Practice Areas

attorney law servicesEstate planning in California can be as simple as making sure your assets are all kept in joint tenancy, or it may involve more elaborate trust arrangements designed to minimize your estate taxes and guard against your heirs' quickly laying waste to your assets. A good estate plan not only makes use of documents like wills and trusts to accomplish your purposes, but also has room for powers of attorney and living wills to handle periods of incapacity. It also takes into account the final processing of your affairs, also known as the probate process.

At the Law Office of Raymond Churchill, Attorney At Law, we can help you with whatever estate planning or elder care problem you have. Whether you need to protect your assets as a spouse goes to live in a nursing home now or whether you are planning for a myriad of possibilities down the road, we have the skills that you need to ask the right questions and help you reach the right answers. We provide counseling in all areas of:

  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate & Estate Administration
  • Elder Law
  • Special Needs Planning for Families of Persons with Disabilities
  • Conservatorships

Trusts - Trusts have come a long way. People used to think of a trust as just a way for the wealthy to keep a firm hand on their children and children's' children. Today, trusts provide average families with the opportunity to pre-plan for the handling of their assets not just once they've died, as a will does, but while they're alive, too. A trust can still be used to remove money from an estate for tax purposes, but it can be used to:

  • Address special needs - a trust can be designed to provide for the needs of family members with physical or mental disabilities
  • Ensure a business remains viable - a trust can provide detailed instructions to continue operation of a family business to benefit your spouse and children by designating a more qualified person to handle the business decisions if your family members aren't suited for the task
  • Elimination of probate - since trusts can own property, any assets transferred to a trust during your life do not necessarily need to go through probate to be distributed to a new owner at your death, eliminating the cost for court costs and attorney’s fees
  • Designation of charitable purposes - a trust allows you to use assets to provide for a spouse or child's use during their life, while they're in college, or as they start a career; it also allows you to provide that any assets that remain at a certain date can be used for charitable purposes.

Since you have a universe of possibilities to you in drafting a trust, you can also create trusts that allow you to serve as trustee and provide for transition to another trustee during periods of incompetence or disability.

Wills - Having a will is one of the easiest parts of an estate plan to put together. Without a will, you have no control over many things including

  • Who has the responsibility for collecting your assets, paying your bills and handling the remainder
  • Who gets custody of minor children or
  • How money is accessed for your children and spouse's welfare.

A will allows you the flexibility not only to see that people beyond your legal heirs receive your property, but also gives you the change to place limits on its use or restrict spending.

Probate & Estate Administration - Almost all estates require some administration, even if it involves something as simple as paying outstanding medical and funeral bills and transferring property out of a trust. Not all estates, however, require probate. Probate is the process of following through with the wishes expressed through a will, or arranging for the disposition of property for someone who had no will. The process is significant because it is done under the watchful eye of a probate court. If you have been left with the task of winding up the affairs of a loved one who has recently died, we can help guide you through what the law requires so that nothing is overlooked.

Nursing Home - Going to live in a nursing home or other care facility is not just hard on the patient, but creates a new dimension to the lives of one's immediate family. The first step is many times the most difficult. Nursing homes aren't rated like hotels-it is frequently difficult to find information on a facility prior to placing a resident there. Often, there is certainly little, if any accurate way to rank one against another. Once you do choose, though, figuring out how to pay for it can be just as daunting. You hope you've made the right choice of facility, but you still need to be aware of the signs that your relative or loved one isn't getting the care they need. In these cases, our office can serve as an advocate for you and the resident to ensure proper case is received.

Elder Law - No matter how carefully you plan for your later years through retirement plans, investments and insurance, frequently, the assets you've acquired can still be insufficient to meet the expenses of nursing home life. With costs for skilled care exceeding $5,000, even $6,000 per month in some facilities, only the wealthiest of individuals can expect to pay the cost and not have it affect the quality of life for the remaining family members. At the Law Office of Raymond F. Churchill, Attorney At Law, we can show you what steps you can take to safeguard your assets for your family before it's too late. We can explain the ways you can guarantee that your family home will be available as a place for your husband or wife and children to occupy as long as they want. It is a difficult dilemma for a loved one to be placed in where they worry about the care their sick family member is receiving at the same time they are wondering what will be left for them to live on. At the Law Office of Raymond F. Churchill, Attorney At Law, we are familiar with the vast array of regulations affecting MediCal benefits and we can show you the options available to you under those rules and regulations to provide for all.

Special Needs Planning for Families of Persons with Disabilities
Have you planned for the future of your loved one with special needs?
We will help you with Medi-Cal Planning and planning for your loved one with special needs trusts. Special Needs Planning is one of our core practice areas. We recognize caregivers provide many services naturally and willingly to loved ones to help enhance their quality of life. If you become unable to provide these services or without planning for the continuation of these services, your loved one’s quality of life may suffer. We will:

  • Provide for a person with special needs in your Will
  • Apply for Limited Conservatorship
  • Set up a Special Needs Trust”

Seeking to acquire the responsibilities of a conservator? Want to know more about conservatorship laws? Do not hesitate to get the involvement of Raymond Churchill, a knowledgeable conservatorship attorney as soon as possible.

Incapacity Planning - Some concerns many associate with the elderly are really issues that the people should address regardless of their ages. A big part of estate planning and elder law is planning for incapacity or disability. Sadly, those conditions are not restricted to those over 65. A healthy, productive adult can be rendered virtually helpless by a debilitating disease, a serious automobile accident, or a routine medical procedure gone awry. When the disability presents itself, it is frequently too late to designate an agent through a power of attorney to help manage your affairs while you recuperate. If you are unconscious or your disability has a mental impairment component, you may not meet the legal tests to be able to execute these documents and you will have little, if any, choice who helps look after you and your financial health. We can help clients of all ages prepare for this.

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Contact Information

Law Office of 
Raymond F. Churchill,
Attorney At Law

39812 Mission Blvd.
Suite 207
Fremont, CA 94539

Phone: 510-490-3810
Fax: 510-490-3811