Home Attorney Profiles Practice Areas Case Evaluation Form Testimonials Contact Us


The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Contact through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or fail to act based on the information on this website. All cases differ. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorneys at The Law Office of Robert M. Baskin are licensed to practice law in the State of California.

In cases accepted on contingency, there are no hourly attorney fees or out-of-pocket expenses, excluding the actual costs related to the lawsuit.

Our attorneys pursue maximum compensation for clients in exchange for a percentage of the amount recovered.

Ventura Lawyer Robert M. Baskin Robert M. Baskin The Law Office of Ventura County Personal Injury, Family Law,  Estate Planning & Probate Attorneys
<a href="https://secure.blueoctane.net/forms/5B7MYOH0JTRI">Click Here To Load This Formexperts.com Form</a>
The Law Office of ROBERT M. BASKIN  1849 Knoll Drive Ventura, CA 93003  Phone: (805) 658-1000 Fax: (805) 658-8034  terri@baskinlawoffice.com
Personal Injury Family Law Estate Planning and Probate Business Law Employment Law Real Estate Law

Se Habla Español

Pregunté por Rhawn ó Abogado McCutchan

BLOG (General) Read Robert M. Baskin’s  Law Blog Contact Us

Covid 19 Update: We are open and will meet in-person with vaccinated clients. (Complete Update)  

Call (805) 658-1000 Covid-19-remote-operations

"Voted Best Attorneys in Ventura County by clients and peers

 in the Ventura County Business Digest Publication"

Estate Planning Information Sheet

Estate Planning is the most essential aspect of determining who, how and when your listed beneficiaries will inherit your assets. A highly proficient and experienced estate planning lawyer can help you with this process.

Due to the complex considerations that must be taken into account such as taxes, business succession and naming competent executors or trustees, it’s imperative that you choose a knowledgeable attorney for guidance. Our Estate Planning Attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert M. Baskin can provide the guidance you need.

Whether you want a will drawn up, want to place your assets in a trust, or utilize a combination of estate planning devices, we are here for you. Please contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Baskin at (805) 658-1000 to schedule a confidential, in-office consultation with the region’s leading Estate Planning Lawyer.


Introduction to Estate Planning

There are numerous decisions to be made when drafting your Estate Plan. Depending on the valuation of your assets including monetary holdings, land ownership, business interests and other factors, your estate plan may either be simple or extremely complicated.

Estate Planning is comprised of several different means of transferring assets, either during your lifetime, upon incapacitation, or death. The following are the most utilized estate planning devices:

Wills: Wills are designed to pass your assets after death. They must be filed with the probate court upon death, and are available to the public.

Trusts: There are numerous types of trusts, and each serves a different purpose. They may be utilized to keep your assets protected during your lifetime, to pass on assets during your lifetime or after your death, and they may incorporate a will. Trusts are not available for viewing by the general public, do not have to pass through probate, and typically incorporate tax advantages to protect your assets for future generations.

Wills in California

There are several types of wills formally recognized as valid in the state of California. These include the following:

Attested Wills are those which are signed by the testator (the person who executes a will.) They must be signed and dated in the presences of witnesses, and include a statement that the testator has the legal authority to execute a will. This means that the testator understands what they are signing, they intend to execute their will, and are of sound legal mind.

Holographic Wills must be written out by the testator, in his or her own writing. While there is no witness requirement, the testator must be of sound mind and demonstrate their intent to create a will in order to be held valid by the probate court.

Pour Over Wills are those which are incorporated as part of a trust. To be found valid, they must be executed prior to, concurrent with, or within 60 days of executing a trust.

Statutory Wills consist of pre-printed forms that comply with California’s probate laws. There are blanks which must be filled out by the testator. When executed (signed), there must be a minimum of two witnesses present and the document must be dated. As with attested wills, they must include a statement that the testator is of sound legal mind and set forth the intent to execute a will.

California Trusts

Trusts are utilized to pass on assets to your chosen beneficiaries outside of the constrictions of probate. Under California Law, there are several different types of trusts which each serve different purposes. Individuals for whom trusts are drafted must make numerous decisions when choosing the proper type of trust, and they may incorporate numerous types in their estate plan.  Some examples include:

Every trust serves a distinct purpose. Due to the intricacy inherent in creating trusts, it’s extremely important that you utilize the services of an experienced and skilled Estate Planning Attorney.

Business Succession

If you are the owner or possess an ownership interest in a business, it is essential that you create a business succession plan when establishing your Estate Plan. The primary goal with a business succession plan is to ensure continuing, uninterrupted business operations, fiscal success and minimization of taxation should you choose to retire, become incapacitated, or upon death.

There are numerous taxation considerations which must be taken into account when establishing a business succession plan. Whether you choose to pass on your ownership interest during your lifetime or after your incapacitation or death, a seasoned Estate Planning Lawyer can guide you through this process.

Trust Administration

Trust Administration is the process by which the named trustee must inventory the trust assets, obtain appraisals where necessary, pay the trust debts and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

Trustees owe beneficiaries a fiduciary duty to always act in their best interests, as well as ensure that the goals of the testator are carried out. Failure to follow legal requirements, engaging in self-dealing, or refusal to comply with the testator’s intent are all actionable and may result in the trustee being replaced. If a trustee is found to be in breach of their fiduciary duties, they may be held personally liable for any resulting harm to the beneficiaries.


Probate is the legal process by which a will is filed with the court upon the individual’s death. The will must be validated, and the court will oversee payment of debts and the distribution of assets in conjunction with the named executor. If the executor cannot or will not carry out their duties, the court will appoint an appropriate executor.  

An expensive and time-consuming process, it may take anywhere from a few months to several years to settle an estate through probate. The more extensive the assets, the more costly probate will be. This is because probate fees charged by the court are based in part on the value of the estate.

If the probate court accepts the validity of the will, the case will move forward according to the wishes of the decedent. If deemed invalid, the court will look to see if a prior will was executed and may be validated. If not, all of the decedent’s assets will pass under the laws of intestacy in the state of California.

Assets may pass outside of probate if held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Examples include property held in joint tenancy, where the last survivor takes the entirety.

Probate cases are a matter of public record. For this reason, many choose to establish trusts that incorporate a will to maintain privacy and protect assets.

Baskin Estate Planning Info Sheet.pdf