Bruce knows that estate planning can be both emotional and difficult.

Estate planning serves two main purposes. The first is to ensure that your wishes and finances are properly handled if you become incapacitated due to illness or injury. The second is to ensure that your assets are properly administered after your death. Creating an estate plan that effectively manages the end of your life can lift the burden on you and your loved ones.

You have worked hard to build your estate and it is important to protect those assets by establishing a trust to manage your estate. Some trusts are set up by the grantor, the person who established the trust, to continue to protect their own interests or that of a survivor until they die. One objective is to avoid probate court where your estate may be distributed in a manner that might not follow your intentions. As long as you have set up a trust document, the estate is protected and can be used and passed along to beneficiaries in accordance with your desires.

Bruce will fully explain the procedures and requirements of a trust in California. Normally, when the estate owner dies or is incapacitated it will have court supervision to ensure that the estate is handled properly and with fairness to heirs. A living trust is a legal arrangement that lets you, or your survivors, privately administer the estate and avoid probate, as well as achieve other estate planning objectives while maintaining complete control of your property. Such trusts are typically revocable, which allows for changes or revocation as long as you are living.


A trust is similar to a will in that it deals with distribution of assets. With a trust, you specify beneficiaries and a trustee who handles the allocation and distribution of the trust as you have directed. The main difference between a will and trust is that a trust is established during your lifetime and does not have to go through probate, which eliminates probate costs.

What Concerns Should I Have When Setting Up A Trust?

  1. Naming your Trustee is extremely important. I’ve always gone by the old adage that you should appoint the person(s) that you, in fact, trust. You may wish to appoint a family member, while some consider appointing their lawyer, CPA, financial advisor or a professional fiduciary instead of a family member, especially if there is any possibility of conflict within and among family members. You need someone who will act on your behalf to manage the estate in the best interests of all beneficiaries.
  2. Make sure that you have all relevant documents in one accessible place. If you have these papers locked in a safe deposit box there is the possibility that, upon notification of your passing, that box will be locked up until the bank receives a court order to release its contents. We recommend that the safe deposit box be titled in the name of your trust so as to allow a successor trustee to gain access and negate such concerns.
  3. Our firm is experienced with all areas of trusts and estate matters. We can help you determine the best legal process to use to manage and preserve your assets, before and after your passing. Don’t delay in consideration of a trust; your estate may be very worthy of having a trust established. We are always interested in helping clients achieve the best results in this and other legal issues. Call today to set up a consultation about your financial planning.


  1. Wills deal with the division of your assets after your death. With a will, you specify to whom your assets should be distributed and name an executor to handle this division of assets. If you do not have a will, your estate is usually handled by the state, and the division of your assets will be at the state’s discretion.
  2. Even with the use of trust, we will still provide you with a will. It is comonly known as a “Pour-Over Will” and serves as a back-up to your trust

Power of Attorney (Financial and Asset Management)

A power of attorney authorizes an individual other than yourself to act as your attorney-in-fact, making decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. A power of attorney generally gives the attorney-in-fact access to your financial accounts, and the right to make day-to-day financial decisions for you.

Two types are available. A limited power of attorney is effective for a set time period and/or a specific transaction, while the more common durable power of attorney gives an attorney-in-fact authorization to continue making decisions about your finances as long as you are incapacitated.

Advanced Health Care Directives

Advanced Health Care Directives, are legally-binding instructional documents that officially declare your health care decisions in the case that you are incapacitated and unable to communicate them yourself. These documents take health care decisions out of the hands of your family members when it comes to life support and other life-saving treatments.

Planning for your death isn’t an easy task. You want to make sure that everything is in order so that your loved ones will be taken care of once you are gone.

