Practice Areas

Father and Son

Estate Planning

Estate plans are not just for the wealthy. There are many options available in estate planning, and it is important to be completely informed. A good estate plan is one that is carefully designed to meet your needs and match your circumstances. While standardized estate planning forms and kits are available, there is no one plan that can meet the needs of every person. You deserve an experienced estate planning attorney who will take the time and put forth the effort to get to know you and your family.

The Law Office of Nicole A. Davidson offers comprehensive, custom estate plan packages. In most cases, estate plans can be prepared at predisclosed, value prices.

At a minimum, a basic estate plan includes:

A basic estate plan with a Revocable Living Trust includes:

Depending on your situation your Revocable Living Trust estate plan may include one or more of the following optional services:

Even the most basic estate plan is designed to take advantage of tax-savings opportunities. More complex tax planning strategies are discussed under the Estate Tax Planning section below.

Once your estate plan is in place, it is important to remember that your plan is a process, not a product. Your life is constantly changing. You cannot know in advance when your estate plan will take effect; therefore, your documents should be reviewed periodically and updated as needed. Even if Ms. Davidson did not draft your original estate plan, she is available to review your existing documents, discuss the impact of changing circumstances and changes in the law, and update your estate plan to continually accommodate your situation.

Estate Tax Planning

Since 2001, many of the significant developments in estate planning law have resulted from the ever-changing tax landscape. Ms. Davidson mastered the tax code at a top law school and now has a decade of experience utilizing creative but proven techniques to help her clients minimize the adverse impact of income taxes, estate taxes, generation-skipping transfer taxes, gift taxes, and real property taxes.

While tax considerations play a role in even the simplest estate plan, more sophisticated estate and gift tax tools include:

Trust & Estate Administration

When a loved one dies, it can be overwhelming for the family member(s) who undertake administering the deceased person’s estate, regardless of whether the decedent created a Revocable Living Trust, a Will, or no documents at all. The Law Office of Nicole A. Davidson is experienced in trust administration, probate administration (where the decedent created but did not properly fund a Trust, created a Will only, or failed to create any type of testamentary document), and small estate administration (where probate is not required because the decedent’s assets are below $150,000 – or $50,000 for real property).

When a decedent has created a Revocable Living Trust, Ms. Davidson offers the following services to assist the trustee administering the trust:

If the decedent’s estate requires probate, the court oversees the execution of the estate in accordance with the California Probate Code. Probate can be slow, expensive, and tedious. But when you work with Ms. Davidson, you can rest assured that your legal paperwork will be prepared correctly, your case will progress as efficiently as possible, and all of the estate’s legal obligations will be fulfilled.

Additional estate administration services include:

While Ms. Davidson advises clients who are fiduciaries (i.e., trustee, executor, etc.), she is not available to serve as the fiduciary. In addition, Ms. Davidson does not accept clients who wish to engage in contentious litigation over trust and estate matters.

Business Services

While Attorney Nicole A. Davidson limits her practice to estate planning, estate tax planning, and trust & estate administration, she does offer selected business services because of their nexus to the estate planning goals of asset protection, continuity of business operations, and shared ownership of real property.

The form of a business is integral to its success and to the protection of the estate of the owner(s). Ms. Davidson routinely advises her business clients on the pros and cons of various business structures. She helps clients select and form the appropriate entity, including:

In addition to handling the necessary filings with the State, the Law Office of Nicole A. Davidson prepares custom operating agreements and buy-sell agreements. Ongoing assistance is available for routine maintenance, contracts, and sale or dissolution.

Business services, including entity formation and tenants-in-common (TIC) agreements, are also available to co-owners of real property, typically those who are preserving the family home or investing in rental real estate.