707​ 421​-077​2

cynth​​[email protected]​oneparalegal.co​m


What do you charge for a divorce?

Every situation is different, some divorces are more involved than others so therefore the fees will differ. If you would like to contact us and let me know more about your situation, we can give you an estimate of our fees.

What is probate?

The court process by which a Will is proved valid or invalid. The legal process wherein the estate of a decedent is administered. When a person dies, his or her estate must go through probate, which is a process overseen by a probate court. If the decedent leaves a will directing how his or her property should be distributed after death, the probate court must determine if it should be admitted to probate and given legal effect. If the decedent dies intestate—without leaving a will—the court appoints a Personal Representative to distribute the decedent's property according to the laws of Descent and Distribution. These laws direct the distribution of assets based on hereditary succession.

What is a will?

A Will is a legal document that describes how your assets should be distributed in the event of death. The actual distribution, however, is controlled by a legal process called probate, which is Latin for “prove the will.” Upon your death, the will becomes a public document available for inspection by all comers. And, once your will enters the probate process, it’s no longer controlled by your family, but by the court and probate attorneys. Probate can be cumbersome, time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally traumatic during a family’s time of grief and vulnerability. Con artists and others with less-than-pure financial motives have been known to use their knowledge about the contents of a will to prey on survivors.

What is a living trust?

A Living Trust avoids probate because your property is owned by the trust, so technically there’s nothing for the probate courts to administer. Whomever you name as your “successor trustee” gains control of your assets and distributes them exactly according to your instructions. There is one other crucial difference: A will doesn’t take effect until your death, and is therefore no help to you during lifetime planning, an increasingly important consideration since Americans are now living longer. A Living Trust can help you preserve and increase your estate while you’re alive, and offers protection should you become mentally disabled. Please note that even with a Living Trust you should still have a complementary will (known as a “pour-over will”); this type of will makes sure that any assets which may not be in your Living Trust at the time of your death “pours-over” to the trust so everything is distributed pursuant to the terms of your Living Trust. Our Trust Package includes all of the necessary estate planning documents including the “pour-over will”.

What is the difference between a health care directive and a power of attorney?

A health care directive is a document in which you appoint someone, an Agent, to make health care decisions for you, if, and when, you become incapacitated.  A power of attorney gives your Agent the power to handle your finances.

Paralegal vs. Legal Document Assistant?

Paralegals and a Legal Document Assistant (LDA) are qualified through education, training or work experience to prepare legal documents.

The alternative to a paralegal, the LDA is registered, bonded, and authorized under California law, to prepare legal documents for consumers or the general public. LDA’s sometimes consist of former paralegal’s who branched off from the supervision of an attorney to work for themselves and assist individual consumers with legal document support. 

Can you offer legal advice?

CSalone Paralegal Services is not a law firm, does not act as your attorney, and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney. We do not provide any legal advice, and none of the information provided herein or on any completed document should be construed as legal advice.

What would happen if I were mentally disabled and had no estate plan or just a will?

Unfortunately, you would be subject to “living probate,” also known as a conservatorship or guardianship proceeding. If you become mentally disabled before you die, the probate court will appoint someone to take control of your assets and personal affairs. These “court-appointed agents” must file a strict accounting of your finances with the court. The process is often expensive, time-consuming and humiliating. A Living Trust will avoid this process because your assets are titled in the trust and you have appointed someone to act as the successor trustee of the trust if you are no longer able to act’ further, if you have created the appropriate Health Care powers, you have already given someone else the ability to make health care decisions on your behalf. In short, with a properly drafted and complete estate plan, you can eliminate the “living probate”!

How long does it take to get divorced?

In the State of California, a divorce can be final 6 months from the date the Respondent is served, provided all documents have been submitted to the Court.

What is a dissolution of marriage?

The legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.  It is the process by which a couple can end their marriage permanently.

What is an uncontested dissolution of marriage?

When both parties are in agreement on ALL issues and sign an agreement toge​ther.​

If I set up a Living Trust, can I be my own trustee?

