Susan B Geffen

- Elder Law Attorney
- Gerontologist, Master's USC
- Former Elder Law Professor


I would recommend Susan Geffen to anyone seeking guidance on elder care and law/financial issues. I told Susan when we first met that my father was....
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Susan B Geffen's Estate Planning Services
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To ensure your assets are distributed as you'd like them to be when you die, estate planning is the answer.

Successful estate planning transfers your assets to your beneficiaries quickly and with minimal tax consequences.

Estate planning can also assure that family members know how you'd like your financial and medical affairs to be handled if you become incapable of making your own decisions.
Probate & Trusts
At death a person's assets are generally subject to a Court proceeding called "probate" before the assets can be distributed to the intended beneficiaries.

Probate proceedings can take from six months to two years (and occasionally longer), and require the payment of substantial attorneys' and executors' fees.

Probate is a cumbersome method of asset transfer.

Susan often advises clients to consider establishing a "Living Trust" to avoid both the burdens of probate and the potential need for a conservatorship.

Susan can help prepare Wills, Living Trusts, and other trust documents. She helps individuals correctly transfer assets into trusts so that their desires are honored by the courts.

Whether or not you decide to set up a Living Trust, Susan will help you establish a comprehensive estate plan.

She will also help you establish a schedule of appropriate periodic reviews of that plan, your assets, how you hold title to your assets, and your existing beneficiary designations.

Federal and state tax laws affecting asset administration and inheritance continue to change annually. It is important that your documents - even those only a few years old - be brought up to date to avoid unnecessary taxes and administrative difficulties.

Married couples in particular can save tens of thousands of tax dollars by doing proper estate planning.
Probate Court may appoint Conservators for people who are unable to take care of themselves and/or their finances. The Court appoints a Conservator to protect the proposed Conservatee from serious health problems and/or from undue influence in financial matters.

The procedure for establishing a Conservatorship is to file a Petition with the Court to obtain Letters of Conservatorship. Along with the Petition, there are a number of other forms that are filed with the Court. These additional forms outline the reasons for the Conservatorship, information on the proposed Conservator, and a list of close relatives and friends.

After the Petition is filed, the Court appoints a Court investigator, usually a social worker. The Court Investigator meets with the proposed Conservatee and contacts relatives and friends. The Court investigator writes a report with a recommendation as to whether the Court should appoint a Conservator. Usually an attorney is appointed by the Court to represent the Conservatee.

The advantage of a Conservatorship is that there is court supervision which protects the Conservatee from abuse. Sometimes there is no alternative to a Conservatorship if the proposed Conservatee will not accept assistance voluntarily. The Conservatorship is reviewed by the Court after six months and then annually thereafter.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Susan B Geffen have experience establishing conservatorships and representing families who are taking care of incapacitated relations.

We know the right legal steps to take, and we understand the emotional situation. We are ready to help with sound and sensitive advice.
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Advance Health Care Directive
An "advance health care directive" lets your physician, family and friends know your health care preferences, including the types of special treatment you want or don't want at the end of life, your desire for diagnostic testing, surgical procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and organ donation.

By considering your options early, you can ensure the quality of life that is important to you and avoid having your family "guess" your wishes or having to make critical medical care decisions for you under stress or in emotional turmoil.

What is important to you when you are dying?

Are there specific medical treatments you especially want or do not want?

When you are dying, do you want to be in a nursing home, hospital or at home?

Under state law, you have a legal right to express your health care wishes and to have them considered in situations when you are unable to make these decisions yourself.
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