Trust Litigation Attorney in Santa Ana

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 Santa Ana, look no further than our experienced law firm.

Services

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 begin this process, you’ll want to find an attorney who is completely familiar with estate planning law. Estate planning services are not all created equal. For over 20 years, Joel F. Pipes has served as a local estate planning attorney. He and his staff truly care about you, your family, and your wishes. He’ll work hard to personalize your estate plan to meet your specific needs and keep your family far away from the hassle of probate. Perhaps you’ve come across our law office through the referral of another valued client, or maybe you simply performed an online search for “estate planning attorney near me.” Either way, we’re honored that you would consider allowing us to guide you through the estate planning process.

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 Santa Ana 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.

Irrevocable Trust

Irrevocable trusts aren’t for everyone, but they do offer certain advantages. An irrevocable living trust is one that cannot be changed without the consent of the beneficiaries. Like a revocable trust, your privacy will be fully protected, probate will be circumnavigated, and you’ll be protected if you become incapacitated.

Irrevocable trusts offer additional benefits as well. Trustees will also be protected from the trustor’s creditors, and they’ll enjoy reduced taxation. However, irrevocable trusts are less flexible than revocable trusts. They force you to relinquish control of your assets, leaving you at the trustee’s mercy. They are also much more complicated. Therefore, it’s essential that you speak to your trusted estate planning attorney before deciding on either type of trust. We’ll help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each type and make a well-informed decision.

Reasons You Need a Trust

You may think you know how your loved ones will distribute and share your assets after your passing, but a trust is the only way to guarantee that your wishes are honored. Trusts have many benefits, including:

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

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 Santa Ana 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.

With all the stressful and confusing tasks you’ve suddenly found on your plate, you can at least check “finding a probate attorney near me” off of the list. We’ll help you appoint an executor; notify and identify creditors, beneficiaries, and heirs; pay creditors and taxes; appraise property; and more. You don’t have to go it alone. Give us a call today and let us support you through this difficult time.

Trust Litigation

Trusts are an excellent way to protect and distribute your assets when you pass away, but what happens if there’s an issue with the trust itself? Making the decision to pursue trust litigation is never an easy one, but finding a reliable trust litigation lawyer in Santa Ana is as simple as can be when you choose Joel F. Pipes & Associates. Trust litigation may be necessary in a number of scenarios, including:

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

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.

Protecting your own interests, upholding the wishes of your deceased loved one, and keeping other trustees from mishandling the trust can be impossible to manage on your own. The thought of going to court without the support and legal counsel of a trust litigation attorney can be extremely daunting. There’s no need to climb this mountain alone – just give us a call for a free consultation! Whether you’re a fiduciary or a beneficiary, our legal team will provide the representation you deserve.

Probate Litigation

Probate litigation is a process that ensues when a dispute occurs during the process of probate, or when an individual brings a claim against another during probate. If you find yourself requiring legal representation to help you through the confusing and stressful probate process, call Joel F. Pipes – the most trustworthy and personable probate litigation lawyer in Santa Ana.

A probate litigation attorney is essential when you’re navigating the probate litigation process. Not only can we fight for you, but your probate litigation lawyer can work alongside you to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are upheld. Probate litigation may be necessary for a number of reasons, such as:

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

Whatever your reason for pursuing probate litigation, you’ve come to the right place for a thorough and well-versed Santa Ana 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.