Living Trusts

Living Trust

The Law Office of George M. Derieg is devoted to representing your interests. We specialize in estate planning. This includes creating your own personal living trust. A well written living trust will avoid bringing your estate through probate. You want to avoid probate because it can be an expensive endeavor. Probate is the process an estate goes through in order to change title into the hands of your beneficiaries. It could cost your family thousands of dollars you could have avoided if you had contacted an estate planning attorney ahead of time.

Since you are reading this right now, you are not dead . At the Law Office of George Derieg, we will sit down with you for as long as you like and craft an estate plan that suits your needs. We will give a free consult and give you an estimate for how much an estate plan would cost you.

Our Services
We do not simply draft a trust for you. We also, include a will, a medical directive, and teach you about powers of attorney, and will draft what ever powers of attorney you may desire. You will be very happy with our services. On top of these services, we will provide a free modification to your estate plan annually.

Why is a free modification important?

Life happens. You cannot know what will happen tomorrow, next week, or next year. Family structures change, clients become parents, grandparents. We lose and gain loved ones every day. We also purchase homes, or we move, or change bank accounts etc… The estate plan you create with our Law Office one day might need changing and you want to have it changed by the attorney that created it, and you don’t want to have to pay additional amounts of money for your life changes. We understand this, and we don’t want to capitalize on the unavoidable changes in your life for profit. We treat each client as if it was our own family because in many ways you are.

Contact attorney George Derieg for a free consult. 510-355-2747

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Criminal Law

Have you or a loved one been charged with a crime? Do you have questions that need answering? Would you like an attorney to sit down with you or your family and explain the harsh complexity of the criminal justice system? George Derieg practiced as a Deputy Public Defender for many years. Mr. Derieg has significant jury trial experience with successful results. Mr. Derieg has handled thousands of misdemeanor cases and hundreds of felony cases. Choosing the Law Offices of George Derieg is choosing aggressive, zealous experience.

You will need a good attorney to represent you, your freedom is on the line.

Cases the Law Offices of George M. Derieg will handle for you:

Traffic Infractions: do you have a traiffic ticket and a court date you cannot make because you are working or going to school? Do you need a lawyer that will appear for you and help reduce the cost of your ticket and or try to get any points taken off your driving record so you can keep your license? I will show up in court for you and fight to get your ticket either dismissed or the price of the ticket reduced.

Misdemeanors: are you being charged with a misdemeanor? A misdemeanor is commonly defined as any crime that can be punished by up to a year in county jail. I can appear for you so you don’t need to miss work or school. I have experience litigating thousands of misdemeanor cases. I will help you if you are charged with any of the following

  • DUI’s
  • BUI’s (Boating Under the Influence)
  • Domestic Violence
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • Battery
  • Vandalism
  • All theft related cases
  • Prostitution
  • Welfare fraud
  • Hit and run
  • All drug charges
  • Resisting arrest
  • Criminal threats
  • And all other misdemeanor cases

Felonies: are you being charged with a felony? A felony is a crime that can be punishable by a prison sentence. Among a prison sentence, a felony has other far reaching consequences including losing certain rights to vote, becoming unemployable, etc…

If you are charged with the following I can help you prevent having a felony on your record

  • All drug charges
  • Domestic violence
  • DUI’s
  • Battery
  • Ressisting arrest
  • Battery on a police officer
  • Possession of weapons including: knives, guns, etc…
  • Criminal Threats
  • Multiple strike litigation
  • Any and all sex crimes
  • Manslaughter
  • Attempted Murder

Expungements: you have the absolute right to have a case expunged if you successfully complete probation (California Penal Code section 1203.4 et al). An expungement is a legal term for having a prior criminal conviction dismissed from your record. In some cases you are entitled to have a felony reduced to a misdemeanor and then dismissed.

The law demands that you have your case expunged if you successfully complete probation, however if you did not successfully complete probation you can still file for an expungment. Mr. Derieg has successfully helped his clients obtain expungements even in cases where his clients did not successfully complete probation. Call now for a free consultation.

 Criminal Law

Alameda County Probate – Attorney George Derieg

Probate is the process an estate must go through in order to transfer property to beneficiaries when a person dies with a will, or without a will. If the person dies without a will, then the person dies intestate.

