Fidelity Law Offices

Fidelity Law Offices

We are a leader in completing estate planning legal documents, including Trusts, Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Deeds and Corporate Successions documents, helping our clients and their loved ones save $$ and avoid probate

Firm Overview

Our mission is to help our fellow Bay Area residents avoid the hassle and expense of probate and associated adverse tax consequences. As a leader in the industry, having completed thousands of estate plans, Fidelity Law Offices is a law firm made up of Bay Area residents and we work on a fixed fee basis so that you will have no surprises. We receive great satisfaction by using the law to help other Bay Area residents avoid the stress, frustration and cost of the probate process. You can be assured that our work will help take care of your assets and pave the way for an easy transition for you and your loved ones. Our mission is to have all qualified residents in the San Francisco Bay Area AVOID probate.

Here are some questions that some of you may have and we would be delighted to discuss this information with you in person.

WHAT IS A LIVING TRUST? A revocable, "Intervivos" trust is a written legal document where assets are placed in trust to avoid probate fees and mitigate capital gains taxes. It is created during your lifetime and you have complete control of your assets. Your assets are placed into a Trust for your benefit during your lifetime and then transferred to designated beneficiaries at your death by your chosen representative, a Successor Trustee. It sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of your minor children. It gives detailed instructions to your Successor Trustee. Unlike a will, it is not a public document.


WHAT IS A WILL? A Will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of your minor children. It is subject to probate, which is an expensive, public process.

WHAT IS INTESTACY? Intestacy occurs when a person dies and no will or trust exists. In this case, the Probate Courtdecides who receives your money and assets,who will administer your estate and, if applicable, who will become the guardian of your minor children. The Probate Court's decisions may not coincide with your family's needs and desires. The documents are public.

WHY NOT LEAVE IT TO PROBATE? There are several unfavorable outcomes that may occur when leaving things to Probate such as:
The wrong individual may be selected by the courts to administer your estate.
It is expensive, complicated and public.
The court may select an unfavorable or even inappropriate guardian for your children.
When children reach the age of eighteen, they automatically receive their share of your assets which is usually an unwise time. Beneficiaries may be those you would have wanted to disinherit.

CAN I JUST USE THE NEW TOD DEED AND NOT DO ANY OTHER ESTATE PLANNING? While this deed can be an estate planning tool under some very limited circumstances, it needs to be used with caution and along with other estate planning tools.

WHY IS HAVING A WILL USUALLY AN INADEQUATE ESTATE PLAN IN CALIFORNIA? A Will does not avoid the Probate process. If the value of your assetsexceed $150,000 at your death, Probate will be necessaryand will take at least one year and a day. It will cost 4% - 7% of your estate prior to beneficiaries receiving assets or money. Furthermore, you may create an estate tax for your beneficiaries ranging from 3%-50% of the amount of your estate exceeding the estate tax exemption limit.

IS JOINT TENANCY A WISE WAY TO PLAN FOR MY PASSING?It usually is not a wise method and poses inherent risks. Joint Tenancy is a type of ownership of an asset in which all tenants have equal rights to an asset. It also grants survivorship rights in the event of the death of an owner/account holder. Because of this, one may think Joint Tenancy is a good option to avoid Probate.However, there are pitfalls to taking title to each other's assets as Joint Tenants With Rights Of Survivorship.
Itcan be dangerous in an unstable relationship.
A joint owner could jeopardize the entire value the asset.
Neither party can sell or encumber the asset without the other party's consent.
Bank accounts may be frozen.
A Right of Survivorship means that the surviving Joint Tenant will receive the entire asset even if your Will states something to the contrary.
A surviving spouse or business partner may sell the asset, leaving the decedent no control over the final or ultimate disposition of the asset entirely.

Specific services we provide, in an easy and enjoyable way, are -
New and complete estate plans - For new estate planning clients, wework on a fixed fee basis including our advanced estate planning services. You will not be charged every time you talk with an attorney becausephone calls are included. We do not want you to hesitate callingus for fear of runaway costs. We WANT to answer your questions! We make the process very easy for clients and very enjoyable.
Main Office
Main Office
2225 E. Bayshore Road
Ste. 200
Palo Alto  CA  94303
Phone
  • (650) 521-6910
Fax
Websites

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?
Yes
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
We only work on a fixed fee basis. Clients find our pricing to be extremely competitive.