YES. In fact, people who create most Living Trusts act as their own trustees. If you are married, you and your spouse can act as co-trustees. And you will have absolute and complete control over all of the assets in your trust. In the event of a mentally disabling condition, your hand-picked successor trustee assumes control over your affairs, not the court’s appointee.

Isn’t a Living Trust only for the rich?

NO. A Living Trust can help anyone protect his or her family from unnecessary probate fees, attorney’s fees, court costs and federal and/or state estate taxes. Any person with an estate large enough to require probate will derive meaningful benefits from a Living Trust. Besides, how rich do you have to be to want your assets protected from an unnecessary court procedure in the event you become incapacitated; a conservatorship/guardianship is just like a probate except you’re still alive!

Can I transfer real estate into a Living Trust?

YES. In fact, all real estate should be transferred into your Living Trust. Otherwise, upon your death, depending on how you hold the title, there will be a death probate in every state in which you hold real property. When your real property is owned by your Living Trust, there is no probate anywhere.

Why would I hire a Legal Document Assistant to prepare my “Living Trust”?

A Legal Document Assistant may be a great alternative for someone who doesn’t want to pay the high fees that an attorney would charge, but is concerned about attempting to prepare their own Living Trust without any experience.

When choosing to work with CSalone Paralegal Services, we will be completely honest and upfront with you. If at anytime during the process we feel that your estate plan requires legal intervention, we will gladly refer you to an attorney who would be happy to assist you.

If I don’t create an estate plan, won’t the government provide one for me?

YES. But your family may not like it. The government’s estate plan is called “Intestate Probate” and guarantees government interference in the disposition of your estate. Documents must be filed and approval must be received from a court to pay your bills, pay your spouse an allowance, and account for your property, and it all takes place in the public’s view. If you fail to plan your estate, you lose the opportunity to

protect your family from an impersonal, complex governmental process that can become a nightmare. Then there is the matter of the federal government’s death taxes. There is much you can do in planning your estate that will reduce and even eliminate death taxes, but you don’t suppose the government’s estate plan is designed to save your estate from taxes, do you? All estate planners agree that dying without an estate plan should be avoided at all costs.

I have minor children what happens if I die?

One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to protect your children, especially when they are minors. If you die, the Court will appoint a Guardian for any minor child; therefore, if you want to determine who that person will be, you need to designate your choice of the Guardian in your Will. Without a trust, the Guardian will also take charge of the assets going to the child which will be under court supervision (with all of the costs and delays involved in that process). With a trust, when minors are the beneficiaries, your designated successor Trustee can manage and invest the trust funds, free of the costs and restrictions that arise when the Court appoints the Guardian. Often times, the person you may want to raise your children might not be the best person to manage the assets; with a trust, you can have the duties split or you can have the same person performing both functions. Additionally, with a trust, you can continue the management of a beneficiary’s assets to whatever age you desire; certainly beyond age 18 (the age at which ALL guardianships must terminate). The management of a beneficiary’s asset in a trust can include disbursement of assets and/or funds in increments, according to your directions.

I have a pet which I want to make sure is cared for after my death, can I do that with a Living Trust?

Our services allows you to create a “Pet Trust” as an option; this trust can be for a specific animal or animals or for whatever animals survive you. You can designate different trustees for the care of the pet and the amount allocated for the care of the animal. You will also have the option to designate a trust “enforcer”; that is a third party who has the right to make sure the funds are actually being used for the care of the animal.

What should I consider before I begin?

You should decide on (1) who will be the successor trustee in the event of death or incapacity; (2) if you have minor children, who should be the Guardian; (3) who will make health care decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself; and, (4) how your estate will be distributed at your death.

What happens if I want to proceed?

After deciding on some of the important questions that were mentioned in the previous question,

contact CSalone Paralegal Services!

The process only takes two appointments to complete.

In the first appointment, we’ll go over all your questions, and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We’ll also go through the process of completing the necessary paperwork to begin the process.

Within two short weeks we’ll meet again and go over the entire Living Trust Document. We’ll make sure that all the information is accurately contained in the documents.

During the second appointment, I will also provide you with specific instructions on how to properly “fund” your Living Trust – which is one of the most important things you need to do.