Trust Estates in accordance with California Probate Law and the California Probate Code. We practice in all California Probate courts.

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Los Angeles Trust & Probate Attorney

Los Angeles, California: Sirkin & Sirkin, was formed as a California estate planning law firm in 1993, and has since been committed to providing Probate, Trust and Estates services in a professional environment in which California Probate laws can be administered.

Ask our Los Angeles Probate Attorney to help you with your probate case. Our expert Los Angeles Trust Attorney, and our California Trust and Probate Attorney are ready to assist you with planning your estate and providing you with a life-time of service in connection with your estate and living trust. We are readily familiar with California Laws and can advise you regarding Probate law in California. Our goal is to provide you and your family with peace of mind in knowing your estate plan and family wealth is protected and will be distributed to your heirs and beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes.

Our Los Angeles Trust Lawyer can assist you with the proper advice in determining which estate planning tools are most appropriate for your family. Our California Probate lawyer serves all of Los Angeles County Probate Courts, as well as several other counties in California.

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California Trust Law

California Probate Law

Estate Planning & Trust Administration

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Meet Our Los Angeles California Probate & Trust Attorneys:

Mina N. Sirkin is a Board Certified Specialist attorney in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Evan R. Sirkin is an experienced Estate Planner and Probate Mediator.

Marilyn Mamann is an Elder Law, Estate Planning and Los Angeles Probate lawyer.

We are members of the Trust and Estates Section of the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association, the Trusts and Estates Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Trusts & Estates Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and the San Fernando Valley Bar Association.

Los Angeles Probate: Our Los Angeles Probate attorneys are experienced in filing Probate Petitions, and in interpreting nuances of the the California Probate law. Whether an estate needs to be probated depends entirely on the nature and size of the decedent's assets. Ask our California Probate Lawyers about your particular situation. Providing guidance in estate and probate matters enables our firm to serve families of decedents by alleviating conflicts, and unburdening the family which would otherwise wade through a tremendous amount of paper in an area which requires daily contact with beneficiaries, and courts. Click here to request a Probate Fee Schedule.

    Los Angeles Probate Attorney

Our Los Angeles Probate Attorney is routinely present in hearings in the following Los Angeles County Probate Court departments: Departments 5, 9 and 11 of Los Angeles Superior Court (Downtown); and Department NW H of the Superior Court in Van Nuys. Additionally, we are able to handle hearings in all Courts of the State of California.

Each local probate court in Los Angeles also has numerous local rules within the County. We can assist you in filing your probate matter in the right court for your particular case.

If you are unsure where to file, what document you should file, and when you are faced with objections presented in a probate case, we are your resource and can advise you facts and law which can change the course of your case.

Our ordinary probate fees are calculated based on the California Statutory Fees laws. Click here to ask us about our probate retainer process.

California Probate Lawyer: While California Probate laws are intended to be uniform, each county in California also has local probate rules. Local probate rules can differ from county to county within California. We are familiar with the local probate rules and can assist you in your case in all California counties.

Los Angeles Estate Planning Attorneys: Creation and administration of living trusts (Revocable Trusts) has become a very important aspect of the practice of estate planning, as the courts in California are not equipped with the time resources for the generation of baby boomers which are approaching their later years. Creating your family trust takes a few simple steps and can preserve and protect your assets for your loved ones.

Our firm philosophy is based on four life goals for our clients:

1. Form a Family Trust (Revocable Trust);

2. Fund your Family Trust;

3. Keep your Family Trust updated.

4. Have the Successor Trustee distribute the Family Trust assets without Probate.

We have an unsurpassed system which helps you with the above. When you plan your estate with our office, we track your goals and keep you up to date with the latest laws affecting your trust and estate plan. Ask us about our LegalCheckUpPlan®.

A Living Trust can help by allowing the family to privately administer and distribute the assets of the decedent in the most economic and time efficient manner. The process of creating a trust generally takes two appointments, a small effort to avoid the process of probate. To request a family information package which lists the documents which you need to create a California Living Trust, click this link and we will be happy to email or mail you our family information package. Our Los Angeles Estate Planning Attorney and Living Trust Attorneys can assist you in protecting your family and your loved ones from the expenses of Probate. Call us for more information and ask for an appointment with our Wealth Protection Attorneys. Click here to request a Free Family Trust Information Kit here.

