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Practice Areas.

Family Law
Divorce, Child Custody, Prenups

Probate & Trust Matters
Estate Administration

Sometimes divorce is inevitable.  If it is, you might be asking yourself, what about the kids? How is the money split? What is the emotional cost of this process?  You have two options when hiring a lawyer in a divorce or child custody situation - Hire the "bulldog" lawyer whose only goal is the "win" in the courtroom, no matter the cost to the client (or the kids), OR the lawyer who advises and counsels the client to do what's best for future and the future of their children.  Duisters & Giarratano has a reputation for common-sense representation in family law matters.

Without proper planning many families find themselves in the probate court.  Probate is the court process for "proving" a will and administering assets to heirs listed in the will.  Probate is also the process required when there is no will or trust.  If a deceased family member died with more than $184,500 in property (real estate, bank accounts, etc.), probate proceedings must be established before that property can be passed to heirs (family) of the decedent.  The downside of probate is the State of California decides who in your family gets the property! 

Too often, families find themselves in court when a trust fails.  Trusts can fail for a variety of reasons, which is why hiring an experienced lawyer who provides more than a stack of documents is important for your family's estate plan.  When a trust does fail, the family must ask the probate court to make an order to either fix the trust, or in many cases, transfer property to the trust that should have been transferred when the trust maker was alive.

Legacy Planning
Wills & Trusts

Legacy Planning is how our firm refers to "estate planning."  Many lawyers only concern themselves with the money part of planning.  But what about protecting children? Or items of personal and sentimental value? What about passing on culture, family stories, and ideals for raising children? At Duisters & Giarratano our clients receive more than a stack of documents.  Our personal approach to estate planning ensures all your capital (human and monetary) is passed to the next generation.  Most importantly, we've seen how not properly planning for minor children can leave them in the hands of strangers.

Sometimes called Adult Guardianship

In California an adult guardianship for a person with mental and/or physical disabilities is called a Conservatorship.  Conservatorships can take many forms - person, estate, or both.  Conservatorships can be established for any qualifying individual 18 year or older.  For individuals with developmental disabilities (occurring before age 18), who receive Regional Center services (or are eligible for such services), the law allows what's called a "Limited Conservatorship" which promotes a higher level of independence for the conserved person.  The conservatorship process can be tedious and emotional.  When choosing a lawyer to represent you in this process, make sure conservatorships are a major part of their practice.  A knowledgeable guiding hand goes a long way during this process.

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