Richard Cornell, Attorney At Law

Posted on January 28, 2019
Richard Cornell, Attorney At Law

After spending his childhood in Oceanside and graduating from Oceanside High School, Richard Cornell went on to attend Loyola Marymount University graduating Cum Laude and then recieved his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law.


Areas of Practice

Trust Administration and Probate

​It’s never too early to start planning your estate. When you die, most of your assets will be subject to probate, the court-supervised process of following the instructions in your will. It involves court filings, appointing someone to oversee the process, inventorying assets, and notifying creditors. Probate can be costly and time-consuming.

Estate Planning

Living trusts have several benefits, including the following:

  • Avoids probate at death, including multiple probates if you own property in other states

  • Prevents court control of assets at incapacity

  • Brings all of your assets together under one plan

  • Provides maximum privacy

  • Quicker distribution of assets to beneficiaries

  • Assets can remain in trust until you want beneficiaries to inherit

  • Can reduce or eliminate estate taxes

  • Inexpensive, easy to set up and maintain

  • Can be changed or cancelled at any time

  • Difficult to contest

  • Prevents court control of minors’ inheritances

  • Can protect dependents with special needs

  • Prevents unintentional disinheriting and other problems of joint ownership

  • Professional management with corporate trustee, if necessary

  • Peace of mind

Incapacity Planning

The goal of an effective and well-considered estate plan is to avoid disputes and probate court intervention, but sometimes the decision to plan comes too late. What if something unfortunate happens and you or your loved one don’t have a power of attorney or health care power of attorney? Richard Cornell realizes that guardianships and conservatorships, while protecting a person by providing supervision, will limit that person’s freedom.


If a person has been determined to be mentally incapacitated and has assets that will be wasted, the court will appoint a conservator to manage his or her assets. In some cases the conservator may also serve as a guardian. In either case the probate court conducts an annual review of the management.


A legal guardian is responsible for making decisions regarding a minor person’s personal affairs and living situation. Typically, a guardian takes care of a minor’s personal needs, including shelter, education, and medical care. A guardian may also provide financial management of a child’s assets, although sometimes a second person (often called a “guardian of the estate”) is appointed for this purpose.

Special Needs Planning

Have you been told that your son or daughter, who has a disability, is not allowed to inherit money? It’s true, an inheritance will interrupt his or her SSI and Medicaid. Therefore, someone who is disabled cannot inherit more than $2,000 because it will interrupt his or her government benefits.

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