Areas of practice

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ESTATE PLANNING

Estate planning is the process of accumulating and disposing of an Estate to maximize the goals of the estate owner. The various goals of estate planning include making sure the greatest amount of the estate passes to the Estate owner’s intended beneficiaries, often including paying the least amount of taxes and avoiding or minimizing probate court involvement. Additional goals typically include providing for and designating guardians for minor children and planning for incapacity.

WILLS & TRUSTS

Trusts are not only for the wealthy. If you own real estate in California creating a Trust to avoid a lengthy and costly probate is a necessity.  Furthermore, young parents with limited assets choose to create trusts either during life or in their wills for the benefit of their children in case both parents die before all their children have reached an age deemed by them to indicate sufficient maturity to handle property. This permits the trust estate to be held in separate trust funds for each minor child to be used for the support and education of minor children according to their respective needs, with eventual division of the trust when the minor has reached a specified age. 

PERSONAL INJURY

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, suffered dog bite or slip and fall injuries, or in some other way harmed by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your personal injury, and for associated losses like time off from work, property damage, and even pain and suffering.

If you think that another party may be responsible for your personal injury please contact my office for a free initial consultation to help you determine whether or not you should pursue your personal injury claim.

REDKEY GORDON, A Professional Law Corporation specializes in personal injury.

PROBATE LAW

The probate process can be complicated and tedious. A California probate attorney needs to be able to quickly identify and resolve the pertinent issues in every situation. I have substantial experience in probate matters and can help make the process go quickly and smoothly.

Probate, in simple terms, its the court process that makes sure debts of the deceased are paid and any remaining property is distributed to the rightful owners. Property that has been transferred to a living trust is not subject to probate. Avoiding probate, which on occasion can be costly and time consuming, is a reason many individuals use living trusts

Probate generally lasts at a minimum 9 months, occasionally over a year before all the property can be distributed, and incur substantial court and attorney costs. One of the many ways to avoid probate is to execute a living trust. A living Trust is a separate entity to which a person transfers ownership of their real property (house, etc.,)  and other assets from themselves to a trust which they control and can revise at any time (except in the case of an irrevocable trust.) Upon death, the persons named as beneficiaries in the trust acquire ownership of it and, therefore, the property the trust owns. As probate is a public process, a living trust has the added advantage of preserving the privacy of the deceased and his heirs as well as avoiding some estate tax.

Life insurance, savings accounts, and property owned in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship are some of the other ways people use to avoid probate.

Avoiding probate does not necessarily mean estate taxes have also been avoided. The laws imposing the federal estate tax have been modified to include within the definition of the person’s taxable estate, property held in a living trust, life insurance, “payable on death” or “transfer on death” financial instruments, and most other property which is transferred from a dead person to a living person in consequence of the death. Inter vivos trusts can reduce estate taxes if they are properly structured, but that is not related to the avoidance of probate. Generally, to avoid an estate/inheritance tax, a person must give it away irrevocably or leave it to a qualified charity. However the use of credit shelter trusts (also called AB trusts) can allow a married couple to preserve both unified credits, allowing up to twice the total estate to pass to heirs without estate tax. This may reduce or eliminate the total tax the couple would have otherwise paid.

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REAL ESTATE

Robert A. Gordon is a licensed California Real Estate Broker (02025566).  If you need representation in a sales transaction, please feel free to contact our office.

TRUST ADMINISTRATION

When a person dies with an estate plan based on a Living Trust, the trust must be administered. The Trustee of the trust must collect what is owed to the decedent, pay the decedent’s bills, safeguard the decedent’s assets until they are distributed to the decedent’s beneficiaries, and file appropriate income and estate tax returns for the decedent and his or her estate.

Trust administration is a complex, confusing area of the law, one in which some attorneys lack the skill to practice. My Office will not only draft trusts, but immediately help you fund the trusts with assets such as real property, stocks, bonds and other types of personal property. We will assist trustees to manage trust property throughout the life of the trust

BUSINESS FORMATION

We can assist you with planning and forming the right entity to meet your goals. I will work with you to determine your goals and understand your objectives, as well as take the time to explain the benefits of forming various small or large entities, including the following:

We provide experienced and attentive service to clients who own and operate small businesses. We understand how to deal with new business start-ups. We put a small business owner’s needs first and Robert A. Gordon will work directly with you on all important legal issues.

Forming a business of any size can raise a dizzying array of legal issues and questions. For skilled representation and sound legal advice regarding your business organization or acquisition, please contact us to schedule a confidential consultation.