Robert Rochelle and Russell Griffith are proud of their strong and long standing attorney-client relationships and their reputation of honesty, integrity and experience.
Robert D. Rochelle
Russell E. Griffith
Areas of Practice
Living Trusts, Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney and Advanced Health Care Directives are critical elements of an estate plan. While most adults should have some form of an estate plan in place, for one reason or another this important family and asset management planning tool is often overlooked. With over 30 years of experience, Russell Griffith can help you get your estate planning in order. Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible on the clients so that this important “to do” item can get checked off. No preparation is necessary, just the scheduling of an appointment gets the process going.
Often we can resolve disputes before litigation begins. However, when negotiations fail, an experienced trial attorney is required to protect your interests and/or recover damages. Robert Rochelle is an ABOTA trial attorney who has been lead counsel in trials in San Diego Superior Courts and Federal District court. Practice areas include probate and trust matters, elder abuse, medical and nursing home malpractice and personal injury.
Mr. Griffith and Mr. Rochelle also provide probate and trust litigation services to resolve estate matters when there was a failure to plan or when disputes arise. The Courts are available to handle a variety of issues involving the administration of an estate or trust. A beneficiary can have a trustee removed or made to perform as required by the Trust instrument or as required by law. A trustee can get prior approval of acts he or she plans to undertake thus avoiding disputes with beneficiaries later.
Trust Administration Assistance
A Trust is created by a Trustor (Settlor) and managed by a Trustee. On the death or incapacity of a Trustor and/or a Trustee, there are multiple actions that must be timely taken under the law and under the terms of most Trusts. We coach and assist Trustees in understanding their obligations under the law and the terms of the Trust and help them fulfill their duties. A Trustee must answer to the beneficiaries of the Trust and must account for all of their activities in administering a Trust. As a result, it is important that from moment one takes on the duties as a Trustee that they know and understand their obligations. Protecting the Trustee from liability is of utmost importance as with any Trust administration there are penalties for failing to abide by the law and the terms of the Trust.
When one passes without a Trust, even if they have a Will, in most cases where assets exceed $150,000 a Court supervised proceeding called a “Probate” is required to administer a decedent’s estate. The Court will formally appointed an Administrator (Executor) and give him or her legal authority to wrap up a decedent’s affairs and distribute assets. This is an expensive, time consuming and avoidable proceeding when properly using a living Trust. Where there was a failure to plan with with a Trust, we assist clients through multiple Probate court proceedings and filings and other administrative activities required to wrap of the affairs of a decedent.
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