Close X

Tha Law Office of Mark Ruiz's Blog

The Estate Planning Process Start to Finish

Posted by Mark Ruiz | Jan 18, 2023 | 0 Comments

I often have clients who are refferred to me for the purposes of Estate Planning and are curious about how the process works.  Many clients call my office about a Will or a Trust. Generally, the process involves an initial phone interview where I ask high level questions such as if the client is married, has children and if they own any real property or other substantial assets.  That allows me to get a feel for the client's estate planning needs.

For most individuals or couples who own a home or another substantial asset I recommend a Living Trust, Pour Over Will, Advanced Healthcare Directive, and Durable.  Once I assess the client's general needs, I typically send an intake form.  The intake form consists of questions about how the client would like to distribute their assets once they pass away, what assets they own, who they would like to administer their estate after they pass away.  Also, the intake form asks them if who their backups are in case one of the people who are to inherit their property or serve as a trustee predeceases them.  Finally, the intake form asks questions regarding healthcare directives and durable power of attorneys such as who the person will be to handle their legal and financial affairs once they pass away.

Once I receive this intake form, it typically takes about 2 weeks to prepare the Living Trust, Pour Over Will, Healthcare Directive, Durable Powers of Attorney and any deeds for real property which will be titled into trust.  These documents are then witnessed and/or notarized as appropriate.  After the documents are finalized, there are still some important details that are not to be forgotten. First, any deeds to Real Property must be recorded in the county recorder's office. Second, personal and financial assets such as investment and retirement accounts may be changed to reflect that these assets are titled in the name of the Trust. Finally, it is generally a good idea to inform successor trustees, executors and people who are named as power of attorney that they have been named as such and provide them with a copy of these documents.  My clients also maintain a copy of the documents in a safe place, and the attorney's office maintains physical and electronic copies of these files.

Of course, this process varies from office to office and also individuals have different needs so that the process might look slightly different for some people, but overall, the above process is what to expect in general when one contacts my office for Estate Planning services. 


This article is intended for general information purposes only.  Any legal analysis or other content should not be construed as legal or professional advice or substitute for such advice.  No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by transmission of information.  If you require legal or professional advice, please contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  The choice of an attorney or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements and blog postings.

About the Author

Mark Ruiz

Mark A. Ruiz Attorney/Owner Mark  primarily focuses on Business Law, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning.  He holds a Bachelors Degree from Santa Clara University with an emphasis in Business/Marketing and a Law Degree from the University of San Francisco with a Business Law Certificate.  He ...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Our firm

Our firm specializes in helping businesses, individuals and families with all their legal needs. Our philosophy is centered around client responsiveness and taking a solution oriented approach to problems. We are here to serve you, so call us today!

Hablamos Español


The Law Offices of Mark Ruiz is committed to answering your questions about Wills & Trusts, Business Law and Real Estate Law issues in Redwood City and the Greater Sacramento area.

Contact us for a consultation and we’ll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.