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California Estate Planning Attorneys Helping Clients Protect The Future of Their Families and Leave a Legacy


Once viewed as a luxury reserved only for the wealthiest members of our society, estate planning has increasingly become more of a necessity than a luxury for everyone, regardless of their age or economic status. However, the task of putting together your estate plans can be a little unpleasant for many – not only do you have to think about a future where you may no longer be around, but you also have to ensure that you are choosing the right estate planning tools and strategies for your situation. This is where the knowledge and skills of an estate planning attorney can point you in the right direction and make the estate planning process easier and less overwhelming. The team members at the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, are ready to assist you with all your estate planning needs. Contact us today at 909-675-1545 to get started.

What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?

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mother and her daughter

An estate planning attorney is a legal professional who specializes in helping individuals protect their assets and make plans for the future. Besides drafting important documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate planning instruments, an estate planning lawyer can help you make sure that your wishes are taken into account and that your estate is distributed accordingly. An attorney can also help you identify potential challenges associated with your estate plan and provide advice on how to resolve them. Additionally, the attorney can counsel the client on the tax implications of each estate planning strategy and conduct regular reviews and updates to the estate plans to ensure that they reflect changes in personal, financial, and tax laws.

Estate planning attorneys can also provide guidance on other issues, such as gifting, charitable giving, and even ways to help protect a family member’s assets from potential creditors. If a client has a loved one with an incapacitating condition that requires care, an estate planning attorney can assist the client with the process of establishing a conservatorship or planning for long-term care. Last but not least, they can provide assistance in probate court proceedings, such as administering estates or contesting wills.

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What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney Instead of Doing It All Myself?

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It is no secret that the World Wide Web is full of applications and websites that offer a million ways of putting together your will and estate plans without the need to hire an attorney. While that can be an option for many, when it comes to safeguarding your legacy and protecting the future of your family, there is no replacement for personalized attention.

Only by working with an experienced estate planning attorney will you be able to create estate plans that are tailored to your individual needs and estate planning goals. A skilled attorney such as the ones at the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, can help you make the right decisions to protect your family and your assets and ensure your plans will work as intended when they are most needed. No do-it-yourself estate planning website can replace the years of experience and the careful eye of a professional. The Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, is here to guide you through the entire process and ensure your estate plans are valid, complete, and in alignment with your personal needs.

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Meet Our Attorney
Lawyer Sheela A. Stark
Sheela A. Stark

Sheela A. Stark is the owner and founder of the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC.

Her firm is rapidly growing due to her reputation as a compassionate but straightforward and brutally honest attorney championing her client’s rights.

Ms. Stark is devoted to her clients, her legal practice, and her local community.

Much of Ms. Stark’s character was shaped in spending over twelve years as a Social, Recreational, and Respite Therapist for Special Needs Children who were diagnosed with Autism, ASD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Grand Mal and other seizures, moderate to severe intellectual disabilities, pervasive developmental disorders and other unique disabilities. Read More

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What Kind of Cases Does the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, Handle?

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The legal team at the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, focuses on helping Southern California families with several key aspects of estate planning and caring for an aging or disabled loved one. Our attorneys can assist clients with the following cases:

  • Conservatorships
  • Elder Law
  • Guardianship
  • Probate
  • Probate Litigation
  • Special Needs Trusts

Estate planning is for everyone, and we are here to help you navigate this process. You can count on our knowledgeable, experienced attorneys to get the legal services and advice you deserve.

Why Choose Us?


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How Does Estate Planning Help Me Care for a Loved One With Special Needs?

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Estate planning can help families with a special needs person in a number of ways. The most useful estate planning tool for special needs families is an SNT or Special Needs Trust, which allows special-needs individuals to receive financial support without losing access to public benefits.

Many parents and relatives of special needs individuals worry about who would care for their loved ones if they became incapacitated or passed away. Fortunately, with adequate estate plans, it is possible to name a guardian for a loved one with special needs and to provide instructions for the guardian on how to best care for the loved one. If you have a loved one with special needs, it is imperative to speak to an estate planning attorney as soon as possible to ensure your loved one’s financial future is protected.