In many cases you will need a lawyer in order to navigate the complex court process. The Probate Code limits the amount of money an attorney can collect, as your attorney I will not charge you the maximum allowable amount.

As your Alameda County probate attorney, my goal is not to get as much money from the estate. My goal is to navigate you and your family through the probate court process swiftly and painlessly. For any other questions you might have please feel free to scroll down below for answers to frequently asked questions about probate.

Frequently Asked Questions about probate:

What is probate?

Probate is when the court supervises the processes that transfer legal title of property from the estate of the person who has died (the “decedent”) to his or her beneficiaries.

Usually, you have to fill out court forms and appear in court to:

  • Prove to the Court that the Will is valid (this is usually routine),
  • Appoint a legal representative with authority to act on behalf of the decedent,
  • Identify and inventory the decedent’s property, and have that property appraised,
  • Pay debts and taxes, and
  • Distribute the remaining property according to the terms of the Will or to the decedent’s heirs.

Is probate necessary?

If the person who died did not have any property to transfer, probate is usually not necessary. The deceased person’s survivors at may decide to open a probate if there are debts owed or if there is a need to set a deadline for creditors to file claims.

When there is property to transfer the probate process also provides for the distribution of the estate’s property to the decedent’s heirs.

Does all property go through probate when a person dies?

No. The term “probate estate” refers to any property subject to the authority of the probate court. Assets distributed outside the probate process are part of a person’s “non-probate estate.”

California has “simplified procedures” for transferring property for estates worth under a certain amount (from $20,000 to $100,000 depending on the circumstances and the kind of property).

There is also an easy way to transfer property to a surviving spouse, property held in Joint Tenancy and life insurance and retirement benefits.<br />

Do life insurance or retirement benefits need to go through probate?

No. The benefits can be paid directly to a named beneficiary. Money from IRAs, Keoghs, and 401(k) accounts transfer automatically to the persons named as beneficiaries. Bank accounts that are set up as pay-on-death accounts (PODs) or “in trust for” accounts (a “Totten Trust“) with a named beneficiary also pass to the beneficiary without probate.

How much does probate cost?

The cost of probate is set by state law.

When all the costs are added up – these may include appraisal costs, executor’s fees, court filing fees and certified copies, costs for a type of insurance policy known as a “surety bond,” plus legal and accounting fees–probate can cost from 4% to 7% of the total estate value, sometimes more.

How long does probate take?

California law says the personal representative must complete probate within one year from the date of appointment, unless s/he files a federal estate tax. In this case, the personal representative can have 18 months to complete probate.

If probate has not been completed by that time, the personal representative must file a status report to the court to explain what still has to be done and how much time that will take.

If the personal representative does not report to the court, the beneficiaries can ask the court to order him or her to file an accounting or take other actions to close probate. The court can remove the personal representative and appoint someone else.

Sometimes there are circumstances that can make probate take longer. If there is a Will contest (a claim filed with the court that all or part of the will is not valid), or the size and complexity of the estate requires extra time, or it is hard to find beneficiaries, the process can drag out. Some probate cases take years to resolve.

Where will the probate hearing be?

In California, probate hearings are in the Probate Department of the Superior Court in the county where the decedent lived at the time of his or her death.

Who is in charge of the probate process?

If there is a Will, the person named as executor will usually be appointed as the personal representative – this means s/he is responsible for managing the estate and following probate rules and procedures.

The executor has no authority to act as personal representative until s/he is appointed by the court and formal “Letters Testamentary” are issued by the Court Clerk.

If there is no Will, or if the Will doesn’t name an executor, or the person named as executor in the Will is unable to be executor or does not want to be executor, the probate court appoints someone called an administrator to handle the process. The Court usually chooses the closest living relative, or a person who will inherit some portion of the decedent’s assets.

Do I need an Alameda County probate lawyer?

YES. It is a good idea to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Do not allow your deceased loved ones assets to sit dormant too long during the probate process.

A lawyer can  help avoid disagreements among family members over minor or major issues. But the lawyer represents the interests of the personal representative, not the beneficiaries.

What are the steps in the process to probate a decedent’s estate?

