Fundamental Estate Planning
at Tierney, Watson & Healy


Perhaps one of the most important reasons to create an estate plan is to pass on your values and beliefs. Clients often think that estate planning is just about how to divide their property after they pass away. Others think that estate planning is just about saving taxes. And still yet others think it is just about "documents" such as wills and trusts.

Good estate planning should also focus on taking care of you while you're alive and provide you with optimum flexibility in the event you become disabled, so you can indirectly retain "control" to a limited extent.

Our clients agree that estate planning is about:

  • Maintaining control of your property while alive.
  • Taking care of you and your loved ones if you're disabled.
  • Giving what you have to whom you want, the way you want, and when you want.
  • Saving every last tax dollar, professional fee, and court cost legally possible.

Tierney, Watson & Healy strives to provide caring and compassionate client service. We want our clients to know that we're here to take care of them rather than sending them out the door with "documents."

Every situation is different, and each unique situation presents its own estate planning challenges. We encourage you to explore these topics, beginning with an overview of fundamental estate planning and some (all too common) mistakes. Then delve more deeply into specific challenges that may affect you and your family such as planning for minor children, blending families, and estate planning challenges unique to women. Each link leads to an easy-to-understand presentation on the topic. Feel free to use the integrated functions to print any page, bookmark it to return later, or forward a copy to your friends, family members or financial advisor.

Common Estate Blunders

When you hear the words estate planning, what images come to mind? Do you see beautiful, tanned people with incredible wealth, living in enormous mansions, riding in shiny limousines and boarding private jets? If so, then you are only partially correct. In reality, everyone has an estate worth planning. Some are just more complex than others.

Planning for Minor Children

It is an unfortunate fact of life: airplanes plummet, trains derail, ships sink and automobiles crash. What happens when a tragedy claims both parents of minor children? While every parent expects to rear their minor children to adulthood, life may throw any of us an unexpected curve ball in the form of a fatal injury or illness. Are you, and your children, prepared?

Estate Planning Challenges for Blended (or Step) Families

Are you re-married (or planning to re-marry) and attempting to blend families? Unfortunately, too little attention has been paid to the critical Life & Estate Planning challenges of blended families. These challenges include disinheriting your ex-spouse, protecting your own children, providing for your new spouse and minimizing your estate taxes.

Women & the Law

Traditionally, women have been the nurturers in our society. Depending on how family is defined for her, a woman may care for a husband, children, pets, parents or even in-laws. While she is busy meeting the needs of others, a woman may forget to take care of her own needs ... even needs as fundamental as her own Life & Estate Planning.

Your first estate planning consultation is complimentary. Some people find scheduling their initial consultation is a bit intimidating, as they wonder what documents they will need to locate and bring along. At Tierney, Watson & Healy, we try to make the process as simple and convenient as possible. When you are ready to schedule your initial consultation, please visit our Estate Planning Consultation page for tips on how to prepare for your Estate Planning Consultation.

Note: Nothing in this publication is intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties regarding any transactions or matters addressed herein. You should always seek advice from independent tax advisors regarding the same. [See IRS Circular 230.]

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Tierney, Watson & Healy provides California probate administration, probate litigation, elder law and estate planning to clients throughout California and nationwide. Our California practice includes the entire San Francisco Bay Area, the cities of San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Berkeley. With offices in San Francisco and Sonoma counties, we regularly represent and visit clients in San Francisco County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Mateo County, Marin County and Sonoma County.

Martin J. Tierney  |  Dewey Watson  |  Brian S. Healy  |  Evelyn A. Low
Benjamin C. Sanchez  |  Frederick Daily  |  Oliver M. Silsby III
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