Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Cohen
Now a part of FMBK
Effective and Efficient Personal Service
JEFFREY S COHEN's Practice Areas - including but not limited to:

PROBATE  (Decedent's Estate Administration) - A probate is a lengthy, court-supervised proceeding usually required when an unmarried person dies owing property having a gross value worth in excess of $150,000.  An "executor" or "administrator" (also known as the "personal representative") is appointed to collect and inventory the estate assets, ensure that the decedent's taxes are paid, creditors are notified, and to authorize final distribution of the estate to the named beneficiaries under the decedent's will or to the intestate (without a will) heirs-at-law.
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CONSERVATORSHIP - A conservatorship is a court-supervised proceeding over an incapacitated person whereby someone is appointed to manage that person's affairs.  The court may order a conservatorship over the person, estate, or typically both.  The conservator is the person legally responsible for handling all the conservatee's affairs (over the Person - handles the residence and living situation, and medical decisions if authorized;  over the Estate - handles all the financial decisions and banking transactions).  The conservator must account periodically to the court for all assets and transactions.
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GUARDIANSHIP -  A guardianship is a court-supervised proceeding over a minor (under 18) whereby someone, typically a parent, grandparent, or other relative, is appointed to care for the minor and/or manage their assets.  Procedurally, very similar to conservatorship.
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WILL & TRUST CONTESTS - A contest is an attack on a testamentary document (will or trust) by someone who might have ultimately received something (money or property) under a prior estate-planning document or by intestacy (dying without a will), but now wishes to challenge the validity of that newer document.  Legal grounds for contests include but are not limited to Fraud, Duress, Undue Influence, Lack of Capacity, Mistake, and financial and physical Elder Abuse.
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PROBATE LITIGATION - Litigation can encompass many forms, but generally in probate, litigation regards issues of appointment (who should be in charge acting as the personal representative, namely the executor, administrator, trustee, or agent), and entitlement (who gets what, and when).  During the litigation process, the parties must go through mediation, which is the process of meeting with a neutral party in an attempt to bring the parties together to resolution.  Mediation is usually quite successful due to the length and typically very high cost of litigation, however some cases do ultimately go to trial.  Keep in mind though that cases can settle at any time, even during the trial itself. 
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ESTATE PLANNING - WILLS & TRUSTS - Prudent estate planning typically involves the drafting of both a will, and a trust.  A will can direct the distribution of property and assets, while a trust can do the same much quicker, yet avoid costly probate and adverse tax consequences, while maintaining privacy.  Additional estate planning through powers of attorney (DPOA) and advance health care directives (ADHC) allow one the ability to authorize others to manage their affairs, as well as directing wants and desires, even when unable to personally do so.
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ELDER LAW ISSUES - There are many issues that effect the elderly, particularly including elder abuse, Medi-Cal planning, and dealing with private and governmental entities and obtaining benefits. 
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If your legal needs do not fit squarely within any of the above-listed practice areas, we still might be able to assist you or possibly refer you to another attorney or legal service.  Please don't hesitate to call us to ask for assistance in any legal matter.

 
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