Most cases follow these steps:

Step 1 In most cases, the person requesting appointment as personal representative (executor or administrator) hires an experienced probate lawyer to prepare and file a Petition for Probate. In some cases, the person requesting appointment will handle the probate without hiring a lawyer, as discussed above.
Step 2 The probate lawyer, or the petitioner without a lawyer, arranges to mail notice to everyone named in the decedent’s Will (when there is a Will) and all his/her legal heirs about the death and the probate hearing.The notice must also be published in the newspaper where the decedent lived to let creditors know about the hearing.Notice gives everyone notified an opportunity to object to admitting the Will and to the appointment of the personal representative.
Step 3 The hearing usually takes place several weeks after the matter is filed. The purpose of the hearing is to determine the validity of the Will and to appoint the personal representative.Sometimes, the Court will need the people who witnessed the decedent’s signature on the Will to sign a declaration.If there are no objections, the court will approve the petition and appoint the personal representative.
Step 4 The personal representative must identify, take possession of, and manage the probate assets until all debts have been paid and tax returns filed. This process usually takes about a year.Depending on the terms of the Will (if there is a Will), and on the amount of the decedent’s debts, the personal representative may have to sell real estate, securities or other property.For example, if the Will makes cash gifts but the estate consists mostly of valuable artwork, the art may have to be appraised and sold to produce cash.
Or, if there are unpaid debts, the personal representative may have to sell some of the estate property to pay them.
Step 5 After paying the debts and taxes, the personal representative must file a report with the court. The report accounts for all income received and payments made on behalf of the estate.The judge will then authorize the personal representative to divide the remaining property among the people or organizations named in the Will.
Step 6 The property will be transferred to its new owners.

Call today to consult with an Alameda County Probate Attorney and get your case resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible!

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Estate Planning

Estate planning is the creation of a definite plan for managing your wealth while you’re alive and distributing it after your death. These assets may be owned by you separately or jointly with others.

Estate planning is the preservation and the distribution of your assets, both during your life and upon your death. It is accomplishing your personal and family goals and easing the management of your financial and legal affairs, as well as minimizing taxes if your estate is large enough for taxes to be of concern. When we talk about an estate, we mean all assets of any value that you own, including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, personal property and even your personal effects. An “estate plan,” generally, refers to the means by which your estate is passed on to your loved ones on your death. Estate planning can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including:

  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Last Will and Testament / Probate
  • Lifetime Gifting
  • Joint Ownership
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Life Estates

Problems often arise when people don’t coordinate all of these methods of passing on their estate. If you have a well-drafted estate plan in place, you will ensure that your estate passes to whom you want, when you want, and is carried out in the manner you’ve chosen. You can rest assured that your family won’t have to endure the public process and costly matter of probate. The government won’t be able to take what you’ve spent a lifetime building. But you need to be aware of the many options that exist in estate planning – and you must choose your estate planning attorney wisely.

Contact the Derieg Law Offices for a free Estate Planning consultation.


Estate Plannning Attorney 510-355-2747

Call Probate Attorney 510-355-2747 George Derieg now and schedule a free consultation. George Derieg is the lawyer your family needs to navigate your family through the complicated probate process.

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Attorney Profile

hayward probate attorneyGeorge M. Derieg, Esq.

George M. Derieg was born and raised in San Lorenzo, California. Mr. Derieg attended Arroyo High School, Chabot Junior College, and then UC Berkeley for undergrad. For law school, Mr. Derieg attended Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco. After law school, Mr. Derieg passed the California Bar Exam and began his career as a Deputy Public Defender.

Attorney George M. Derieg, Esq. has been in practice since 2005. Mr. Derieg started his career as a Deputy Public Defender in San Joaquin County, and then transferred to Solano County. During his tenure as a public defender, Mr. Derieg handled thousands of criminal cases ranging from misdemeanor DUIs, to high level felony cases including, human trafficking, manslaughter, sex offense crimes and virtually every type of drug charge, domestic violence, and other forms of battery and assault.

In 2010, Mr. Derieg became a father and promptly quit his job as a Deputy Public Defender and began work as a lawyer handling trusts and estates; this includes  creating estate plans ranging from living trusts, wills, powers of attorney and medical directives/living wills, and probate of decedent’s estates. Mr. Derieg only handles probate and estate planning now.

If you are looking for a probate attorney in the Bay Area Counties of Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Solano County, San Joaquin County, or Marin County, contact the Law Office of George M. Derieg today for a free consultation.


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