Estate planning, debt relief, public benefits appeals, and county assistance

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does our Senior Consumer Benefits team do?
  • Do I need a Trust?
    • Everyone can create a Trust whether you own your home or not. Specifically, if you own Real Property, a Trust could be beneficial for you.
    • A Trust is a document creating an agreement between a Trustor and a Trustee. The person creating the Trust is the Trustor. The person managing the Trust is the Trustee. The Trust distributes assets to their heirs/beneficiaries.
    • A trust protects assets from going through a court process called “Probate”. In California, the Probate Code requires court supervision if the decedent owned Real property. Probate is the orderly distribution of assets to the proper heirs.
    • A Trust is handled privately and can protect your home from potential Medi-Cal liens.
  • Does a will avoid probate?

    No. Probate is determined based on the assets a person owns. If you own a home and it is titled in your name at death a Probate is required. In California, Probate is the “process of proving the Will”. It is the court process in California that is used for the orderly transfer of assets from a person who has died to their heirs/family members.

  • What is a conservatorship?
    • A conservatorship is sometimes needed if a person can no longer make decisions for themselves. A court process is required for a judge to give authority to a “Conservator” to take care of a person who cannot make decisions for themselves. There are two kinds of conservatorships in California.
    • A person may need a conservatorship over the person. This means the court names someone to take care of the personal needs of the person. This might include scheduling and taking them to the doctor or dentist. It might include hiring someone to help them dress, buy groceries or other personal needs.
    • A person may need a conservatorship over the estate. This means the court names someone to take care of the finances of the person. This might include paying bills, reconciling bank statements or even selling real property.
  • Do I need an attorney to complete my estate plan?

    While it is not required to use an attorney to draft an estate plan, it is always best to use an attorney who can advise you on your estate planning legal documents.

    A California Licensed attorney can give you legal advice in the State of California. Non-attorneys, paralegals and document preparers are not allowed to give legal advice.

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