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Exprienced Estate Planning and  Compassionate Probate Representation

Serving Ventura County, Southern Santa Barbara, and the San Fernando Valley

Planning for your own long-term security and the continued well-being of your loved ones is a very important part of life.

As a dedicated and accomplished Thousand Oaks, California Estate Planning Lawyer, I enjoy a reputation for thoroughness, and for practical solutions to avoid contention in estate administration. I ask in-depth questions to make sure I understand my client’s needs, and I explain why I recommend a course of action.

I started my estate-planning practice with my banking colleagues, from in-house days, who were used to working with me to structure final transactions to anticipate problems and plan around them. I bring the same approach to personal financial matters, especially in estate matters. Let my experience work for you.

Contact my firm today if you or a loved one needs legal assistance with any of the following:

  • Probate
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Trust Administration
  • Estate Planning
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Estate Litigation
  • Conservatorship
  • Guardianships
  • Estate Tax Returns
  • Private Annuities & Charitable Trusts

Wills, Trust, Estate Planning:

Estate planning, through wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney and advance health care directives, are effective for not only passing one’s wealth to the next generation but also for making arrangements in advance for disability or lack of capacity in the future. We approach these matters by first attempting to obtain a clear understanding of not only our client’s intentions, but also of the particular dynamics of the family. We not only listen to our clients, we strive to present different issues or approaches that might not have been considered.

Our estate planning clients are as varied as the population of Southern California: young couples concerned about custody and care of their children in case the unthinkable happens, to mature couples whose families are less dependent on them in a personal way, and single people who want to make sure that their hard-earned assets go to the people they choose, not to those selected by the default rules of the law. We can give advice and counsel on making arrangements for guardians, for passing on the family business, and for caring for special needs members of the family.

While we always consider taxation issues, our planning is not driven by them. We look at all the concerns of our clients, and we learn from them. One client in particular decided that, because health and age issues suggested that his spouse would outlast him by many years, making sure his widow would not be burdened with too much administrative burden was much more important than simply assuring the smallest tax bite at her passing. We listened and learned to put taxes in perspective and not let them dominate the decision process.

Certainly avoiding probate is a rationale goal of an estate plan. In California, fees for the executor and for counsel are set by statute as a sliding percentage of the gross value of the probate estate. With the hyperinflation in real estate value in the State, probate becomes a very expensive proposition.

Probate:

Our probate cases have involved not only local residents, but also foreign nationals who have sufficient assets in California to warrant a probate proceeding to transfer title to real property.

We appear in probate matters in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, as well as neighboring counties.

Conservatorship:

Sometimes it is necessary for a family to intervene judicially in the life of a person who, regardless of age, cannot properly care and protect him or herself. Most often the person is an elderly parent or an uncle who can no longer properly manage their own financial or personal well-being. Other times, the proposed conservatee is a younger person who has suffered a severe trauma, but who has not designated anyone as his or her agent for health purposes.

In these situations, we represent and advise the family on conservatorships; a judicial proceeding that appoints someone to make personal, financial, or both kinds, of decisions for the incapacitated persons. Sometimes, the appointment is only temporary, until the person regains the capacity to function autonomously, but in others, the conservatorship can last a long time.

We represent not only family members who become conservators, but also registered, private, professional conservators.

No matter what your estate planning needs may be, my firm takes a very personal, hands-on approach to our clients and their cases. We will spend time with you to personally discuss your needs, and explain your options.

If you or someone you love needs the assistance of an experienced Thousand Oaks, California Estate Planning Lawyer, call Raymond L. Stuehrmann today at 866-708-4377, or complete the contact form provided on this site to arrange for a free consultation.

Attorney Profile

Attorney Raymond L. Stuehrmann

Jurisdictions:

  • California
  • All four US District Courts in the State

Date Admitted to the Bar:

  • December 18, 1975

Education:

  • Pasadena City College
  • California State College at Los Angeles, Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in English, 1969
  • Loyola of Los Angeles Law School, Juris Doctor cum Laude, 1975.

Professional Memberships & Achievements:

  • State Bar of California, Probate Section
  • Ventura County Bar Association
  • Probate Section
  • CPA Law Society of Ventura County
  • Former member, Legal Affairs Committee of the California Bankers Association (1984-1992).

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