We are also able to review old trusts prepared by other law firms and bring them up-to-date or amend them. Please let us know in advance if you have an existing trust which needs a review. As long as a trust is revocable, it can be amended and updated.

Normally, the family trust provides for the method of revocation or amendment to the trust. These requirements have to be met exactly for the amendment to be effective.

Click here to ask us about creating or updating a family trust.

Los Angeles Estate Planning and Trust Administration and Settlement:

While many firms prepare living trusts, there are few which administer and settle living trusts. Trust administration after death is as important, if not more important, than the creation of the trust. Many small details can derail the proper distribution of the trust assets and we are equipped to handle the administration as well as the creation of trusts with ease and expertise. We are here for you during life and maintain a life-long relationship with you and your family. Our Wealth Protection Attorneys can assist your heirs in continuous protection of your hard-earned wealth. Our Los Angeles Trust Administration attorneys have represented four generations of clients in wealth planning and can provide help during a very difficult time.

Click here to obtain information on administering a trust after death of a trustor.

California Probate,Trust and Estate Litigation: Often, beneficiaries and estate administrators or trustees do not agree on the manner of distribution of estates. Litigation in the Trust and Probate areas is complicated by the duality of the probate and trust proceedings. We litigate both in the trust and probate areas and settle matters appropriately. Los Angeles Probate Courts are now ordering parties to enter the mediation process in order to streamline and assist parties in settling the matters which affect families of decedents. Our California Trust Lawyer can assist you in planning your case. Effective preparation of a case for trial is a necessary element of a successful mediation. Serving our client means a committed review of all facts and the probate and trust laws and advising our clients of the manner in which the case can be most effectively handled.

Click here if you need information on how to retain us as your trust litigation counsel.

Beneficiary Disputes:

Some examples of beneficiary disputes may be where a beneficiary has a disagreement with another potential beneficiary over what asset should be in the probate estate or trust estate. Others involve designations of beneficiaries when the principal lacked capacity or was unduly influenced to execute beneficiary designation forms after an illness.

If a beneficiary form has been altered, there may be multiple causes of action arising from such an action. It becomes extremely important to seek counsel immediately upon discovery of such an event to allow for filing of an action to freeze the beneficiary account or policies which would otherwise be distributed by law.

At times, there may be disputes between a beneficiary and a successor trustee or executor where the trustee fails to make timely distributions before or after an accounting.

Click here if you need information on a beneficiary form dispute case.

Trust & Probate Accounting Actions:

Has a trustee or probate executor failed to give you an accounting? We can ask the court for a petition ordering the executor or trustee to account. Statute of Limitations for breaches of fiduciary duty are short and require immediate action by beneficiaries to obtain accountings.

Accounting actions may arise in of the following areas:

1. When a Probate Executor or Administrator fails to account.

2. When a Probate Executor or Administrator accounts but the accounting is objectionable because it is incomplete and/or inaccurate.

3. When a trustee fails to account.

4. When a trustee accounts but the accounting is objectionable because it is incomplete and/ or inaccurate..

5. When an agent under a power of attorney document fails to account.

6. When an agent under a power of attorney accounts, but the accounting is incomplete or is inaccurate.

7. When a guardian of estate fails to account.

8. When a guardian of estate accounts but the accounting is objectionable because it is incomplete and/or inaccurate.

9. When you believe there is an asset which the fiduciary had to inventory and account for and has failed to show that asset on an accounting.

Click here to receive more information on Accounting Actions.

Breach of Fiduciary Litigation: We represent beneficiaries in contested accounting matters where there are questionable actions taken by a trustee, executor or administrator. Our goal is to assist our clients with recovery of estate and trust assets from the fiduciary. By the same token, we are able to defend fiduciaries where the former trustee or administrator is sued by a beneficiary. If you are an out-of-state fiduciary or beneficiary and need representation, our Los Angeles attorneys are able to evaluate and consult in your case to prevent and redress any breaches of fiduciary duty.

Missing inventories, mismanaged trusts, estates, conservatorships, Power of Attorney cases, and guardianships all fall under this category. California holds the fiduciaries to the Prudent Investor Rules and this area has become a growing area of litigation in the last few years.

