Estate Planning

The future may be uncertain, but your Estate Plan doesn’t have to be!

Let MMZ Law protect your estate and your loved ones from whatever the future may bring.  Estate planning is crucial. We at MMZ Law can show you what a customized Estate Plan can do for you!

Helping You Develop a Comprehensive Estate Plan That Protects Your Assets and Provides for Your Loved Ones

If you’re like most of us, you probably use a planner or the calendar app to know what’s coming ahead for the next day, week, or month. It’s often easier to make a to-do list or deal with what’s most pressing in the current moment than to think about what may happen in the distant future. But estate planning doesn’t have to be depressing, and it isn’t something that’s reserved only for those at the end of their lives. Estate planning is a critical component of planning for your future and being able to rest easy in the knowledge that your affairs are in order.

Female estate planning attorney in black outfit talking to a client in her office

The MMZ Law Team

When you hire MMZ Law, you’re getting the collective experience and knowledge of an entire legal team, including estate planning attorneys. Our all-female firm was founded by Marivel Zialcita, who is dedicated to using her passion for law to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Attorney Soo Myland helps clients with business succession planning, trust administration, guardianships, and many other aspects of estate planning law. She and the rest of the team look forward to helping clients feel more secure about their futures.

Female estate planning attorney in black outfit talking to a client in her office

How Do I Protect My Assets?

The key to protecting your assets is planning ahead. Without a will and larger estate plan in place, you have no control over what happens to your assets or who is in charge of your estate. If you want to do everything you can to ensure your assets are preserved for your heirs and mitigate any tax burdens, it’s time to talk with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys.

What Cases Does an Estate Planning Attorney Handle?

At MMZ Law, our estate planning lawyers have the experience you need to handle everything from basic estate planning to complex estate litigation. Here are just a few of the examples of cases we can help with:

  • Probate
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Trust administration
  • Special needs trusts
  • Conservatorship
  • Elder law
  • Revocable trust
  • Power of attorney

Find out how we can help with our estate planning needs when you call our office and schedule your initial consultation. Whether you’re ready to take steps to plan for the future or you have a case already in probate that you’re not sure how to handle, our attorneys are ready to help.

Female estate planning attorney in black outfit talking to a client in her office

Experienced Estate Planning Lawyers

When you work with our experienced estate planning lawyers, you’re trusting us with your finances and your loved ones. And we don’t take this responsibility lightly. At MMZ Law, we work diligently to put our experience and knowledge to work for our clients in real-life scenarios. We know how important it is to pass on your legacy, and we are grateful to get to be a part of that process.

MMZ Law is located in Claremont, California, in a convenient area. It is less than 2 miles from the California Botanic Garden and around 20 minutes from Snow Creek Park. The Ontario International Airport (ONT) is a 15-minute drive away.

Planning for the future doesn’t have to be depressing or overwhelming. It can be a great way to bring peace of mind and ensure your loved ones are provided for. Contact the estate planning attorneys at MMZ Law by calling 909-347-7444.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Basic Components of an Estate Plan?

Each person’s estate plan will be different, depending on the type and value of their assets and what their goals are. In general, an estate plan should include a last will and testament as a minimum. Other estate planning documents that are good to have in an estate plan include a financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, an advance directive or a living will, and a trust. When you meet with an estate planning attorney, they will go over all of the options with you and help you choose the tools that best fit your needs.

Who Should I Choose to Be an Executor or Trustee?

Many people automatically choose close family members to serve as executors or trustees, but this shouldn’t necessarily be the default option. The duties of an executor or trustee are significant and encompass a wide range of tasks, from dealing with creditors to valuing assets. It can be very helpful if the person has a background in estate planning or financial matters. It’s also important to choose someone who is already familiar with your finances and estate and is someone you trust to execute your wishes faithfully and in accordance with the law.

What Is Estate Litigation?

Estate litigation involves legal disputes between the parties involved in an estate. While it’s not unusual for there to be issues with family dynamics or heightened emotions after someone dies, estate litigation happens when these challenges arise to a higher level. For example, it’s not uncommon for a beneficiary to be disappointed in what’s left of their inheritance after the estate is settled and creditors are paid. But estate litigation might happen if the beneficiary believes that the executor didn’t properly execute their duties. If you are dealing with challenges during the probate process, estate planning attorneys who have experience with estate litigation can help.

What Happens If I Don't Have a Will?

If you die without a will, the courts will make decisions about who should serve as administrator of your estate and who will inherit your assets. It’s possible for family members to petition to be named administrator of your estate, but if no one is willing to serve in this role, the courts will appoint a third party. Your estate will be settled and any remaining assets distributed among your beneficiaries following California’s intestate succession laws. This could result in your spouse, adult children, parents, or siblings being beneficiaries of your estate, depending on what living relatives you leave behind.

Do I Need a Living Will?

A living will is a specific estate planning tool and is something most people should have. A living will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for your medical treatment and care if you are ever incapacitated. It is a completely different document than a last will and testament, which covers your wishes for what should happen with your assets after your death. In a living will, you can specify things like whether you want to be kept on life support, if you have preferences for what kind of pain medications you would like to receive, or what medical facility you want to be taken to for treatment. A living will is an important part of your larger estate plan when paired with a health care power of attorney.

Do Trusts Bypass Probate?

Avoiding probate is one of the main advantages of using a trust to pass along your assets to your beneficiaries. Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust means that the person who created it — who is called the trustor or grantor — can make changes to the trust anytime they want up until they die. These changes can range from putting assets into the trust, taking assets out of the trust, or changing the beneficiaries. An irrevocable trust is the opposite. Once these trusts are created, they are not easily changed and generally must stay as they are with the terms they were created under. Both of these options have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to work with an attorney to get trust and estate counsel for your situation.

How Do I Ensure My Minor Children Are Taken Care Of?

The best way to ensure that your estate plan includes provisions for your minor children is to work with an estate planning attorney as part of the process. Estate planning attorneys are uniquely equipped to be able to provide information, including potential benefits and drawbacks, about all of your estate planning options. They can help you make plans for guardianships, create trusts for asset protection, and ensure that your will is up-to-date and legally valid. Taking the time to create a comprehensive estate plan ensures you don’t have to worry about what might happen to your children if something happens to you.

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust is a particular type of trust that protects assets from being counted toward eligibility requirements for programs like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. A special needs trust can provide for other expenses that the beneficiary may incur. Some common examples include paying for a companion caregiver or a sitter. Funds from a special needs trust can also be used to pay for medical expenses that aren’t covered by Medicaid or other benefits. A special needs trust can be set up as a first-party trust or a third-party trust, depending on the person’s needs and situation. A first-party trust contains assets that are owned by the beneficiary, while a third-party trust contains assets that are not owned by the beneficiary.