At the Law Office of Christine Padilla, we recognize that this process may appear monumental, or even distressing, to some. It is our goal to guide our clients through this process, while providing clients with clarity and confidence in their decisions. Each client’s situation is unique, and we recognize this.
A personalized estate plan may involve a will, a trust, or appointment of financial powers of attorney. It may involve re-titling assets, or nominating guardians for minor children. A properly prepared estate plan can provide great peace of mind that a plan is in place which is both sound and current. Importantly, a plan is in place which will genuinely work, at the time you and your family need it the most.
At the Law Office of Christine Padilla, we believe an estate plan is one of the most necessary and considerate things you can do for yourself and your family. We are available to review, discuss, and update your estate plan as needed. We welcome you to contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your estate plan today. – Christine Padilla, Owner and Attorney at Law
Christine received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from San Diego State University in 2001. She went on to receive a scholarship to attend the University of San Diego School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctorate degree in 2005. She passed the California State Bar in the same year, and is admitted to practice law in all courts in the State of California.
Christine spent the majority of the early years in her legal career defending individual clients and corporations in civil litigation cases, specializing in insurance bad faith, construction defect, personal injury, and broker liability cases. She was privileged to work as an associate at the Law Offices of Kenneth Greenfield and at Skane Wilcox, where her mentors impressed upon her their strong work ethic. Christine subsequently spent several years as an independent contractor, assisting individuals and firms with a variety of diverse litigation and contractual needs.
In founding the Law Office of Christine Padilla, Christine made the decision to focus primarily on the estate planning and probate needs of her clients. All too often, clients delay the estate planning process for various reasons. Christine recognized the need for individuals and families to consult with an attorney they can rely upon and trust, whether in assisting them in the establishment of personalized estate planning documents such as a will or trust, or in guiding them through the sensitive nature of the probate process. While the task of establishing one’s estate plan may appear monumental to some, estate planning is vital for those who desire to have a voice in the management and direction of their future affairs. Christine remains as passionate now about providing her clients with quality estate planning and probate services as she was when she represented her clients in litigation. In addition, she remains committed to approaching each client’s situation with thoughtfulness and integrity, and will continue to assist her clients in constructing unique solutions to their estate planning needs.
Christine is a past member of San Diego Defense Lawyers, where her strengths and legal abilities were recognized when she was named the 2007 Outstanding New Lawyer. She is currently a member of the California State Bar and the San Diego County Bar Association.
Christine has lived in San Diego all of her adult life. She and her husband Jeff Padilla met in their last year of law school, and married shortly after. Jeff and Christine are now raising their two girls in San Diego, where they often spend time with their large extended family. Christine volunteers at her daughters’ school and serves as the “cookie mom” for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She also enjoys hiking, reading, and travel.
Areas of Practice
An estate plan is the process of preparing a plan in advance for what will happen to your estate, or everything you legally own, in the event you become mentally incapacitated or pass on. Importantly, an estate plan will serve to equip your family and loved ones with the necessary tools to administer your assets and manage your affairs, including your healthcare, should it become necessary. Typically, this involves the preparation of several legal documents, including a will, a trust, and a financial power of attorney. It also often includes an advanced healthcare directive for yourself, and a guardian nomination for any minor children you may have.
Probate is a court supervised proceeding of managing a person’s estate, or all of their remaining assets, at the time the person passes away. One’s estate may go be required to go through probate depending on whether a proper estate plan was set up, the title in which property is held, and the value of the remaining estate. Because the probate process can be costly and potentially take years to administer, estate plans often involve the preparation of a trust with the goal of avoiding probate.
Trust administration refers to the process of managing the property and assets of a person’s trust upon that person’s incapacitation or death. At that time, the named successor trustee of the trust assumes control and management of the assets that were placed in the trust. The successor trustee duties are to now ensure the established terms and goals of the person’s trust are properly carried out.
A Guardianship is a relationship established under a Court supervised process, whereby a guardian is appointed to care for a minor child or the child’s estate. Typically, a guardianship is established when one or both birth parents are no longer able to effectively care for their minor children or children’s assets. Under these circumstances, the Court can either order a guardian to assume care and custody for the minor, to manage the minor’s estate until the child is of legal age, or to do both of these things if necessary.
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