Click here to have us evaluate your Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case.

California Wills: Most people question whether traditional wills are still used in estate planning. The type of will which is created with a trust is generally referred to as a Pour Over Will, which is different than the traditional wills. There are times where the traditional can be used. Additionally, where a client requires court supervision of distribution, the traditional will is still a viable instrument.

Los Angeles Special Needs Trust: There are several goals that can be accomplished with a Special Needs Trust. 1) Providing for a person to care for the needs of the disabled person; 2) Insuring that the disabled individual will qualify for SSI, and Medi-Cal, should the need arise, and still be able to inherit assets or use litigation proceeds; 3) Providing for the extras that the government does not otherwise provide for the disabled person. If you have concerns about a disabled person's future, consult us, regarding creation and implementation of a California Special Needs Trust. Click here to request our Free Special Needs Family Kit here.

Click here to read more about special needs planning.

California Conservatorship: This procedure is intended to assist families whose loved ones are incapacitated. A Conservatorship of a person allows the conservator to make all medical decisions for the incapacitated person, A Conservatorship of the Estate is obtained to manage the financial aspects of the incapacitated persons life. This process is most appropriate for any person who is is no longer able to make decisions, such as Alzheimer's and dementia patients. A will or trust can be created for the incapacitated person within a conservatorship.

When you become our client as a California Conservator, you will watch our trademarked Conservatorship Training ® video presentation and take our Conservatorship E-Course ® in addition to the personal and hands-on advice from our conservatorship attorney.

Read Our Article regarding Conservatorships.

We can assist you in both probate full conservatorship of estate and person or in the Developmentally Disabled Conservatorships in limited conservatorships.

California Guardianship: The most important decision you will make as a parent of a minor child is to name the right guardian for him or her in your absence. In fact, selecting the right guardian or the wrong guardian can forever change the course of your child's life. Family protection can be easy if you follow our recommended course of action.

Who is best suited to act as a guardian can be determined by developing a list of potential guardians, matching them to your list of values, obtaining permission from the guardians to act, and implementing a nomination. An anti-nomination clause can be used to prevent appointment of people you absolutely would not want as guardians of your child. We have automated that process for you to make sure your children will never be at the mercy of the courts in selecting someone other than the person(s) you would select.

You may use our Free GuardianKit (TM) by to select and nominate a guardian by clicking on this link: GuardianChoice (TM) CLICK HERE.

The affairs of Minors and their assets are managed in guardianships. Guardianship matters usually involve one of several situations: When a parent is deceased and a minor is in need of an alternate person who can make decisions on his or her behalf; When there is no parent who can make decisions for a minor. When minors are disabled and receive litigation proceeds or inherit, guardianships are created to assist in managing the assets of the minor. California Probate Code requires that assets of the minor be placed in blocked accounts, or a bond be issued for the guardian.

Guardians can be categorized in two general categories:

Guardian of Estate: This a person who manages the assets or money of a minor.

Guardian of Person: This is a person with whom the minor will live if the parents are deceased.

Click here to obtain more information on guardianships in California.

    Entity Formation, including LLCs, Corporations, Partnerships, Charitable Foundations: Creating a California LLC, or Corporation is part of our practice. We not only create the requested LLC or Corporation, we assist you with unparalleled advice regarding how to manage your entity to protect your other assets from the threat of lawsuits. Our corporation and LLC creation system is complete and customized to your needs. Protecting your assets can be accomplished by proper entity formation. Ask our Wealth Protection Lawyers about this service.

Family Limited Partnerships: This entity is useful for estate tax planning purposes as well as asset protection purposes. Many people are engaged in the management of real property and an benefit from the estate tax discounts which are available by the proper creation of an FLP. Consult us on what assets are suitable for this entity, as it cannot contain any personal assets.

    Charitable Tax Planning: Substantial tax benefits can be obtained by properly planning for charitable entities, such as Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Lead Trusts. If you own assets which have highly appreciated, and if sold will cause a significant capital gains tax, you may benefit by creating a charitable trust and avoiding the capital gains tax, as well as any associated estate taxes relating to that asset. A tax saving opportunity will also give you the control as to how your money is used by the charity. Failing to properly plan will mean that you left the decision of how your money is to be used in the community to the IRS.

