Probate Lawyer Serving Clients in Los Angeles

John Donahue - Los Angeles Probate LawyerAs a Los Angeles probate and estate lawyer, I am responsible for assisting people during some of the most difficult times in their lives.

Whether you want to build an estate plan or need to see that a loved one’s wishes are honored, I will be here to provide experienced advice and strong legal assistance all without busting your budget.

I am an in-the-trenches, constantly on-the-move, Probate, Trust and Estate Planning lawyer darkening the doorways of County government buildings and probate courtrooms everyday on behalf of my beloved clients.

Helping Local & Out of State Clients Solve Los Angeles Probate Issues

When a person dies, his or her estate must enter a process known as probate. Probate is a legal process that distributes assets that might or might not be identified in a will. Sometimes there is no will making the process more challenging and subject to fights and challenges. Not all probates go smoothly nor are wills, and estate plans always agreeable to potential family members and beneficiaries.

family squabblesFamily Squabbles – When family members or other beneficiaries feel as though the deceased person’s estate plan is improper, or not be administered fairly by a specific person in some way, they have the right to file a lawsuit. Will contests such as these can be complicated and time-consuming. As your lawyer, I will make every effort to make the process go as smoothly as possible. When possible, I can negotiate a settlement that resolves the situation to my client’s satisfaction. Other, times, I will aggressively defend your interests using the lawsuits that may or may not end up in an actual trial. Filing a lawsuit will often convince my clients opponents to be more ‘agreeable’.

Probate Services & Probate Administration Attorney

“My loved one has died, and I don’t know what to do. How do I find an attorney to help me with probate?” I get that call every day! I am here to answer your questions, if you are a loved one to someone who has passed, or you are the Executor, Administrator, Trustee, Beneficiary or Creditor to an estate, call me… I am a hands-on, in-the-trenches, constantly on-the-move probate attorney who gets things done.

Los Angeles probate services involve:

  • Probate administration
  • Preparing all legal and accounting documents
  • Making all court appearances for the probate
  • Ensure all necessary deadlines are me
  • Managing, selling, and transferring real estate owned by the deceased
  • Managing, selling, or transferring a business owned by the deceased
  • Resolving inheritance issues and disagreements
  • Minimizing/Defending Lawsuits and claims against the deceased’s estate
  • “Frozen” bank accounts and investments owned by the deceased
  • Other probate concerns and unique situations that need resolution
  • Questions about whether the will is valid
  • Locate heirs
  • Will contests

Wills, Trusts, Living Trusts  –  Estate Planning Attorney

As a Los Angeles wills and trusts lawyer, I offer a full range of affordable estate planning services. These estate planning services are dedicated to ensuring that a person’s assets are distributed according to his or her wishes. Those wishes are made clear by creating an estate plan, which designates beneficiaries for all of the person’s assets. While the simplest estate plan is comprised of just a Will, many people also prefer to include other estate planning instruments, such as a trust in their plan so their family and beneficiaries can avoid the expensive and time-consuming Probate process.

meet at local coffee spotBefore I draft your estate plan, I will meet with you personally in my office, at your home, your work or a convenient corner Starbucks by your home or office to talk-through your unique needs and goals. Since I am constantly moving about the Los Angeles area –in and out of courts and government buildings– chances are I will be minutes away from your home or work at some time during my upcoming week. My clients joke that I am the “mobile probate lawyer.” The truth is, I wear that badge with pride!

Lawyers who work hard and hustle for their clients, are not your typical stereotypical ‘legal paper pushers.’ Lawyers, like me, who spend less time in their chairs and more time in the County courtrooms and records buildings for their clients MUST –by definition– be constantly on the move to get results! Working together, we can determine which estate planning tools you should use to avoid costly court proceedings and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes all while not breaking the bank with legal fees.

Los Angeles Estate Planning Services include:

  • Will and/or Living Trust for single person
  • Will and/or Living Trust for married couples
  • Living Trust – to avoid the delay and cost of probate
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Financial Matters Power of Attorney
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Community and/or separate property agreements for married persons
  • Family Limited Partnerships (FLP)
  • Lifetime or Testamentary Trust – protect family assets or take care of children, dependents or others requiring special care

Trust Services & Trust Administration Attorney

Most of my Trust Administration clients are still coping with grief issues, when they are forced by timing to begin to deal with their loved one’s will or trust, and how the estate is to be distributed. If you have been nominated to be the executor of a will or trustee of a trust, chances are, you will be peppered with requests from the beneficiaries, creditors and even the IRS or Franchise Tax Board for tax payments or tax returns. I am a local Trust attorney who routinely helps executors, trustees, administrators, heirs and beneficiaries through the complex process of probating a will and administering a trust. I can help you on an as-needed basis, or take on the entire administration burden from your shoulders.

Trust Administration following death of a Trust owner:

  • Advising the successor trustee
  • Preparing all legally required notices
  • Preparing a complete inventory and valuation for all assets
  • Notifying  creditors, paying creditors and handling creditor’s claims
  • Preparing an accounting and distribution plan
  • Preparing deeds and all necessary legal documents to transfer title
  • Preparing the estate and trust tax returns
  • Property tax advice to minimize revaluation for future property taxes
  • If the existing trust allows, reallocation of the assets into new trusts for the best possible tax benefits

Out-of-State Clients  –  Out-of-State Attorneys

Out-of-State Clients – – I am contacted virtually weekly, from people all over the U.S. who grew up here in the Los Angeles basin and need help with a probate issue or want to contest a Will or Trust following their parents’ passing. Generally, other family members, still living here are not treating them fairly. Often is is a sibling, aunt, executor or trustee that is ignoring the out-of-state beneficiary, selling off assets without consent, draining bank accounts, or mismanaging a will or trust. You’ve come to the right place! I can be your local legal pit bull who can make sure you are well-represented and have a LOUD and powerful voice though you cannot be here in person.

Local AirportsOut-of-State Attorneys – – I often partner with out-of-state attorneys who require in-state legal assistance: especially assistance in the Southern California region (including: Los Angeles, Venture, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties). When necessary, out-of-state legal counsel can fly in and out of: Los Angeles International (LAX), Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (BUR), or John Wayne Airport (SNA) with no fuss, and no ground transportation issues.

Call Los Angeles Probate Lawyer — John Donahue

If you are facing a probate matter, or if you have finally decided to get your estate plan started, I will make your problem or challenge my own. Call me at (213) 984-1218. There is never any cost or obligation to discuss your matter and brainstorm, together, a possible plan or solution.

I firmly believe that there is a better way to practice law than divisiveness and dollars.  We are dedicated to the idea that a law firm can serve its clients — even in such a ‘traditional’ field like the law — by being different.
—John Donahue

The Law Offices of John Donahue represents estate planning, probate and trust administration and litigation clients throughout Los Angeles County including the cities of: Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Artesia, Avalon, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bell, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Bradbury, Burbank, Calabasas, Carson, Cerritos, Claremont, Commerce, Compton, Covina, Cudahy, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, El Monte, El Segundo, Gardena, Glendale, Glendora, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Puente, La Verne, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Maywood, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, Norwalk, Palmdale, Palos Verdes Estates, Paramount, Pasadena, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Marino, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Sierra Madre, Signal Hill, South El Monte, South Gate, South Pasadena, Temple City, Torrance, Vernon, Walnut, West Covina, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, and Whittier.