What We Do At The Law Offices of Andrew Cohen

We do more than just explain the law to you – we explain how trust & estate planning laws affect you personally. Attorney Andrew Cohen understands the most up-to-date research, analysis, and technology available to help with proper estate planning.

Estate planning

Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Most people should have a proper plan in place to guide their families after they have passed. We help our clients plan for the unexpected in life. We will help you look at important aspects when it comes to getting your affairs in order, including designing and drafting a revocable trust (sometimes called a living trust), a last will and testament, creating a durable power of attorney, creating advanced health care directives.

In addition, other documents are important such as HIPAA-compliant authorizations, and documents to name guardians for minor children, well-drafted deeds to get your home into your new trust, paperwork to avoid property tax reassessment, and documentation necessary if you have a family business. We’ll discuss all aspects of the estate planning process, including who should care for your assets in the event you are incapacitated or pass away.

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Trust planning is often the centerpiece of a well-crafted estate plan. Especially in California where probate is long, expensive, subject to court schedules and decisions, a Trust allows you to retain complete control and use of your assets while you are alive and healthy, and put in place a plan for when you cannot handle your own affairs or decision making.

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Estate planning for children with disabilities

Families with special needs children have to exercise care when making estate plans. This is true whether or not a special needs child is a minor or an adult. Parents want estates to enrich and enhance the life of their special needs child while also ensuring that the child’s enrollment in essential public benefits programs such as Medicaid or SSI is not interrupted, reduced or eliminated.

Estate planning for domestic partners

Unmarried couples also need to consider estate plans. While marriage and traditional estate plan usually go hand in hand, extra precautions need to be made for those who decide to remain unmarried but still couples in every other way. The goal is to ensure that the wishes of both people in a domestic partnership are carried out in the event they are disabled or pass on.


The purpose of a last will and testament is to distribute any property a person owns in the event of their death. This document ensures that you, not the state or anybody else, gets to decide what happens after you pass on. Wills can also name guardians for minor children, spell out inheritance rights, forgive debts, and more.

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A guardianship is a legal way to protect children who are under the age of 18. There are two types of guardianships we help with:

  • Guardian of the person : This involves the legal and physical custody of the child, including responsibility for their care, safety, and health.
  • Guardianship of the estate : This involves the responsibility for managing the child’s finances.
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A conservatorship is a court proceeding where a judge determines that an adult is unable to care for their personal well-being or finances. In these cases, a judge will appoint a conservator to handle the person’s care and finances. This is similar to guardianship for minor children.

Establishing a conservatorship is expensive, time consuming, and involves the court system to give legal permissions, oversight and ongoing review. Good planning now can replace the need for a conservatorship later.

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Powers of attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a document that allows a person to appoint someone else to manage their property, assets, and finances if they become incapacitated and unable to do so themselves. These documents can give extensive or limited authority to another person to make legal decisions on your behalf. A POA is important for anybody who may become incapacitated or for those who travel for extended periods of time (such as military personnel).

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Health care directives

A health care directive is meant to ensure that you have somebody to make health and medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. This could be due to an illness or injury that causes incapacitation. In the event an emergency occurs or a person is reaching and end-of-life situation, a health care directive will allow a trusted chosen person to make a variety of medical decisions for you.

Living wills

A living will is a document that allows people to express their wishes for end-of-life medical care when they are incapacitated and unable to communicate their own decisions. These documents provide invaluable guidance to family members and medical professionals, making sure the wishes of the incapacitated person are known. Living will have no power after a person passes away.

Special needs trusts

Special needs trusts will generally be set up to provide for a disabled person’s needs aside from their basic housing, healthcare, and food expenses, which may be covered by public benefits such as Medicaid and SSI. A special needs trust will ensure the assets intended to benefit the disabled person are transferred into a trust overseen by an independent trustee, and that these funds are used to supplement governmental benefits.

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Probate, or probate administration, is a court-supervised process that administers a deceased’s estate when there is no planning or only a will in place. This process involves locating and determining the value of a deceased person’s assets, paying final bills and taxes, and then distributing the remainder to rightful beneficiaries. It involves the probate court system and will most likely be very time-consuming, expensive, and will not provide protection or guidance for your family and children.

Medi-Cal & and Medicare / Elder Law

Many individuals and families want or need Medi-Cal to pay for long term care or preparation for the need for placement in an assisted living facility or nursing home. The process of Medi-Cal planning is to properly protect the financial integrity of those who might need these services in the future while also ensuring they are cared for now.

As we reach older age, it is vital to properly plan for various life changes. This includes creating or updating wills, creating living wills, assigning power of attorney rights, and more.


Why Do You Need A Lawyer For
These Estate Planning Matters

It is important for anyone making estate plans to realize that this can become an
incredibly complex process. You don’t have to be wealthy to have trust or estate planning.

Our homes, bank accounts, investment account, life insurance, retirement accounts, collections, and anything else you own are part of your estate. Most individuals do not have the resources or legal experience to completely and correctly ensure that these documents are thoughtfully and properly designed, drafted and implemented. The last thing that anybody needs when an emergency or end-of-life situation arises is to discover that the plans they or their family members made are not legally binding, don’t do what is needed in a time of crisis, or discover that the documents mandate actions that are not desired or needed.

A Santa Clarita estate planning attorney will ensure that all aspects of estate and trust planning are prepared and completed correctly. A lawyer will understand the complex legal language involved in these documents and cases.

With proper estate planning, you can be sure that your wishes are carried out according to your plans, not anyone else’s.

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