At O’Leary Wallace, we craft exceptional estate plans as individualized and varied as the people we serve. To protect your estate from probate, to ensure your wishes are are followed, and to secure the legacy you worked so hard to build, we assist you in choosing the right plan. Through the process, we provide instructions for your care if you become incapacitated before death, specific provisions for loved ones who might be irresponsible with money or who may need future asset protection, and instructions for the care of minor children. Your plan may include:
- Revocable Trusts
- Last Wills and Testaments
- Powers of Attorney for Financial Affairs
- Advance Health Care Directives
- Nominations of Guardians for Minor Children
- First and Third Party Special Needs Trusts
- Asset Protection Trusts
If you are handling the affairs of another -- either during that person's lifetime or after that person's death -- you have been given a tremendous responsibility. During the process you will likely have questions or issues which will require an attorney’s assistance. At O’Leary Wallace, we provide this assistance with expertise and efficiency. We will guide you through the difficult financial and personal issues you may face from your first day serving as a fiduciary to your last.
To “probate” an estate means to bring the estate into the Superior Court of the county where the decedent lived, or where the decedent held property if the person lived out of state. Probate is often viewed in a negative context and much of estate planning is aimed at avoiding it. Nonetheless, a probate proceeding is sometimes unavoidable. We admit the process can be slow and frustrating but we commit to lighten your burden by providing the thorough and understanding representation you deserve. Whether you are going through the process for the first-and-hopefully-last time, or you are a professional who has has administered countless estates, we would be honored to serve you.
A guardianship is a legal relationship between an adult or institution and a minor child established by the court. It does not just “happen” but requires a court order. The guardianship process is burdensome and often overwhelming. This can be partly attributed to the inherent difficulties and inefficiencies that come with any court proceeding, but is also due to the rigorous oversight such matters receive from the court. The understandable policy behind the scrutiny is that children should be protected; the unintended result is that you may feel like you are in the cross hairs unfairly, during the process and thereafter. Having an experienced, compassionate attorney at your side to guide, assist, and advocate for you throughout the process and beyond cannot eliminate all of the burden of the process, but we promise you will not be overwhelmed.
The physical or mental limitations of another may give rise to the court appointment of a guardian or a protector to manage the financial affairs and/or daily life of another. The need for a conservatorship may be that an individual with developmental disabilities has reached the age of legal adulthood, or that an adult is no longer able to handle their own personal or finanical affairs. We serve as court-appointed counsel for San Luis Obispo Superior Court conservatorship matters. If you are faced with the difficult situation of having to defend, contest or object to a conservatorship matter, inquire whether we might be your steadfast advocates through the turbulent time.
Trust & Estate Litigation
Usually, the intent of a quality estate plan is to avoid the court. However, sometimes court intervention is unavoidable. Sometimes it may be a necessity. Through court-involvement in trust and probate matters, we have:
- Successfully contested trusts and wills created under unethical or illegal circumstances.
- Held fiduciaries responsible for breaching their duties.
Court-involvement may be necessary to find justice in some situations, but in others situations court-involvement is unavoidable because of personalities of the people you are dealing with. Though we take great pride in prosecuting trust and estate litigation, we are equally proud to defend fiduciaries from unfounded, abusive allegations of mismanagement.