Other Offices

Fidelity Law San Mateo Office
1900 So. Norfolk Street
Ste. 350
San Mateo,  CA  94403
Fidelity Law San Francisco Office
201 Spear Street
Ste. 1100
San Francisco,  CA  94105
Fidelity Law Cupertino Office
19925 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Ste. 100
Cupertino,  CA  95014
Fidelity Law Sunnyvale Office
1250 Oakmead Parkway, Suite #210
Sunnyvale,  CA  94085
Fidelity Law Walnut Creek Office

1990 North California Blvd, 8th floor
Walnut Creek,  CA  94596
Fidelity Law San Jose Office

111 North Market Street, Suite #300
San Jose,  CA 
Estate Planning
Our mission is to help our fellow Bay Area residents avoid the hassle and expense of probate and associated adverse tax consequences.
As a leader in the industry, having completed thousands of estate plans, Fidelity Law Offices is a law firm made up of Bay Area residents and we work on a fixed fee basis so that you will have no surprises. We receive great satisfaction by using the law to help other Bay Area residents avoid the stress, frustration and cost of the probate process. You can be assured that our work will help take care of your assets and pave the way for an easy transition for you and your loved ones. Our mission is to have all qualified residents in the San Francisco Bay Area AVOID probate.

Here are some questions that some of you may have and we would be delighted to discuss this information with you in person.

WHAT IS A LIVING TRUST? A revocable, "Intervivos" trust is a written legal document where assets are placed in trust to avoid probate fees and mitigate capital gains taxes. It is created during your lifetime and you have complete control of your assets. Your assets are placed into a Trust for your benefit during your lifetime and then transferred to designated beneficiaries at your death by your chosen representative, a Successor Trustee. It sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of your minor children. It gives detailed instructions to your Successor Trustee. Unlike a will, it is not a public document.


WHAT IS A WILL? A Will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of your minor children. It is subject to probate, which is an expensive, public process.

WHAT IS INTESTACY? Intestacy occurs when a person dies and no will or trust exists. In this case, the Probate Courtdecides who receives your money and assets,who will administer your estate and, if applicable, who will become the guardian of your minor children. The Probate Court's decisions may not coincide with your family's needs and desires. The documents are public.

WHY NOT LEAVE IT TO PROBATE? There are several unfavorable outcomes that may occur when leaving things to Probate such as:
The wrong individual may be selected by the courts to administer your estate.
It is expensive, complicated and public.
The court may select an unfavorable or even inappropriate guardian for your children.
When children reach the age of eighteen, they automatically receive their share of your assets which is usually an unwise time. Beneficiaries may be those you would have wanted to disinherit.

CAN I JUST USE THE NEW TOD DEED AND NOT DO ANY OTHER ESTATE PLANNING? While this deed can be an estate planning tool under some very limited circumstances, it needs to be used with caution and along with other estate planning tools.

WHY IS HAVING A WILL USUALLY AN INADEQUATE ESTATE PLAN IN CALIFORNIA? A Will does not avoid the Probate process. If the value of your assetsexceed $150,000 at your death, Probate will be necessaryand will take at least one year and a day. It will cost 4% - 7% of your estate prior to beneficiaries receiving assets or money. Furthermore, you may create an estate tax for your beneficiaries ranging from 3%-50% of the amount of your estate exceeding the estate tax exemption limit.

IS JOINT TENANCY A WISE WAY TO PLAN FOR MY PASSING?It usually is not a wise method and poses inherent risks. Joint Tenancy is a type of ownership of an asset in which all tenants have equal rights to an asset. It also grants survivorship rights in the event of the death of an owner/account holder. Because of this, one may think Joint Tenancy is a good option to avoid Probate.However, there are pitfalls to taking title to each other's assets as Joint Tenants With Rights Of Survivorship.
Itcan be dangerous in an unstable relationship.
A joint owner could jeopardize the entire value the asset.
Neither party can sell or encumber the asset without the other party's consent.
Bank accounts may be frozen.
A Right of Survivorship means that the surviving Joint Tenant will receive the entire asset even if your Will states something to the contrary.
A surviving spouse or business partner may sell the asset, leaving the decedent no control over the final or ultimate disposition of the asset entirely.

Specific services we provide, in an easy and enjoyable way, are -
New and complete estate plans - For new estate planning clients, wework on a fixed fee basis including our advanced estate planning services. You will not be charged every time you talk with an attorney becausephone calls are included. We do not want you to hesitate callingus for fear of runaway costs. We WANT to answer your questions! We make the process very easy for clients and very enjoyable.

Kendra Bowen

Since 2011, Kendra has focused her practice solely on estate planning and advanced estate planning, specifically the legal work to PREVENT PROBATE. As a San Mateo County native, Kendra receives great satisfaction in using the law to help other San Francisco Bay Area residents and home owners avoid the time consuming, costly and disruptive probate process. Kendra meets with every client at a Fidelity Law Office near them and guides them through the estate planning process in a fun and efficient way. Her positive approach and knowledge of estate planning law ensures that each client makes the right decisions for their estate and family. Having completed thousands of estate plans, Kendra has successfully worked through nearly every possible family and estate situation, including her own journey with now two deceased parents. Most clients comment that their estate planning process with Kendra is much less of a chore than anticipated and are very happy that they elected to work with her. She currently resides in San Mateo County with her family.
Education
  • University of California, Hastings College of Law
    Juris Doctor , 1990

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

NOLODRUPAL-web1:DRU1.6.12.2.20161011.41205