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500 N State College Blvd, Ste. 1100, Orange, CA 92868
Free Consultation 657-221-5964 657-221-5964

Established Orange, California Attorney Provides Reliable Estate Planning Advice

Carefully planned strategies yield positive results for Orange County clients

The sobering truth about wealth is that it’s hard won and easily lost. To secure what you’ve worked for, to derive the maximum enjoyment from it, and to transfer it securely to your heirs requires careful planning based on sound advice. At James E. Dougherty Ltd., I focus my practice in the areas of estate planning and probate law. I assist individuals and couples in Orange County who want to protect their assets now and leave a meaningful legacy to their heirs later. Clients who choose my services find I am:

  • Accomplished — I have extensive experience advising multinational companies on international business and tax matters, and was for 25 years a Specialist in Taxation Law, certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. I have also served as the chairman of the Estate and Tax Planning Division of the Section on General Practice of the International Bar Association. I am admitted to practice in all California courts and numerous federal courts, including the U.S. Tax Court and the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Meticulous — Military precision has been part of my character since serving as a lieutenant with the USAF Auditor General. I am precise and detail-oriented in every aspect of my practice.
  • Practical — When it comes to asset protection and wealth transfers, I focus on the decisive steps necessary to achieve specific results.

It is never too early to establish an estate plan. I offer free consultations to new clients to help you get started.

Personalized attention to address your specific goals

As a sole practitioner, I enjoy meeting face to face with clients, getting to know them, and being able to offer specific guidance based on their circumstances, concerns, and priorities. My estate planning practice touches upon the following areas:

  • Wills — An essential part of any estate plan, a will allows you to transfer wealth to heirs and organizations you support.
  • Trusts Trusts are legal instruments that hold assets for a certain period and then transfer the assets to beneficiaries. Trusts are flexible instruments that you can adjust to fit your specific needs. For example, you can put conditions on gifts and provide for beneficiaries who may not be able to care for themselves.
  • Powers of attorney — These documents allow you to transfer legal authority to a person you trust. Powers of attorney can be broad or narrowly tailored for specific needs, such as financial oversight or healthcare decisions.
  • Guardianships & conservatorships — If you have a loved one who lacks the capacity to live independently, either because of age or infirmity, you can establish a guardianship or conservatorship to see they are protected in the event of your passing.
  • Family wealth transfersTransfers of wealth to family members have tax implications. I assist with estate, gift and income tax planning so you can benefit from the transfer without paying an unexpected price.
  • Probate and estate administration — After a loved one dies, the estate must pass through the probate court for processing. I provide reliable advice to estate representatives so they can settle the estate without undue stress, delay, or expense.
  • Probate and trust litigation — Conflicts can arise over the settling of an estate or the management of a trust. I represent various parties in probate and trust litigation over estate assets.

By handling your needs and those of your family, I hope to give you peace of mind, now and in the future.

Consult an accomplished Orange County attorney for your estate planning needs

For trustworthy advice for your estate plan or reliable probate services, call James E. Dougherty Ltd. My office is located at 500 N. State College Blvd., Suite 1100, Orange, CA, just off I-5 and on the edge of the Platinum Triangle. Call 657-221-5964 or contact my office online to schedule a free consultation.