    Medi-Cal Eligibility Planning: On a daily basis, we are asked to assist elderly persons qualify for Medi-Cal, in order to pay for long term care. There are many avenues which remain open for planning. Use our services to properly qualify your loved ones, and to protect their estate from dissipating. Read the Medi-Cal eligibility guidelines.

    Medi-Cal Recovery Protection Planning: As most Medi-Cal recipients ask, “can anything be done to prevent Medi-Cal from recovering assets upon death?” Yes, there are currently several legal ways to prevent Medi-Cal from recovering assets. Call us to receive the appropriate advice and plan for recovery prevention planning. Read the Medi-Cal Recovery FAQ.

Elder Abuse Law: As the baby boomers get older, so too grows the needs of that generation with regard to available services from the government. Additionally, the elder population is most often subject of abuses by unscrupulous individuals and caretakers. California now has a variety of laws which protect the elderly, both physically, and financially. If you are concerned about an elderly person being financially abused, please contact us to discuss the matter.

Fraud by a fiduciary, trust fraud, and estate fraud cases typically include breach of fiduciary duty actions. There are many cases where the abuse is with intent to defraud. While the culprit may start as a small-time operator, he may continue to steal small amounts which end up being large amounts over a few year, or alternatively the fraud may occur in one or more large financial transactions.

Similarly, abuses are not always ill intended and may merely involve a disabled child or mentally ill child who happens to be the trustee and who has lived in the property of the decedent or ill person where this was customary years ago. For example, a child who is a conservator for his mother may think he or she is doing the right thing, when in he or she may have breached his or her fiduciary duty or improperly used his or her mother's assets.

Fiduciary fraud can involve financial assets, the illegal transfer of real estate, or fraud involving personal property. Illegal transfers of deeds, accounts, insurance policies, and pension death benefits all fall under this areas.

Post-Death QDRO Litigation:

Did you obtain a divorce judgment and find out that your divorce order was incomplete in protecting your interest in your spouse's pension? We can help you resolve post-death QDRO litigation. Depending on the nature and type of pension, ERISA rules vary from California rules. Ask us to evaluate your divorce order for post-divorce pension issues.

Click here to ask about our QDRO services.

Life Insurance:

Making sure your life insurance policy is effective and up-to-date is an important part of estate planning. If you have minor children or a disabled spouse or child, it is important to keep the insurance in place to pay for any needs of that beneficiary. However, a minor or disabled person should never be named as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy. An adult beneficiary as a trustee for the minor or a trust should be named as the beneficiary of a policy for the benefit of a minor. A special needs trust should be created to receive life insurance proceeds on behalf of a disabled individual. Keeping an adequate amount of life insurance is another important part of estate planning. As there are many different types of life insurance, each type has a different purpose. Ask us to guide you as to the amount needed as we examine your estate plan and your debt.

Life Insurance Beneficiary Litigation:

Many times there are disputes between beneficiaries of life insurance policies. More common disputes in this area involve whether a beneficiary designation was made against California law. Additionally, often there are issues of whether the policy owner had the right to modify a beneficiary designation for lack of capacity or lack of authority. We can help you litigate, settle and collect insurance policies. Don't wait until the life insurance company acts to interplead the funds, call us to determine if you may have a cause of action which needs to be handled.

Click here to obtain more information on how we evaluate Life Insurance Litigation Cases.

Pension Litigation:

Has your spouse changed the beneficiary of a pension without your authorization? Has a pension administrator or employer failed to deliver pension proceeds to you? We can assist you in collecting from ERISA Plans, Non-ERISA Plans, IRA Accounts, 401 (k) Plans, and other qualified pensions plans. Please remember that California laws differ from Federal Pension laws and we can help you find the correct path to collecting your interest in the pension.

Click here to inquire about our Pension & ERISA Plan litigation services.

Law Practice Sales Systems: We have created PracticeAssure®, a business office system which readies solo practitioner attorneys who wish to sell their practice and plan their estates. We also represent attorneys in estate planning and in sales of their law practices. See the description of the PracticeAssure® system.

Click here to receive information on buying or selling a law practice.

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Los Angeles Probate, Los Angeles Trust


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Protecting the surviving spouse's inheritance

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