Trust Litigation Attorney in Laguna Beach

When you’re setting up a trust or mourning the loss of a loved one, the last thing you need is to have a sensitive situation exacerbated further. Choosing the wrong estate planning attorney can be a costly and frustrating experience. At Joel F. Pipes & Associates, you’ll encounter only the most professional, compassionate, knowledgeable, and trustworthy individuals. Our experts take a hands-on approach to each and every case, and we even make house calls to help you through this difficult process. If you’re searching for an estate planning lawyer or a probate litigation attorney in Laguna Beach, look no further than our experienced law firm.

Services

Probate Litigation

Probate litigation occurs when one individual brings a claim against another during the probate process, or when a dispute takes place during probate. If you need legal representation to get through the stressful and confusing probate process, reach out to Joel F. Pipes – the most personable and trustworthy probate litigation lawyer in Laguna Beach.

A probate litigation attorney is crucial when you’re trying to navigate the process of probate litigation. Not only will your probate litigation lawyer fight on your behalf, but they’ll also help you ensure that the wishes of your loved one are honored. Reasons for pursuing probate litigation include:

  • To compel the trustee to provide a copy of the trust
  • To seek damages against the trustee
  • To appoint a temporary trustee
  • To remove the trustee
  • To ask the court to instruct the trustee in performing a certain task
  • To obtain financial information from the trustee
  • To appoint a successor trustee
  • To reclaim property that rightfully belongs to the trust
  • To ask the court to instruct the trustee to account formally for information that may have been falsified or withheld
  • To suspend the trustee’s powers

Whatever your reason for pursuing probate litigation, you’ve come to the right place for a thorough and well-versed Laguna Beach probate lawyer. Reach out to schedule a free consultation, and we’ll talk to you about the process of litigating probate. You don’t have to attempt to manage all the court hearings, documents, legal jargon, assets, and difficult conversations yourself – that’s where your experienced probate litigation attorney, Joel F. Pipes & Associates, comes in.

Probate

You’ve probably heard of probate, but maybe you aren’t familiar with what it entails. Probate is the court process of changing the titles on all assets owned by the deceased individual. Some assets don’t require probate, but many do. Probate is a notoriously long, drawn-out process, and it can also be an expensive one. With help from your favorite Laguna Beach estate planning attorney, you can avoid the headache of probate altogether.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself on the other side of probate – the side where a loved one has recently passed, and they didn’t have a trust in place. If you’re looking for a local probate attorney to help you with probate administration, we’re here to help. Sometimes, needing a probate lawyer is beyond your own control. Maybe your loved one simply didn’t recognize the need for estate planning, or maybe he or she passed unexpectedly. In any event, our probate lawyers will guide you through the sensitive and confusing probate process. Your probate attorney will help you through asset distribution, the expenses of funeral planning, and everything else that comes from losing a loved one.

When you’re faced with probate, you’ll suddenly have a seemingly endless to-do list. One item you can remove now is, ”finding a probate attorney near me.” We’ll be there to help you with property appraisal; paying taxes and creditors; identifying and notifying heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors; appointing an executor; and so much more. Don’t put yourself through the stress of navigating probate by yourself. Call us now and allow us to take something off your plate during this tough season of life.

Trust Litigation

Trusts are a great option for distributing and protecting your assets when you’ve passed. What if there’s a problem with the trust, though? Pursuing trust litigation can be daunting, but it’s easy to find a reliable trust litigation lawyer in Laguna Beach – just call Joel F. Pipes & Associates. Trust litigation is required for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. To obtain a copy of the trust documents or other withheld trust-related information, such as an accounting of trust assets, tax returns, etc.)
  2. To remove a trustee and replace them with a more appropriate person.
  3. To prompt a trustee to distribute the assets of the trust and complete administration of said trust.
  4. To propose that the trust instrument was a product of undue influence, duress, or fraud.
  5. To obtain an interpretation of an ambiguous trust term and establish the intent of the settlor.
  6. To recover trust funds that have been misappropriated by the trustee.

In an ideal world, trustees would all get along, they would all be trustworthy, and they would all be selfless. Trusts would all be clearly-worded and easy to interpret. Sadly, death and legal proceedings aren’t always that simple. You may find yourself needing a trust litigation lawyer for these or a number of other reasons.

Keeping other trustees honest, honoring your deceased loved one’s wishes, and protecting yourself in the process can be a challenge. Going to court without legal counsel and proper support from a trust litigation attorney can be scary – and it can cost you in the long run. Don’t embark on this journey by yourself – call us for a free consultation! No matter if you’re a beneficiary or a fiduciary, our legal staff will give you the representation you so richly deserve.

Estate Planning

At any age, estate planning is an important endeavor. Whether you’re thinking about retiring in the near future or just starting your life as an adult, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a solid estate plan in place for the future of your assets and family. Come to us simply to create a will, if you need help with preserving your estate, or if you just want to learn more from a local estate planning attorney. Our free consultations are an excellent place to start. Your estate plans should create a lasting legacy for your beloved family, and that’s exactly what our estate planning lawyers will help you achieve.

When you start the estate planning process, you’ll want to be sure your lawyer is brushed up on estate planning law. Not all estate planning services measure up. Joel F. Pipes has been a local estate planning attorney for more than 20 years. He and his team genuinely care about your wishes, your family, and you. He works tirelessly to personalize each estate plan to meet the individual needs of each client and to help their loved ones avoid probate. Maybe your internet search for an “estate planning attorney near me” returned us as a result, or perhaps you have a friend or family member who referred you. No matter how you found us, we’re humbled by the honor of guiding our clients through the sensitive and personal process of estate planning.

Reasons You Need a Trust

Everyone thinks they know how their family members or friends will share and distribute their assets after their passing. However, a trust is the only way to truly guarantee that every wish is honored and your assets go exactly where you intended. Trusts have a number of advantages, including:

Protection from creditors
Making lifetime gifts to your children or heirs
Avoiding probate
Tax Benefits
Protection in the event of a divorce
Irrevocable Trust

Irrevocable living trusts differ from revocable trusts in a number of ways, and they aren’t the right fit for every individual. An irrevocable trust cannot be altered without beneficiary consent. Like revocable trusts, you’ll be protected if you become incapacitated, probate will be circumnavigated, and your privacy will be completely protected.

Irrevocable trusts also offer benefits that revocable trusts don’t allow for. Trustees will enjoy reduced taxation, and they’ll be protected from the creditors of the trustor. However, they don’t offer the same level of flexibility as a revocable trust. They are much more complex, and they leave you at the mercy of the trustee by forcing you to relinquish asset control. It’s important to consult a trustworthy estate planning attorney before choosing between these trust types. We’ll work with you to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each, and we’ll advise you as you make this important decision.

Revocable Trust

Because of their flexibility, revocable trusts are the most common type of trust. Often referred to as living trusts, revocable trusts can be canceled or modified at any time throughout the life of the trustor. Your Laguna Beach estate planning lawyer can walk you through the benefits of this type of trust, which include preservation of privacy, avoiding probate, protection in the event of incapacity, and maintained control of your assets. A revocable living trust is a smart option because it often works hand-in-hand with a living will, which is another important part of the estate planning process.