Getting Started

Bruce D. Gleit is an experienced attorney who can help you determine which estate-planning tools are right for you, and help you prepare a sufficient estate plan that will ensure that your loved ones aren’t left to make hard decisions on your behalf. If you’re ready to start planning your estate, call Bruce at (714) 640-2490 or (949) 900-1880 or email him at Our estate-planning workbooks can be downloaded here so you can be prepared for your consultation:

(1) Estate Planning Guidebook

(2) Estate Planning Workbook (Single)

(3) Estate Planning Workbook (Married)

(4) Advanced Health Care Selections Worksheet


Costs And Expenses

With a living trust in place, your trustee and heirs can avoid the need for the probate of your estate. Trust administration is a private administration process that can negate the need for court costs (filing fees, publication costs). Attorney fees are considerably reduced compared to attorney fees in probate, which are set by law and are based on a percentage of the gross asset value, not the net value.


Since a trust administration eliminates probate, no information concerning the decedent’s estate can become public knowledge.

Out-of-state Probate Is Avoided

Regardless of where you live or move to, your relocation does not affect your trust.

Avoid Delays Of Two Years Or More To Settle The Estate

There is no 120-day waiting period for creditors, and there is no need to file petitions and reports to the probate court. The trust can enable your heirs’ income to continue without interruption after your death, and all property or income is immediately distributable in accordance with the provisions of your trust, as well as at the times you indicate.


Probate matters can be both stressful and trying for people who do not work with the courts regularly. It can be a confusing and foreign experience, and working with an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process is assuring and important.

Bruce will work with you to resolve your difficulties, is available to answer questions, and should the court’s assistance be required, he will help you maneuver through the court system and any special procedures that are required. Bruce works directly and closely with his clients to achieve the best outcome for their individual situation.

Will My Will Be Probated?

Without a living trust, your estate and your family may be forced to endure the unnecessary time, expense and burden of state probate court proceedings even if you have minimal assets.

When you are establishing your will, you can name beneficiaries who will inherit portions of your estate, and you can designate the executor of that document. If you do not name someone to serve in this capacity, or if they are unable to perform required duties, the court may name an administrator to do the job. There may be one or more executors or administrators named, depending upon the size of the estate.

BUSINESS LAW (Formation and Transactions)

Owning a business means that you are ultimately responsible for all aspects of that business. While you get to decide how you want to operate your business, you are restricted by various rules and regulations. Whether you are just starting out and want to run a small business, or you are well-established and in charge of a large company, an attorney who specializes in business law can be an invaluable asset.

Deciding On The Type of Business Formation

Your first decision before you actually start selling your products or services is to decide what type of business formation is most appropriate for your needs. Your options include a sole proprietorship, a partnership or incorporation.

  • Sole Proprietorship – You are the sole owner. Profits and losses are reported on your personal tax return. You are personally liable for the activities of the business.
  • Partnership – Two or more people, or entities, may form a partnership. You can share the responsibilities of running a business, and each partner is a proportional owner of the company.
  • Corporation – A corporation is a separate legal entity. Liability of the corporation does not pass through to individual shareholders. Paperwork is more complex and you must file a corporate tax return.
  • Limited Liability Company – A limited liability company is a corporate structure whereby the members of the company cannot be held personally liable for the company’s debts or liabilities. Limited liability companies are essentially hybrid entities that may combine the characteristics of a corporation and a partnership.

How To Handle A Business Sale, Dissolution Or Merger

When you want to sell or dissolve an existing business or merge with another business, there are certain legal steps that you need to go through in order to avoid any future problems. Terms of such a sale or merger need to be carefully thought out and reduced to a written contract. Such transactions must account for inventory, existing liabilities and many other relevant details. In the weeks and months before a sale is finalized, it is often necessary to have the seller and buyer execute a non-disclosure agreement.

Not Every Dispute Has To End In Litigation

When you are in business, small disputes can escalate into more serious problems. Before you may be sued or you may need to file a lawsuit, your attorney can help protect your rights and, before initiating litigation, assist you in trying to resolve the dispute. Most situations revolve around contract law. There is always time for litigation but first you and your business should try to spare the time and cost of protracted litigation.

Hiring An Attorney

You should not try to go it alone when starting, operating or selling a business. A good attorney can help you avoid pitfalls that are common occurrences in almost every business. With extensive experience in all facets of business law, Bruce D. Gleit can provide essential services to companies of all sizes. Whether you are just starting out and trying to decide the proper business formation or ready to retire and want to sell your company, it is a good idea to seek help from a qualified business law attorney.