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What Makes the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, Different From All Other Estate Planning Law Firms?

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At the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, it is our belief that providing personal attention to our clients is key. Estate plans are as unique as the people behind them. When you choose to trust the attorneys at our firm for your estate planning needs, you can rest assured that you will be in the hands of knowledgeable and experienced professionals who have your best interests at heart.

Our team works hard to build solid relationships with our clients and to be the law firm they can count on again and again throughout the years. When you walk through our doors, you can expect to be treated with professionalism, respect, and attention while leveraging our legal knowledge and advice to help you reach your estate planning goals. Experience it for yourself by contacting us today at 909-675-1545 and scheduling a free consultation to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help you.

What types of documents are needed for estate planning?

Common documents used in estate planning include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives. Other common documents include beneficiary designations, life insurance policies, and living wills. However, it is important to understand that estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all process, and not every estate plan will have the same documents and tools. Be sure to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine what documents are appropriate for your situation.

Who should I include in my estate plan?

You should include anyone who you want to inherit your assets, such as family members, friends, and charities. This is an important step because, without clear beneficiary designations for your estate assets, a probate court may need to follow California’s intestate succession laws. If your assets are divided according to these laws, they will go to your closest surviving family member rather than being divided according to your wishes.

How do I choose an estate planning attorney?

In order to choose the right estate planning attorney for your needs, be sure to do your research and ask plenty of questions about the attorney’s experience handling cases similar to yours. Remember, simply having in-depth legal knowledge may not be enough – you need to be able to trust your attorney and feel comfortable working with them. If possible, schedule an initial consultation to speak with the attorney and see if you would be a good fit to work together. At the Sheela Stark Law Group, APC, our client relationships are built based on trust, and we strive to be our client’s legal ally for the long run.

What is a trust, a trustor, a trustee, and a beneficiary?

A trust is a legal document that allows you to transfer assets to designated beneficiaries in a more controlled manner than a last will and testament. A trust acts as a container or bank account for your assets. The trustor or grantor is the person who creates and funds the trust with their personal assets, such as money, investments, real estate, and other personal property. The trustee is the person in charge of managing the trust and can be the same person as the trustor or another individual. The beneficiaries are the persons receiving the trust assets after the trustor passes away.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. The person you appoint to make decisions for you is called an agent and can be a spouse, parent, child, relative, friend, or even an attorney in some cases. The power of attorney document usually contains details about what the agent can and cannot do for the principal when the power of attorney becomes effective and how long it is supposed to last.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and assets after your death. You may also include guardian designations for your minor children and can even assign a new owner for your pets. It contains a list of all assets that are solely owned by you and details about who should receive them. The assets remain in your ownership and are not transferred to beneficiaries until after you pass away, and your will is probated. It is important to review and update your will regularly to ensure that your list of assets and beneficiaries is still accurate and in alignment with your wishes.

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process of validating a will and administering a person’s estate after their death. Probate helps ensure the decedent’s wishes are respected and verifies the validity of the will. As a part of the probate process, an executor is appointed by the court to manage the estate and carry out all the required tasks, such as gathering and inventorying all estate assets, communicating with beneficiaries, notifying creditors, paying debts and taxes and distributing assets to beneficiaries when appropriate.

What is the difference between a conservatorship and a guardianship?

A conservatorship is a legal arrangement in which a court appoints an individual to manage the affairs of another person who is deemed mentally incapable of doing so. This includes taking care of their finances or making decisions related to their health and well-being. A guardianship is similar, but it is used to take care of a minor child instead of an adult who is mentally incapable. The guardian is responsible for the minor’s physical and emotional well-being and for making decisions in the best interest of the child. A guardianship is temporary and can be terminated when the child turns 18 or is emancipated, while a conservatorship usually continues until the conservatee dies or a new court order is issued.